Daren Coppock accepted the role as president and chief executive officer of the Agricultural Retailers Association. It was announced Oct. 2 by ARA Board Chairman Ken Manning.

Coppock joins ARA after serving as the National Association of Wheat Growers CEO since July 2001 when he relocated to Washington, D.C., from his home state of Oregon.

ARA and NAWG noted that they have agreed on a transition arrangement in which Coppock will work full time with NAWG through the end of October and work half-time at each organization until Dec. 31. Coppock will be full time at ARA as of Jan. 1, 2010.

Coppock replaces Jack Eberspacher who passed away from cancer on July 5. Interestingly, Eberspacher also came to ARA after serving as CEO of NAWG, and now, ARA has hired the replacement NAWG chose after Eberspacher left.

While expressing his excitement in joining the ARA team, Coppock also thanked the team at NAWG that "makes the wheat industry a serious presence in Washington."

NAWG noted that during Coppock's eight years in leadership, the association has scored a number of policy achievements. Recent achievements include "making significant progress toward the introduction of biotech wheat, successfully defending the direct payment in the 2008 farm bill negotiations and advancing discussions to ease rail transportation concerns."

See the ARA news release announcement.