Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council member Chad Willis was recently elected to the U.S. Grains Council board of directors, where he will help direct strategies that develop new trade markets.
Willis was elected at the Council’s latest meeting, which took place in Vancouver, Wash. Willis, who has been a U.S. Grains Council representative since 2013, looks forward to representing the interests of Minnesota corn growers and help develop relationships with potential trade partners.
“As a state, we contribute a significant amount of check-off funds to the U.S. Grains Council, so I think it is important we have representation on the board to stay in touch and help grow the export markets our state needs,” Willis said.
Willis said his priorities will be to not only grow export partners, but also maintain healthy relationships with current trade partners. From a political standpoint, uncertainty around NAFTA and other trade-related policy has made maintaining relationships with trade markets especially important, Willis said.
“Trade is a bit of a moving target, especially with the future of NAFTA being uncertain, which means we have to be more vigilant and make sure we don’t lose the trade markets we already have,” Willis said.
Willis also hopes to continue to grow markets for ethanol-related operations, which he believes is one of the most important for Minnesota corn growers.
As a member of the board, Willis will participate in national meetings throughout the year. He will serve on the board until July 2018.