At Meetings, Producers Discuss Priorities, Look to the Future

January 29, 2010 Bookmark and Share

More than 150 wheat growers came from across the country this week to attend NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates committee meetings, Board meetings and joint committee and Board sessions.

NAWG’s four policy committees and joint NAWG/U.S. Wheat committees on trade and biotechnology met, focusing on information-gathering and reports on pending policy issues from Hill, Administration and other experts in the D.C. area. Committees with charges related to farm bill programs will begin considering policy priorities at their next meetings, in association with Commodity Classic. Reports from the chairmen of all six committees are online at

The Joint Biotech Committee recommended a resolution ultimately approved by both organizations’ Boards, reading:

“USW/NAWG support the ‘Principles for Collaboration in Wheat Breeding and Biotechnology’ as also supported by the National Wheat Improvement Committee and adopted by the Public Breeder Subcommittee of the Hard White Wheat Improvement Committee, and strongly urge state wheat commissions/wheat breeders/universities with public wheat breading programs to use and further develop these Principles to guide their collaborations and agreements with private industry.”

The NAWG Board took reports from committee chairmen, U.S. Wheat, Wheat Foods Council and officers and processed a number of business items including officially approving the selection of Dana Peterson as the new chief executive officer of the organization.

The NAWG and U.S. Wheat Boards met together in a session Monday. The combined group heard from American Sugarbeet Growers Association Executive Vice President Luther Markwart about the introduction of biotechnology into the sugarbeet crop; from America’s Heartland reporter and producer Jason Shoultz about that program; and from House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who was presented with the 2009 Wheat Leader of the Year Award.