Past US Wheat Chair Jason Scott Reflects on His Service and How Industry is Staying CompetitiveWed, 15 Nov 2017 12:21:53 CST
Jason Scott, a diversified crop farmer from Maryland’s eastern shore just a stone’s throw from Chesapeake Bay, began his career in servant-leadership at an early age, invited to sit on Maryland’s Grain Producers’ Board upon graduating from college. Encouraged by the leaders that surrounded him, Scott eventually found himself serving with the US Wheat Associates and began rotating up the ladder in through the different officer chairs. Today, he serves as the Immediate Past Chair for USWA, the market development arm of the US wheat industry. During a recent visit to Oklahoma, hosted by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, Scott took time to speak with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about some of the highlights of his experiences with the organization. Listen to their complete conversation, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
“It all has to go back to travel,” he said. “I really do like to travel and No. 1, is probably getting a chance to go out to places like Oklahoma and spend time with the state wheat commissions and getting to know some of the growers better.”
The opportunity to travel overseas and meet with USWA’s internationally placed staff and customers has also been a memorable experience for Scott. As the global wheat market has become increasingly more competitive, forcing the USWA to rethink its marketing strategy, Scott says his visits overseas have been eye-opening in just how important the international branch offices are.
“It’s always a testament to the leadership at US Wheat of how good that overseas staff really is - busting their butts for US ag every single day,” Scott remarked. “You have to have those boots on the ground out in the countries, and we serve over 130 countries. We’ve got 15 offices overseas and it’s still a relationship business.”
While the US has lost its position as the No. 1 wheat exporter, by volume, Scott says it is still is the top player in the global market when it comes to value. According to him, the US wheat industry commands $750 million total value over Canada; and nearly $1 billion in total value over Russia. He believes the organization’s new strategy, to focus on the quality and reliability of US wheat, is not necessarily new - just done a bit differently and certainly emphasized in some key markets. He says this plan has put the industry on a path to success for the next five to ten years and believes it will continue to allow USWA to provide its producers more value than any of the other wheat exporting nations.
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