FARGO, North Dakota — March 28, 2023 — This spring, the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council is saying “Thank you!” and “Goodbye!” to two board members as they complete their 2nd term as board representatives. Jason Rayner, Finley, ND, has served as a representative for District 2, comprised of Cass, Steele, and Traill counties since 2015. Also serving on the NDCUC board since 2015 is Terry Wehlander, Delamere, ND, who has served as a representative for corn producers in District 5, comprised of Ransom and Sargent counties.
Wehlander is a graduate of Milnor High School. He attended North Dakota State University, where he also played on the Bison football team. He holds a degree in farm business management with an emphasis on agronomy.
Terry has been farming alongside his uncle since 1996, and is the 5th generation farmer on their operation near DeLamere, ND. Together they farm 3,200 acres of corn and soybeans. In 2017, the Wehlander Farm won the Winter Wheat Contest hosted by the National Wheat Foundation.
In 1998, Terry and his brother started Wehlander Brothers Trucking which has since expanded to eight trucks. Wehlander Brothers Trucking hauls primarily for Bobcat Company, headquartered in West Fargo, ND, taking machines out to port in Seattle, WA before returning to North Dakota with tracks and engines. Wehlander Brothers Trucking also hauls cattle, and pasta produced in Carrington, ND at the Dakota Growers Pasta Company, Inc.
In addition to farming and running a trucking business, Terry gives his time to a variety of volunteer boards. He serves on the Hall Township Board and the Sargent County Extension Advisory Board in addition to the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC).
“I was originally interested in serving as a member of the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council because I wanted to learn more about the efforts of the Council in creating market access both domestically and internationally for corn in all forms. The Council works to fund new, important research in new uses for corn and corn by-products, and works to support the ethanol industry – an important part of our state’s economy.” Ethanol is an important part of rural economic development, contributing $623 million annually to the state’s economy and creating thousands of jobs across many sectors.
During his time on the board, Terry took a special interest in market development in South East Asia. “I was fortunate to represent North Dakota corn farmers in Tunisia this past winter, where I was able to meet customers face-to-face and discuss the quality of the 2022 corn crop and the soil health practices on my farm,” said Terry. “I also had the opportunity to see checkoff dollars at work in Turkey through an important project with the US Grains Council that is opening doors to improve market share for US DDGs in aquaculture feeding operations. Through the Council’s partnership with the US Grains Council, we are able to connect with end-users of US corn and corn by-products face-to-face, which makes a major impact in building the relationships needed to improve international market relations.”
Terry served as an NDCUC representative on the South East Asia action team for the U.S. Grains Council from 2019-2023. Terry also served as Chairman of the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council from 2019-2021.
Rayner is a 4th generation farmer and a graduate of Finley-Sharon High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mayville State University, where he also minored in accounting.
Jason and his wife, Renae, have been married since 1996. Renae plays a key role in the day-to-day farming activities like taking care of the books, running equipment, etc., and is integral to its operation. Jason and Renae were honored in 2015 as North Dakota State University (NDSU) Harvest Bowl County Honorees for Steele County. Together, Jason and Renae have two sons.
Logan, 21, is farming full-time with Jason. Lucas, the youngest, is now 14. “He is mowing and moving equipment, helping us get from field to field,” Rayner explains. “He is getting more involved all the time.”
Jason began farming in 1994, taking over for his grandfather at that time. The Rayners farm 5,000 acres of corn and soybeans near Finley. “This is truly a family farm,” says Jason. “My wife and sons help out all the time. My dad helps, and my grandfather still comes to give guidance. He is 92 now. It has always been a family farm. Without them, it’d be awfully tough.”
Rayner especially enjoyed the opportunity to promote corn use and make an impact on his community through his role with NDCUC. “I had been a county representative for years and wanted to be more involved. The industry has grown so much. I enjoyed having the chance to promote and help educate, especially when it comes to ethanol, and be a part of the positive impact it is making on our community and state,” shared Rayner. “I learned a lot about the industry locally, nationally, and even globally. There are a lot of moving parts beyond the field that are critical to the success of our corn producers statewide. It was eye-opening to see the importance of the work the Council is doing with partners like the US Grains Council and the US Meat Export Federation to ensure there are strong markets for our crop.”
Jason served as Chairman of the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council from 2021-2022. Jason also served as an NDCUC representative on the Ethanol Advisory action team for the U.S. Grains Council from 2021-2023.
In addition to serving corn farmers in North Dakota as a member of NDCUC, Jason sits on the Finley Lutheran Church board and the Dakota Rural Water District board. He also represents NDCUC on the National Corn Growers Association board. In his spare time, Jason enjoys time at the lake and dabbling in golf. He is an NDSU Bison fan and also enjoys University of North Dakota (UND) Hockey.
“Jason and Terry brought energy, enthusiasm, and a love of the corn industry to the NDCUC. They were both exceptional board members and leaders,” commented Tysen Rosenau, Chairman of the NDCUC. “We wish them both the very best and know that they will continue to work to enhance the corn industry in North Dakota.”
The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) was created in 1991 and consists of seven members representing seven districts. NDCUC board members can serve 2 consecutive 4-year terms. The NDCUC oversees how North Dakota’s corn checkoff dollars are spent on research, education, and promotion of corn and corn products.
Matt Powell was elected by his peers at the NDCUC District 2 election on March, 14, 2023. Justin Halverson was elected by his peers at the NDCUC District 5 election on March 21, 2023. Their terms will begin on April 1, 2023.