NAWG Weekly Update: August 13, 2015

NWF Accepting Applications for Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship
The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) has partnered with BASF for the fourth consecutive year to award four students who have a personal connection to the wheat industry and a planned career path in agriculture the Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship. NWF is now accepting applications for the scholarship. The Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship honors both high school and college students who have demonstrated success in academics and leadership roles.

The scholarship is named in honor of Jerry Minore, a longtime friend of and an active participant in the wheat industry. In his role as BASF senior market manager, Minore was a liaison to the wheat industry, including the NWF and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). Minore, who passed away in February 2012, was a true advocate for wheat growers. To honor Jerry’s life and work, the Minore Memorial Scholarship will fund two $1,500 scholarships and two $1,000 scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year.

All applications must be post-marked on or before December 11, 2015. Applications can be emailed to PMillard@wheatworld.org. The scholarships will be awarded at the 2016 Commodity Classic in New Orleans, La. Click here for the application.

EPA Releases Pesticide Certification Proposal
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposal to update pesticide certification requirements for the application of restricted use pesticides.  The proposed regulation would require applicators to demonstrate “core” competency for private application, aerial application or fumigation; require recertification every 3 years through written test or training/continuing education; establish a minimum age of 18 for commercial and private applicators, with no family exemption; and include additional training requirements for non-certified applicators working under the supervision of a certified applicator. Additional provisions address Indian country certification, providing options that would be consistent with State or Federal certification plans, or a Tribe may create their own certification plan or take no action. If no action is taken, EPA may operate a Federal certification plan. The proposal also includes new requirements for EPA approval of state certification plans including a requirement to impose both criminal and civil penalties. The proposed regulation will be thoroughly reviewed by NAWG’s Environment and Renewable Resources Committee to develop written comments to the EPA. The proposed regulation can be found here.

Senate Appropriations Committee Adopts Pro-Cuba Trade Amendments Before Recess
On July 23, the Senate Appropriations Committee considered and approved its version of the FY 2016 Financial Services Appropriations bill, which included consideration of several amendments to improve the U.S. relationship with Cuba. Specifically, the Committee adopted amendments that would: prohibit funds from being used to ban travel of U.S. citizens to Cuba, from Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS)); eliminate a financing barrier to trade by allowing for the use of private credit for the sale of agricultural commodities to Cuba, from Senator John Boozman (R-AR) based on legislation introduced by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Boozman; and repeal the 180 prohibition on vessels that have traveled to Cuba from loading or unloading freight in the U.S. without a license, from Senator Jon Tester (D-MT). NAWG applauds adoption of amendments to enable U.S. wheat farmers to export to Cuba and continues to advocate for expanding trading opportunities through stand-alone legislation and the Appropriations process.

Fall Wheat Conference Registration is Open
Registration for the 2015 Fall Wheat Conference is now open. The Fall Wheat Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort in Incline Village, Nev. from November 3-7. Wheat growers from across the country will come together to discuss policy issues and forward-looking planning for the wheat industry. The Conference consists of NAWG committee and board meetings, the NWF board meeting and joint committee meetings with U.S. Wheat Associates. For more information on the Fall Wheat Conference and to view the meeting agenda visit our website.

Commodity Classic 2016 – Why Wheat Growers Should Attend
The 2016 Commodity Classic will be held in New Orleans, La. March 3-5. Check out this video to see why you should attend Commodity Classic to stay in the know on best management practices and the latest technologies. Commodity Classic is the premier convention and trade show of the National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association and National Sorghum Producers. The show is farmer led, farmer focused and provides educational information and the most recent technology available for growers across the country. Visit the Commodity Classic website for more information.