After 15 years of serving Ohio's grain industry, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association CEO, Dwayne Siekman, is stepping down to pursue new career opportunities.
"I'm proud to say that we've achieved many goals and accomplishments with the association and agricultural community throughout the years for the betterment of our farmers, ag economy and our state," says Siekman. "After thoughtful consideration, I'm ready to tackle new challenges in my professional career."
Tadd Nicholson, OCWGA's director of government and industry affairs, will serve as the interim CEO.
Siekman and OCWGA worked to address domestic and international issues that affect the success of Ohio's corn and wheat markets, including ethanol, livestock, trade, environment and transportation issues, as well as federal farm programs, research and marketing programs.
Siekman began his relationship with the Ohio Corn Growers Association and the Ohio Corn Marketing Program in 1996 as director of programs and in 2004 was selected as its executive director. In 2005 he began managing the Ohio Wheat Growers Association. OCGA and OWGA became a single entity — OCWGA — Jan. 1, 2011.
"Dwayne is certainly well-respected in the agricultural and political communities not only in Ohio, but nationally, and will be remembered for his significant contributions to our state's corn and wheat economies," says Mark Wachtman, OCWGA board president.
He cited the following milestones under Siekman's leadership:
Spearheaded the partnership of the formerly separate OCGA with the OWGA to form the current OCWGA
Secured the passage of the Ohio wheat checkoff to create the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program
Involved with the establishment of the National Corn Growers Association political action committee
Elevated the political effectiveness of Ohio corn and small-grains industries at the state and federal levels
Established the Ohio Grain and Energy Center, which serves as OCWGA's new headquarters
Established the Ohio Grains Leadership Program