Keith H. Heffernan will serve as senior vice president of operations and industry relations of the U.S. Grains Council. Heffernan was formerly the chief of staff for the Farm Credit Administration, where he coordinated the development and implementation of the agency’s strategic operating plans.

Previously, Heffernan served as the first executive director of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, director of public affairs for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, assistant director for the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University, and chief of staff for USDA Rural Development.

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"Keith has a long history of service to U.S. producers through trade organizations. He understands the challenges and offers creative solutions," said Thomas C. Dorr, U.S. Grains Council president and CEO. "The members of the Council will have a leader that truly values producer and agribusiness involvement."

The U.S. Grains Council is the country's largest export market development organization for barley, corn, sorghum and their products.