NAWG Leaders Attend USW Meeting to Talk Trade, Biotech

July 16, 2010 Bookmark and Share

NAWG grower-leaders traveled to Bozeman, Mont., last weekend for U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW’s) annual summer meeting.

NAWG President Jerry McReynolds, NAWG Secretary-Treasurer Bing Von Bergen and NAWG Directors Scott Swenson, Byron Richard, Ron Perry and Gordon Stoner attended the meetings, along with NAWG CEO Dana Peterson and former NAWG President Dale Schuler, who presided over his last meeting as chairman of the NAWG and USW Joint International Trade Policy Committee (JITPC).

Both the JITPC and the NAWG and USW Joint Biotechnology Committee met in Bozeman, along with U.S. Wheat policy committees and the U.S. Wheat Board of Directors.

Members of the JITPC discussed in depth the existing situation with pending free trade agreements and recent action on opening trade with Cuba. The group discussed the need to frequently have growers from both organizations come to Washington when opportunities arise to press for these agreements.

JITPC members also directed NAWG and USW staff members to develop a list of trade policy irritants and opportunities for further exploration and prioritization at the Committee’s October meeting.

The Joint Biotechnology Committee discussed ongoing industry work to pave the way for biotech wheat and educational efforts for growers related to biotechnology in wheat. The Committee approved four resolutions for consideration by both Boards of Directors, including ones urging NAWG to develop a grower education program on certified seed issues; commending Monsanto and Kansas State University for their use of widely-adopted principles for wheat breeding collaborations; urging biotech providers to use quality targets developed by the USW Wheat Quality Committee; and urging the National Wheat Improvement Committee to quickly elect a chairman following Oregon State University breeder Jim Peterson’s departure.

Also at the Bozeman meetings, U.S. Wheat installed its new officer corps, including Don Schieber of Ponca City, Okla., as chairman; Randy Suess of Colfax, Wash., as vice chairman; Darrell Davis, of Ipswich, S.D., as secretary-treasurer; and Janice Mattson of Chester, Mont., as past chair and chair of the USW Budget Committee.

The next meetings of the joint committees and U.S. Wheat’s Board will be at the Fall Wheat Conference, which is one of two joint meetings of NAWG and U.S. Wheat each year and is set for late October in Minneapolis.