The California Wheat Commission (CWC) has selected Janice Cooper as its executive director effective Jan. 1, 2010.

Larry Hunn, CWC chairman, said, “We are very pleased to announce Janice Cooper as the new Executive Director and welcome her back to the California wheat industry. With her broad knowledge and international experience, we are looking forward to her providing strong leadership for the wheat industry, with emphasis on market development, and research and development of new and improved varieties.”

Cooper has operated an international business consulting firm for the past nine years. She worked with many agricultural clients including the California Association of Wheat Growers, where she served as executive director for several years, Ag Council, and the California Canning Peach Association.

Cooper has also had clients in the transportation infrastructure, renewable energy, and international trade sectors.

Prior to forming her own firm, Cooper held positions in the public and private sectors including the California State Assembly, California State World Trade Commission, National Semiconductor, Bank of America, and the U.S. Senate.

Cooper is a native Californian with a strong commitment to preserving California agriculture. She is a partner in Salisbury & Cooper, a diversified family farming company in the Sacramento Delta.

“The California Wheat Commission, with its focus on variety research and market development, provides significant value to California’s wheat producers,” Cooper said. “I am excited to return to the wheat industry and take on the role of helping the Commission meet the many challenges facing the wheat industry, our state and our country.”

The CWC, established under the California Food and Agriculture Code in 1983, is funded by wheat growers and given direction by a board which includes thirteen wheat producers and two handlers – each with alternates – two at-large members, and one public member.

The purpose of the CWC is to develop and maintain international and domestic markets for California grown wheat, and support research which will improve California wheat quality and its marketability.