TEGMA Looks Back at 100 Years of Service

Kansas City, MO – Feb. 1, 2018 — U.S. agriculture continues to feed the world, thanks to remarkable advances in production, storage, transportation and merchandising over the past century. TEGMA, the Transportation, Elevator and Grain Merchants Association, is pleased to have played a role in this accomplishment.

TEGMA celebrated 100 years of service to the grain industry during its annual meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., in late January. Roger Fray, TEGMA’s 2018 Chairman, said the association was formed during World War I as the Terminal Elevator Grain Merchants Association. It was organized “for the purpose of cooperating with the Federal Government and Food Administration for the economic buying, handling and distribution of the nation’s grain by making available their terminal facilities for that purpose.” Since then, it has grown along with the industry.

"There has been a huge influx of volume, so we had to change modes of transportation, unloading facilities, handling facilities – everything had to change to meet the demand," industry veteran Bruce Benschoter said. "TEGMA came into being to try to bring uniformity among the various terminals or transit houses that handle the grain for the government so everyone was treated equally and all worked under the same rules and regulations."

One highlight of the meeting was the unveiling of a commemorative book chronicling the rich history of the organization, from its inception to the present. Former TEGMA Chairman Butch Fischer noted in the book’s forward that:

For any trade association to survive, let alone thrive, for 100 years is remarkable. It takes four generations of industry leaders willing to give generously of their time and talent, plus the ability to adapt along the way to remain relevant.

Ryan Pellett, TEGMA’s 2017 Chairman, was instrumental in guiding the recognition of this milestone of service to the industry. The past century has seen significant changes in the way grain is grown and stored in the heartland, and then shipped to the nation's ports. One constant, however, is TEGMA's ongoing commitment to giving everyone throughout the industry a voice in shaping a promising future.

"What has encouraged me is the number of people in both the grain and railroad industries who want not only to join but to get involved in committees or serve on the board," said Mark Huston, a longtime member and past chair of the association. "TEGMA today is a strong association."