NAWG Weekly Updates, April 12, 2018

NAWG PRESS RELEASE: NAWG Responds to the House Committee on Agriculture’s Release of its 2018 Farm Bill Text
On April 12, 2019, the House Committee on Agriculture released its language for its version of the 2018 Farm Bill. Read NAWG President Jimmie Musick’s statement in response. NAWG is currently reviewing the text and will continue to work with Members of the Committee and their staff to ensure our priorities are addressed in the bill.

NAWG and USW JOINT PRESS RELEASE: Wheat Groups Applaud Decision to Negotiate for TPP Membership
On April 12, 2018, President Trump directed U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow to begin negotiating for the United States to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In joint statement, NAWG and U.S. Wheat applauded the Administration on this move. Read the complete statement here.

The National Wheat Foundation Introduces New 2018-2019 Board
The National Wheat Foundation’s Board of Directors work to uphold the vision and mission of the organization by seeking to aggressively expand the Foundation’s outreach and partnerships with other national and state wheat organizations, individuals and allied corporate sponsors. During the 2018 Commodity Classic, National Wheat Foundation Board of Directors approved new members for the 2018-2019 term. To learn more about the 2018-2019 Foundation board, read its most recent blog here.

NAWG Co-Hosts Food Aid Briefings on Capitol Hill
This past week NAWG, along with the North American Millers Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Sorghum Producers, USA Rice, and American Farm Bureau Federation, held a Food Aid briefing in both the House and Senate to educate Agriculture and Trade LAs on the importance of global food assistance and related programs. NAWG’s Biotech, Food and Trade Policy Advisor Molly O’Connor helped organize and participated in a panel during the briefings. With wheat making up 40% of food aid, O’Connor focused her remarks on important and vital role wheat plays in alleviating hunger across the globe.

USTR Report Highlights Reductions in Agricultural Trade Barriers
As reported in The Hagstrom Report, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has released its annual National Trade Estimate report on the barriers to U.S. trade and investment in other countries.This year’s report highlights successes in reducing sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to U.S. exports including potatoes in Japan, beef in China and Thailand, corn and processed foods in China, poultry in Korea, rice in Colombia and grains in Vietnam.

Here is a fact sheet on the report and another fact sheet highlighting “USTR Success Stories: Opening Markets for U.S. Agricultural Exports.”

EPA Public Comment Period Open Through April 21 for Neonicotinoid Risk Assessments
Neonicotinoids are currently undergoing registration review, an extensive scientific process that the EPA conducts on all registered pesticides every 15 years, to ensure they meet the latest scientific standards.This multistep process typically takes five to eight years to complete. EPA plans to review all neonics in the same timeframe to ensure consistency across the class. As risk assessments are completed, the Agency will pursue steps to mitigate potential risk, as appropriate. EPA is now seeking public comments on the current neonicotinoid risk assessments. The dockets will remain open through April 21, 2018.

Ramaswamy Leaving NIFA, Setting Up Battle Over Successor
As reported in The Hagstrom Report, Sonny Ramaswamy, the director of the Agriculture Department’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will leave the position on May 5 and in July become president and CEO of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) in a Redmond, Washington. Ramaswamy’s departure after serving the full six-year term of his appointment is sure to set off a battle to determine his successor, who will chosen by the Agriculture secretary and the White House Office of Personnel. Read here for more.

NWF National Wheat Yield Contest: Accepting Registrations
The National Wheat Foundation’s (NWF) annual National Wheat Yield Contest continues to drive innovation in the industry by spotlighting the best practices among American wheat growers. In its third year, the contest added a quality requirement, raising the bar for what constitutes the greater grain among U.S. wheat growers. For more information on contest guidelines, deadlines and prizes, visit https://yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org/