Montana wheat producer is first USW woman chairman

By SUE ROESLER, The Prairie Star

As a warm, sunny, high-40s degree day flooded over the northern tier of central Montana near Chester, Janice Mattson reflected on her grain farm and her recent election to the top post at U.S. Wheat Associates (USW).

Mattson will be the first woman to ever hold the position.

USW is the wheat industry’s export market development organization, and educates wheat customers in more than 100 countries on behalf of America’s wheat producers. It operates through cost-share funding with the USDA and producer wheat checkoff dollars.

“It means a lot to me that I will be the first woman chairman,” she said. “As a wheat producer myself, I can talk production agriculture with the other board members, whether it be about fertilizer, chemicals, varieties, or other day-to-day operations.”

Mattson said the “guys on the board” (there is one other woman member) all accept her as “one of them,” an equal as a hard-working wheat farmer, and she’s grateful for that.

Interestingly, the entire Mattson family is involved in grain farming, and they all have nearby operations. With the way the farm programs are set up, it made better sense to each have their own farms.

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