Grain merchandiser Chris Wagner has been selected to become the new vice president of grain for the Garden City Co-op, filling the role of former Vice President Ken Jameson, who announced his retirement at the November co-op board meeting.

Jameson last day was Friday.

Jameson has been with the Garden City Co-op for 45 years — the last 30 as the vice president of grain. He succeeded previous Vice President Sherman Baird, who was Wagner’s grandfather, according to a press release from the GCC.

Baird had served with the co-op from 1964 to 1987.

“We have been blessed as a company to have such a strong leadership and longevity from Ken and Sherman before him. This is only the second turnover in this position in 54 years, with Ken in that role for 30 of those 54 years. I think that not only shows the commitment and professionalism Ken has shown to the members of the Garden City Co-op, but also the stability that his tenure brought to the Grain Division and the Garden City Co-op as a whole,” GCC general manager John McClelland said in a press release. “This is an exciting chapter of the Garden City Co-op as we continue moving forward together and bring in Chris Wagner."

McClelland said Wagner brings a lot of experience in elevator management as well as advanced grain marketing education through FC Stone.

“Not to mention learning from and working side by side these past 11 years with the best mentor and merchandiser in the grain business, Ken Jameson. Your co-op couldn’t be in better hands” McClelland said.

Wagner grew up in the Garden City area. He graduated from Chadron State College in Nebraska with a bachelor's degree in business administration and a minor in finance.

Wagner began his career at the co-op in 2007 as an elevator manager. His other roles have included grain accountant and Ulysses area manager.

Wagner completed his master's of agribusiness at Kansas State University in 2013. He also represents the Garden City Co-op on the board of Windriver Grain, LLC.

“I’m really excited to take on the role and the challenges as vice president of grain for the Garden City Co-op, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to learn under Ken Jameson all these years and look forward to helping the members of the Garden City Co-op in any way I can,” Wagner said.