After nine years working for the Kansas wheat industry, including four as the chief executive officer of Kansas Wheat, Dusti Fritz will leave her post and pursue a new role within the agriculture industry. Her departure is effective May 15, although she has accepted a half-time role as interim CEO until June 30.
"This was a very difficult decision to make. For the last nine years, I have been proud to work for Kansas wheat producers and am honored to be a part of so many accomplishments," Fritz says. "As the first CEO of Kansas Wheat, I am proud of the progress and efficiencies both organizations have achieved to give producers a unified and more effective voice."
Fritz has led Kansas Wheat to a number of new initiatives. Under her leadership, the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers developed a strategic plan that resulted in greater efficiencies and communications, with streamlined goals and objectives. She led the effort to increase the wheat assessment from 1 penny to 1.5 cents per bushel, resulting in greater investment in wheat research, education and promotional efforts. Fritz also laid the foundation for a Small Grains Innovation Center which, if funded by the Kansas Bioscience Authority, will generate even greater potential for improved wheat varieties and end-uses for Kansas wheat.
"Dusti has been an exemplary leader in her tenure as CEO of Kansas Wheat," says Doug Keesling, chairman of the Kansas Wheat Commission and a farmer from Chase. "She has worked diligently to improve the livelihoods of wheat farmers in Kansas by raising the awareness of Kansas wheat around the world. We wish her the very best as she seeks this new opportunity."
Adds Paul Penner, president of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers: "Dusti has been a strong advocate for farmers during her tenure at Kansas Wheat. She has cultivated new relationships with industry and government that have brought about many positive changes for wheat producers. We will miss her."
Fritz has accepted a new position as Director of Western States Field Services with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program.