BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) announced the appointment of Donald W. Karls to the new position of Manager Agricultural Products Marketing Support. Karls, who will be based at Great Falls, MT, and has been with BNSF since 1999, will function as an ombudsman to respond to the needs of grain producers, processors and shippers in Montana and eastern Washington.

The position was established after a meeting between Matthew K. Rose, BNSF’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Montana Senator Max Baucus, and follows discussions with producer groups such as the Montana Grain Growers Association and the Montana Farmers Union.

“Don Karls will function as a single-point-of-contact to address Montana customer concerns, explain policies and procedures and provide feedback on BNSF programs and services,” says Kevin Kaufman, BNSF’s group vice president, Agricultural Commodities. “His railroad experience and familiarity with Montana and eastern Washington railroad issues make him a perfect fit for this important position.”

Karls, a 1993 graduate of Montana State University at Bozeman, began his railroad career as an operations switch foreman with Montana Rail Link in 1995, and later served as assistant trainmaster before joining BNSF in 1999. He was named terminal trainmaster at Spokane, WA, in 2000 and division trainmaster at Spokane in 2001.