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New U.S. Wheat chairman: Steady as she goes

Matthew Weaver

Capital Press

Brawley, Calif., wheat farmer Roy Motter is the new chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates. Motter's plan is to continue the organization's current course.

Roy Motter has a game plan as the new chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates: Steady as she goes.

“My priority would be to continue the stellar job U.S. Wheat does promoting wheat offshore as an export commodity,” he said. “Just have them continue at the high level of efficiency and effectiveness that is a hallmark of U.S. Wheat.”

Motter, who has farmed near Brawley, Calif., since 1980, took over as chairman of the organization during U.S. Wheat’s annual meeting in Omaha, Neb.

Motter farms roughly 2,500 acres in Imperial County with his brothers-in-law.

U.S. Wheat works to develop, maintain and expand international markets for the six classes of wheat produced in the United States.

“U.S. Wheat is very pro-trade and anti-tariff,” he said.

Motter also hopes to continue the industry’s efforts to seek overseas acceptance of genetically modified wheat, although he notes it’s still in the future. Australian, Canadian and U.S. wheat groups recently reaffirmed their commitment to innovation in wheat, including biotechnology, in a joint statement.

Motter hopes to educate farmers about the work U.S. Wheat does.

“We’re adding to their bottom line by promoting U.S. wheat offshore,” he said. “It’s our biggest export commodity and one of the largest traded agricultural commodities in the world.”

U.S. wheat export sales exceeded 27.4 million metric tons in the 2012-2013 marketing year, according to the organization.  One metric ton is equal to 36.74 bushels of wheat.

Motter said his emphasis is to continue U.S. Wheat on its current path.

“I would just steer the ship in the right direction and not run us up on the rocks anywhere,” he said.

Also during the meeting, U.S. Wheat installed Crystal, N.D., farmer Brian O’Toole as vice chairman and Stevensville, Md., farmer Jason Scott as secretary-treasurer. Venango, Neb., farmer Dan Hughes transitioned from chairman to past chairman and chairman of the U.S. Wheat budget committee.




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