The Michigan Wheat Program sought and received membership in the National Association of Wheat Growers during the NAWG Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday.
Michigan wheat farmers have been working for several years to establish a checkoff program, which they completed in the summer of 2011.
Now that the program is up and running, they are becoming members of NAWG to ensure Michigan has a voice on both the state and national levels. They also sent representation to learn more about U.S. Wheat Associates, the industry’s export market development organization.
MWP Chairman David Milligan of Cass City and Secretary Chris Schmidt of Auburn represented Michigan farmers at the NAWG Board meeting on Tuesday.
“On behalf of Michigan’s 8,000 wheat farmers, we are very pleased to become members of NAWG,” Milligan said in a press release. “It has been a long journey to get the check-off passed. Joining NAWG is another step in the right direction as we move the Michigan wheat industry forward.”
Michigan’s official affiliation with NAWG was particularly timely, with the national association naming a home-state Senator, Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), as the organization’s 2012 Wheat Leader of the Year.
“We have a state with strong leadership, as illustrated by Senator Stabenow,” Milligan said. “It only makes sense to also have a strong wheat grower organization. We are very pleased to be admitted into NAWG and for them to recognize Senator Stabenow.”
Michigan ranks 12th in the nation for winter wheat production and produces 2.4 percent of all U.S. wheat. Michigan growers benefit from several mills in the state, including facilitates operated by Kellogg, Kraft and General Mills.
The Michigan Wheat Program joins NAWG’s 21 other affiliated state associations. A full list of NAWG state affiliates is at www.wheatworld.org/about-us/member-states/.
The Michigan Wheat Program is online at www.miwheat.org.