Wheat Growers CEO Dale Locken to Retire

(MARCH 20, 2017; Aberdeen, SD) --- Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dale Locken today announced that he plans to retire from Wheat Growers.

Locken has served almost 15 years as CEO of Wheat Growers – one of the largest farmer-owned cooperatives in the country. On August 1, he will be succeeded by Chris Pearson, 42, Wheat Growers’ current Chief Operating Officer.

“Since becoming CEO here in 2002, I have been honored to work with the tremendously talented, extremely dedicated Wheat Growers employee team, who strive every day to provide outstanding service to our 5,100 farmer-member owners,” Locken said. “It has been the most rewarding and inspiring period of my professional career in agriculture.”

According to Wheat Growers Board President Hal Clemensen, Locken spent much of his tenure adapting the cooperative to meet the current and future needs of Wheat Growers members, assuring that Wheat Growers remained innovative, progressive and relevant for generations to come.

“The Wheat Growers Board Members have been terrific to work with and I want to especially thank them for the opportunity I’ve had to be a member of the Wheat Growers co-op organization,” Locken said. “This has been an excellent partnership.”

“As a Board, we are grateful for Dale’s service to Wheat Growers, his leadership to the organization and also for his friendship,” Clemensen said. “We will miss his presence in the board room and his guidance about the direction of the business.”

In the years since Locken joined Wheat Growers, the cooperative has expanded grain storage, upgraded grain handling facilities, added shuttle loading facilities and expanded its agronomy service centers. Wheat Growers also developed a strong, effective safety culture that today has become a model for the agriculture industry.

Clemensen said that when Locken exits as CEO, Wheat Growers will be in good hands.

“The Wheat Growers Board unanimously selected Chris Pearson to be our next Chief Executive Officer,” Clemensen said. “Chris is passionate about farmer success, deeply knowledgeable in what it takes to run a successful cooperative and firmly committed to the employees who support our farmer-members.”

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