CHASE — Oat Global, a public-private consortium that connects the oat value chain and the oat research community, has named Kansas agribusinessman and farmer Doug Keesling as the newest member of its board of directors.
“Doug Keesling is a fifth-generation farmer with more than 30 years of on-the-ground experience in crop production, agribusiness and agricultural policy,” said Oat Global Associate Director Will Zorrilla of the University of Minnesota (UMN) College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). “I am confident that Doug’s expertise across such a wide range of agricultural practices will be a valuable asset to the board, and that he will make important contributions to the critical work performed by our organization.”
Keesling is the owner/operator of Keesling Seed Farms in Chase, Kansas. In addition to cultivating 2,500 acres of grains, soybeans, and grasses, the operation also provides seed and equipment sales, as well as hazmat material and manure cleanup services.
Oat Global, led by the UMN Stakman-Borlaug Center (SBC) for Sustainable Plant Health, works to improve oat resilience, quality and value through global coordination of precompetitive research, breeding and extension. Members include General Mills, PepsiCo, Grain Millers, La Crosse Milling Co., and other participants and stakeholders from academia, government, agriculture, and industry.
“Oat Global performs a unique and indispensable role in the worldwide oat community,” Keesling said. “It brings together a diverse group of organizations and businesses to pursue a common goal, and serves as both a driver and a clearinghouse for the latest scientific knowledge affecting the production and improvement of this important crop. I am honored to accept a seat on its board.”
Keesling, who has worked and traveled with trade groups to promote Kansas-grown agricultural commodities in Africa, the Middle East, Cuba and other regions and countries, also is a founding board member of Heartland Plant Innovations, and has served on the boards of Plains Grains, Inc., the Wheat Foods Council, U.S. Wheat Associates, CNFA, and the IGP Institute.