NAWG Weekly Update: October 15, 2015

Court Stops Waters of the U.S. Regulation
On Friday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the Waters of the U.S. regulation nationwide. This action puts the new regulation on hold pending further review by the courts. The courts will now be able to review the various lawsuits brought against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by states, agriculture and business groups. A temporary injunction was pending in 13 states, but the action on Friday applies nationwide. NAWG is urging Congress to take action and send the regulation back to EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to be rewritten. The court action is a promising sign that the wide-ranging concerns voiced about the regulation are getting attention.

NAWG Urges Farmers to Contact Congress Supporting PTC Extension
With the impending expiration of the short-term transportation program extension at the end of October, NAWG encourages producers to contact their senators and members of Congress to urge them to support an extension of the Positive Train Control (PTC) deadline, either as part of a broad transportation reauthorization bill or as stand-alone legislation. Enacted in 2008 following a tragic commuter train crash, PTC technology is intended to enhance the safety of train operations. Congress mandated this technology be implemented by December 31, 2015. The railroads have indicated that, despite their efforts thus far to install this technology, it will not be possible to have PTC fully implemented by the statutory deadline. Additionally, the railroads have indicated that if the deadline is not extended, they will have to dramatically scale back, or potentially cease, operations. As such, NAWG has been actively advocating for an extension. The most effective voices that members of Congress can hear from are their constituents. Please contact your congressional offices and urge your senators and representatives to support an extension.

2015 Fall Wheat Conference Around the Corner
Each year, the Fall Wheat Conference brings together wheat grower states and leaders from NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates to discuss policy and begin planning for the year ahead. This year’s conference will be held in Incline Village, Nev., from November 3-6. For more information on the conference and to register, visit the NAWG Meetings and Events page here.

Join Us in Celebrating National Pasta Month
October is National Pasta Month so grab a fork and twirl! A survey conducted by the National Pasta Association found that 77 percent of Americans eat pasta at least once per week. Pasta can be used as a side dish or entree, eaten hot or cold, or topped with a variety of different items and sauces. Pasta is such a versatile food, it’s no wonder it’s so popular. Pasta is also a great source of complex carbohydrates, which are crucial to fuel for your brain and muscles. Check out the rest of the post from registered dietician, Healthy Holly, here.

2015 WILOT Class Selected
The 2015 class of the Wheat Industry Leaders of Tomorrow (WILOT) program, a leadership development program of the National Wheat Foundation (NWF) come from five different wheat-growing states. The 10 participants include wheat growers, as well as state and national wheat organization staff. The participants will engage in an intensive five and a half day training exercise covering diverse topics such as working with differing personalities, traditional and social media training, farm policy and advocacy, policy issues relevant to wheat growers and the latest in wheat research. This year marks the 19th consecutive year for the WILOT program, which has been funded since its inception by a generous grant from Monsanto. Participants include Tom Bernhart (ND), Timmy Thomas (NC), Jordan Hildebrand (KS), Dustin Johnsrud (ND), Brent Martin (OR), Lyle Benjamin (MT), Jim Palmer (DC), Gordon Stoner (MT), Joshua Tonsager (DC) and Hugh Whaley (NC).

NWF Accepting Applications for Jerry Minore Scholarship
The NWF is accepting applications for the Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship. Four scholarships will be awarded to students who have a personal connection to the wheat industry and a planned career path in agriculture. In its fourth year, 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. 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 received via e-mail on or before December 11, 2015. Applications can be e-mailed to pmillard@wheatworld.org.