Many farmers are wondering what their future holds due to trade talks and the unfinished Farm Bill. The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates concluded their joint annual fall conference last week in Tampa, Florida, discussing those very things. More than 100 wheat growers from across the United States met in policy committees to discuss a wide variety of priorities including the farm bill, trade, the National Wheat Yield Contest, and the 2018 midterm elections.
“This past week wheat growers from across the United States came together to communicate about the policy issues that are impacting their operations and work with one another to find solutions to common problems,” stated NAWG President and Oklahoma wheat grower Jimmie Musick. “The 2018 Fall Conference couldn’t come at a better time as Congress works to pass the 2018 farm bill during lame duck, and mid-term elections may bring in a wave of Democrat legislators which will significantly alter the congressional agenda.”
NAWG and USW’s Joint International Trade Policy Committee had a heavy agenda which covered such topics as USMCA, bilateral trade agreement negotiations with Japan, and the current U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. Additional topics discussed during the conference ranged from issues around pesticides, investment in wheat research, and funding for conservation programs.
“Additionally, NAWG’s and U.S. Wheat’s boards met during the conference and carried out a very robust program. I would like to thank Ambassador Gregg Doud, Chief Agriculture Negotiator of the U.S. Trade Representative, for taking the time to speak and meet our growers during the joint board meeting,” continued Musick. “NAWG and U.S. Wheat also heard from Ardent Mills and Bimbo Bakeries representatives on how consumer demand is molding the future of their companies and the impact this could have on wheat growers’ production practices.”