A local farmer involved in numerous Ottawa and Franklin County agencies has added another element to his plate.

John Wray, a soybean farmer from Ottawa, joined the U.S. Soybean Export Council’s (USSEC’s) 15-member board of directors during the organization’s annual meeting Sept. 16 in Davenport, Iowa. He will represent trade, allied industry and state organizations. The Kansas Soybean Commission (KSC) and Kansas Soybean Association (KSA) endorsed him for the position.

Wray grew up on a farm near Ottawa, graduated from Ottawa High School and attended Kansas State University. He has been farming full time for 25 years and currently raises soybeans, corn, wheat, hay and cattle. He was already KSC’s liaison to USSEC.

He was a member of the KSA Board of Directors for 11 years before agreeing to serve as one of Kansas’ three representatives on the United Soybean Board (USB) from 2003 to 2012. He served on USB’s international-market-development committee each of those years and chaired various subcommittees between 2006 and 2012.

Wray also has served on the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health advisory board. He has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Australia.

“John brings a vast wealth of knowledge and experience to the USSEC board of directors,” Kenlon Johannes, KSA CEO and KSC administrator, said. “He is known for his no-nonsense approach to planning, efficiency and implementing programs.”

Locally, Wray is a member of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce agriculture committee, Franklin County Farm Bureau Association and Franklin County Agricultural Society. He has served on the Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers state and national committees.

USSEC is a partnership of stakeholders that represents soybean farmers, commodity shippers, merchandisers, allied agribusinesses and agricultural organizations. The council helps maximize the use of U.S. soy around the world by meeting stakeholders’ and global customers’ needs. It is financed with various sources, including soybean-checkoff dollars from USB and state soybean boards, cooperating industry and cost-share funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agriculture Service and the American Soybean Association.