Congress Set to Roll Out Budget Deal
While the majority of Congress was adjourned for the holidays, the appropriations staff has been preparing the details on a $1 trillion, 12-part omnibus legislation, with hopes of passing it through both chambers by Jan. 16 to avoid another government shutdown. The bill has been developed based on the guidelines included in the budget agreement that passed both chambers before the holiday recess. To read more about the budget package, click here: http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=BAE0B4AC-89EB-40EC-A0D3-5DD04F972FE3
Wheat Growers Hopeful for Farm Bill Action Next Week
As members of Congress return next week, the agriculture world is hopeful that a farm bill will be considered and passed as soon as possible. Before the holiday recess, the top negotiators—Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)—were confident they had reached an agreement on most of the big issues on a final bill and hopeful to be able to roll out a framework next week. The conference committee is expected to meet as soon as a deal is reached to work out the final details before a vote. After what has been a very lengthy process, NAWG looks forward to moving this process forward and getting a final bill passed.
Brazil Postpones Retaliation Decision in Cotton Case
The Brazilian government announced last week that they will postpone their decision on whether or not to impose trade retaliation against certain U.S. exports, possibly including wheat, in a long-running dispute over U.S. cotton subsidies until February 28th. Brazilian officials stated they wanted to give the U.S. more time to act to either make the necessary payments or to pass a new farm bill that would comply with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) rules on subsidies. This past fall, the U.S. Government ceased monthly payments of $12.25 million it had agreed to pay Brazil not to retaliate.
Bayer CropScience Seeks Applicants for Young Farmer Sustainability Award
Bayer CropScience is looking for growers, 40 years or younger, who demonstrate excellence in the business of agriculture and environmental sustainability. The 2014 winner will be selected by a group of industry experts and Bayer leaders, and will be recognized in February at the 2014 Ag Issues Forum held in conjunction with Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to the trip, the winner will receive a new 4th Generation iPad with Retina display, Wi-Fi + Cellular (Verizon) 128 GB, Griffin Survivor brand military-duty case and an all-expense paid trip to a Farm Journal learning event of the winner’s choice during 2014. Apply now through Jan. 17, 2014. Learn more at http://bit.ly/RaPVzh.
Commodity Classic 2014 Is Fast Approaching
The 2014 Commodity Classic will be held in San Antonio, Texas from Feb. 27 – March 1. Commodity Classic is the annual convention and trade show of the wheat, corn, soybeans and sorghum industries, and a place for much of the agriculture community to gather and discuss everything from the latest equipment and technology to pressing policy issues. The National Association of Wheat Growers hosts its annual meeting during Classic. To register for Commodity Classic, please visit http://www.commodityclassic.com/registration-and-housing/online-registration.
Longtime NAWG Lobbyist Passes Away
Mark Gaede, NAWG’s former director of government affairs for environmental policy, died Christmas Eve at his home near Washington, D.C. Mark was a fixture in the DC ag community for many years, working on Capitol Hill for several Members of Congress, at USDA during the Clinton Administration and at NAWG for more than a decade. His focus while with the Association was on legislative and regulatory actions related to crop protection, conservation and renewable fuels issues. Gaede, 60, was born in the Midwest and grew up in Oregon, attending Oregon State University and the Northwest School of Law at Lewis and Clark College. He is survived by his wife, Kitty, and sister, Kim Merritt, as well as many close friends and colleagues. Services are pending. NAWG’s grower-leaders and staff offer deep condolences to Mark’s loved ones. We appreciate his outstanding service to America’s wheat industry.