WASHINGTON, D.C., September 15, 2009 – Former USDA Undersecretary for Rural Development Thomas C. Dorr will serve as president and CEO of the Washington, D.C., based U.S. Grains Council. Dorr accepted the charge to head the country’s largest export market development organization for barley, corn, sorghum and their co-products on Sept. 8, 2009. He will officially assume the role on Nov. 16. Dorr said being an Iowa farmer for more than 30 years and serving seven years with USDA afforded him the opportunity to understand and value the nearly 50 years of export market development efforts orchestrated by the Council.
“I am very familiar with the worldwide market development programs the Council has conducted since 1960,” said Dorr. “The Council is focused on global initiatives, but the real purpose of this organization is to sustain and build economic opportunity not only for rural America, but worldwide. I am excited to have the privilege to serve U.S. farmers and agribusinesses in this new capacity.”
Rick Fruth, USGC chairman and Ohio farmer, said Dorr has a broad agricultural, financial and business experience that qualifies him to lead the organization. “Dorr has a long history of service to agriculture and rural America, especially U.S. agriculture, and truly understands the day-to-day challenges U.S. farmers face. He has an ability to facilitate consensus and enable unity resulting in solid solutions,” said Fruth. “He will have an exceptional global staff ready to serve.”
As undersecretary for Rural Development, Dorr led programs to expand rural infrastructure, including electric, broadband and water services, rural entrepreneurial efforts and rural housing. Dorr has served as a member of the board of directors of the 7th District Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Iowa Board of Regents and as a member and officer of the Iowa and National Corn Growers Associations. Dorr, from Marcus, Iowa, was the president of a family farm and agribusiness company for 29 years.
Dorr said his first priority will be to work with the Council’s membership, Board of Directors and staff to clearly define, not just the challenges, but the opportunities for international grain trade. “I am thrilled to be afforded the honor to work with and for an organization that has developed trusted relationships with international government leaders, livestock producers and grain processing organizations worldwide. Its membership intends we continue to build on its successes.”
Dorr succeeds Ken Hobbie, USGC’s president and CEO for the last 18 years and who has been with the Council for a total of 33 years. Kelly Kincannon, chairman of Kincannon and Reed, a Washington, D.C., based global executive search firm focused on the food, agribusiness and life science sectors, assisted in the recruitment.