Glen Squires, CEO of the Washington Grain Commission announced plans to retire November 1st.

“Glen has guided the WGC through some big changes to our industry, especially in the last several years pivoting to keep things running through the pandemic. He has been a relentless advocate for Washington small grains and our state’s growers, and we are better off today because of his efforts,” Mike Carstensen said Almira wheat growers and current chairman for the WGC’s board of commissioners.

The WGC announced that Casey Chumrau will serve as the organization’s new CEO starting in mid-September.  Chumrau has extensive experience in the wheat industry.  Chumrau is the current executive director of the Idaho Wheat Commission.  She worked in agriculture and international business for most of her career, promoting the U.S. wheat industry for more than a decade.  This includes a four-year stint as U.S. Wheat Associate’s marketing manager for South America in Santiago, Chile. She currently serves on several state and national committees, representing the interests of the wheat industry.

Chumrau received a degree in history with minors in business and Spanish from the University of Oregon, and earned an MBA with an international emphasis from the University of Montana.

“It is with a great deal of pleasure and pride, both personal and for USW, that I congratulate the WGC board for selecting Casey Chumrau as their new CEO to replace Glen Squires upon his retirement.  Casey comes to Washington with an already solid wheat marketing background and perspective that’s now been layered with a successful record of leading a major state wheat producer organization.  There is just no doubt that she will be highly successful for Washington and the broader U.S. wheat industry,” said Vince Peterson, president of U.S. Wheat Associates.  “In that role, she will have the benefit of the very high standards and dedication to the job that was set, and is being left for her, by Glen Squires. Glen’s collegial, creative approach to our work has been instrumental in placing the WGC as a trusted and reliable partner for USW and all of the countries and customers that we collectively serve. We have a huge debt of gratitude that goes with Glen as he starts out the next phase of his life in retirement.”

Squires has served with the WGC for over 29 years, the last 10 as CEO.  The WGC is based in Spokane and represents seven wheat and barley grower districts across Washington.

“Glen has always been committed to ensuring Washington grain was of the highest quality.  I am grateful for his dedication to the industry and wish him well in retirement,” said Derek Sandison, WSDA director.

"Over his career, Glen has worked hard to unite the Washington grain industry and create a strong working relationship with WAWG that utilizes the strengths of each organization. His dedication to growers and his passion for this industry has elevated Washington wheat's profile and put a spotlight on the world-class quality of our crop. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Glen and have the utmost respect for his accomplishments and dedication to the industry. We wish him well in retirement," said Michelle Hennings, executive director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG). "I look forward to working with Casey and supporting the outstanding work the Washington Grain Commission does."

Over his tenure, Squires traveled the world extensively working with customers to promote small grains and has celebrated many successes with the WGC’s many collaborators. He was a principal architect of the annual Preferred Wheat Varieties brochure, which is a ranking of Eastern Washington, Oregon and Northern Idaho wheat varieties using six components to evaluate quality. Washington was the first state in the U.S. to rank varieties for quality in 1997, with Oregon and Idaho joining the effort soon after.

“As CEO of the grain commission, Glen has been an outstanding partner and supporter of research and extension activities conducted by WSU faculty and USDA-ARS scientists. His leadership continues to advance wheat quality and production – both critically important to our overseas markets and growers here in Washington state,” said Rich Koenig, interim dean for WSU's College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

“It has been an honor to work for the commissioners and the team members of the WGC on behalf of producers. This is a remarkable industry providing food for peoples of the world. I’m excited for Casey to lead the WGC. She is a proven leader with every needed qualification. Our industry will benefit from her great skill and experience,” Squires said.

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