ARA Appoints New Chief

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), the voice of the agricultural retail and distribution industry, has named Daren Coppock as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer (CEO). Coppock is an experienced association leader with deep ties to the agricultural community having been raised on a farm in Oregon and serving as an advocate for production agriculture for the past decade. He joins ARA from the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), where he served as the organization’s CEO since July 2001.

“Daren’s history of leadership, strong communications skills and previous experience serving as a voice for agriculture on the Hill and with federal agencies, combined with the experience, abilities and commitment of our current ARA staff will make for a very strong team and bright future for our association,” says ARA Chairman Ken Manning, vice president of the Pacific Intermountain region with Wilbur-Ellis Co.

While Daren Coppock served as NAWG’s CEO, the association scored a number of policy achievements, including significant progress toward making the introduction of biotech wheat, successfully defending the direct payment in the 2008 Farm Bill negotiations, and advancing discussions to ease rail transportation concerns. He also managed an extensive renovation of the building that the NAWG Foundation owns on Capitol Hill, which houses NAWG and four outside tenants. Prior to joining NAWG, Coppock held key positions with the Oregon Wheat Growers League, including executive vice president and member services director.

“I look forward to joining the team at ARA as we tackle some important agricultural challenges on behalf of agricultural retailers,” Coppock says. “I’m impressed by the leadership of the organization and eager to get out and meet some of the members in the coming months.”

Beginning on Nov. 1, Daren Coppock will begin transitioning from his current position with NAWG to ARA and will be working full time for ARA by Jan. 1, 2010. He is filling the position vacated by ARA’s former President and CEO Jack Eberspacher, who passed away in July after a brief battle with cancer.

The national search for ARA’s new president and chief executive officer was successfully conducted by Pete Metzger, vice chairman of the global executive search firm CT Partners.

For more information, contact the ARA office at (202) 457-0825 or visit

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