Grower-leaders from NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates met in Snowbird, Utah, this week for a round of fall meetings that concluded Friday.
NAWG held meetings of its four policy committees on Wednesday, and members of both organizations met in joint committee meetings covering biotechnology and trade on Wednesday and Thursday.
The two Boards met in a joint session on Thursday afternoon, and the NAWG Board and NAWG Foundation Board met Friday morning.
New or modified resolutions accepted by the NAWG Board included:
- NAWG supports prioritization of research and funding on wheat stem sawfly.
- [NAWG and U.S. Wheat] urge public universities to (1) recognize the producer investment in public germplasm development and (2) also urge public universities to adopt a standardized uniform Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) that includes the ‘Wheat Workers’ Code of Ethics’ for germplasm exchange with public and private third parties.
- NAWG opposes any [Risk Management Agency] rule which restricts the use of any sound and proven agronomic practice.
- NAWG supports any organization or council whose goal is to provide transportation relief for wheat producers.
- NAWG supports a farm to market exemption from interstate commerce regulatory enforcement to allow the movement of wheat from the farm gate to its first point of delivery where title is transferred within the state of origin.
- NAWG supports the timely appointment of state [Farm Service Agency] committees.
- Any effort made by Congress or the Administration to strengthen the country’s food and feed safety systems should be risk-based and reliant on sound science.
- NAWG and U.S. Wheat urge immediate ratification of the U.S./Colombia free trade agreement and will prioritize efforts toward that end.
- While we support enhanced interagency coordination, we insist that the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) continue to focus on agricultural export market development and policy as its primary function.
- While our global partners must comply with their commitments on trade as agreed in the [World Trade Organization], bilateral, regional and other official trade instruments, we encourage the administration to exercise great care in implementing enhanced trade monitoring and enforcement so as not to provoke retaliation that has a negative impact on U.S. agricultural competitiveness.
Resolutions deleted or allowed to expire included:
- NAWG supports including final offer arbitration including pooling in any rail competition bill that moves through Congress. NAWG also supports allowing producers to bring final offer arbitration cases.
- NAWG supports an amendment to the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act to provide a tax exemption for costs associated with expenses necessary to maintain U.S. citizens working overseas through USDA’s Foreign Market Development (FMD) program.
- NAWG encourages each member state organization to identify a minimum of 20 growers, in addition to their state officers, to attend the annual convention. A list of these names should be forwarded to the NAWG office six months prior to the conference to facilitate communication with the growers about the event.
Additionally, the NAWG Board of Directors accepted a bylaw change to empower the NAWG Nominating Committee to elect its own chairman, and the NAWG Foundation Board of Directors accepted a bylaw change to clarify the makeup and role of the Foundation Development Committee.
A couple of notable transitions were also marked at this week’s meetings.
The Snowbird sessions were the first for the Ohio Wheat Growers Association as a NAWG member-state. Ohio wheat organizations joined both NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates this summer.
A goodbye reception was held Thursday evening for NAWG CEO Daren Coppock, who will move to the Agricultural Retailer’s Association as of Jan. 1, 2010. Coppock has been NAWG’s CEO since 2001.
Audio reports from each NAWG policy committee chairman and joint committee chairman and photos from throughout the week are available at www.wheatworld.org under “Newsroom”.