NAWG’s strength comes from the grassroots – wheat growers across the country who research issues, set policy and educate policy makers in Washington, D.C., about how these issues affect our nation’s wheat farms.
All the work NAWG does is in conjunction with its 22 affiliated state associations. Though these state associations themselves vary in size, composition and resources, leaders from all of them come together to create a strong national organization.
How We Make Policy
NAWG’s policy comes up from the countryside through county committees, which send policy ideas and resolutions to state associations, which set their policy and bring priorities to the national association. Farmers who step up to represent their state associations on NAWG’s Board of Directors serve as the crucial link between individual wheat growers, the state organizations and the national organization in Washington, D.C.
NAWG’s Board of Directors adopted a new strategic plan in February 2013, including goals in the areas of:
Advocacy: advocate for the wheat grower. Be proactive; go on the offense versus the defense. Maintain and increase the profitability of growing wheat and make it competitive with other crops. Improve wheat technology across the board. Engage federal agencies, non- governmental organizations and industry. Prepare, plan and execute successful farm policy strategies and maintain and increase risk management tools for the wheat grower.
Influence through partnerships: increase the influence of NAWG by working with partners; building key relationships and coalitions; and developing unity among NAWG’s member states. Develop relationships with fellow agricultural groups and other wheat organizations, Members of Congress and their staffs, industry partners and others. Such collaboration has leveraged scarce and valuable resources in the past and must continue.
Interface with the public: interface with consumers and the general public. Be an advocate for wheat. Collaborate with groups such as the Wheat Foods Council and others. Use the National Wheat Foundation to its full potential. Help urban consumers to now and appreciate wheat. Mobilize and train growers. Meet the challenge of social media. Be unified in our message.
Building our own capacity: involve and train more farmers. Strengthen the grassroots state organizations. Increase consistent funding for NAWG. Ensure that the Association and the member states have the resources needed for today and tomorrow.
More details on these goals are here.
NAWG’s resolutions give direction to the NAWG officers on critical policy issues affecting wheat growers across the country. These resolutions, approved by NAWG policy committees and the NAWG Board of Directors, are the official policies of the organization.
Working in Washington
NAWG’s staff serves as the eyes and ears in Washington, D.C., for state wheat organizations, alerting them of pressing policy priorities before leaders on Capitol Hill and in the Administration. To further common policy goals, NAWG frequently works with other wheat chain organizations and in coalitions with associations and companies across the industry.
NAWG gives three categories of awards to Members of Congress, Administration officials and their staff members. They include:
Wheat Leader of the Year Award: given annually by NAWG to one Member of Congress based on his or her demonstrated commitment to the well-being and goals of the wheat industry.
Past winners of the Wheat Leaders of the Year Award include Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) (2011, 2008 and 2002); Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) (2010); Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) (2009 and 2007); Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) (2006); Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) (2005); Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) (2004); Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) (2003); Rep. Larry Combest (R-Texas) (2001); Rep. George Nethercutt (R-Wash.) (2000); and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) (1999)
Wheat Advocate Award: given annually to Members of Congress who have demonstrated support for the wheat industry above and beyond the norm
Friend of Wheat Award: given annually by NAWG to Congressional administrative staff members who have demonstrated support for the wheat industry above and beyond the norm.
Learn more about recent recipients of NAWG’s awards below:
- 2012 awards (announced Jan. 29, 2013)
- 2011 awards (announced Jan. 26, 2012)
- 2010 awards (announced Jan. 19, 2011)
- 2009 awards (announced Jan. 25, 2010)
- 2008 awards (announced Feb. 9, 2009)
- 2007 awards (announced Feb. 5, 2008)
- 2006 awards (announced Jan. 24, 2007)
- 2005 awards (announced Feb. 23, 2006)