NAWG Weekly Updates, April 19, 2018

House Committee on Agriculture’s Farm Bill Advances to the Floor
On April 18, 2018, in a 26-20 party line vote, the House Agriculture Committee passed its version of the Farm Bill. NAWG’s statement following the markup can be found here.  And here are Committee Chairman Conaway’s statement, and Ranking Member Peterson’s opening statement.  USDA Secretary Perdue also issued a statement in response. NAWG staff attended the markup and provided an update to the States. To watch the markup, visit the Committee site here or read AgriPulse’s coverage of it here.

CBO Releases House Farm Bill Score
The Congressional Budget Office has released the estimated costs of the House’s version of the Farm Bill (H.R. 2). Relative to spending projected under CBO’s April 2018 baseline, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2 would increase direct spending by $3.2 billion over the 2019-2023 period, and that direct spending would decrease by $2.7 billion over the 2024-2028 period, for a net increase in direct spending of $0.5 billion over the 2019-2028 period. CBO also estimates that enacting the bill would increase revenues by $0.5 billion over the 2019-2028 period.

NAFB Washington Watch 2018 – Monday, April 23rd
On Monday, April 23, 2018, NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates will host a table at the National Association of Farm Broadcaster (NAFB)’s Annual Washington Watch. This year’s Washington Watch will be held at the Holiday Inn Capitol in Washington, D.C. and currently has more than 30 broadcasters registered. NAWG Vice President Ben Scholz and CEO Chandler Goule will act as official spokesmen for the Association, while U.S. Wheat President Vince Peterson and Assistant Director of Policy Elizabeth Westendorf will be representing USW. For more information visit https://nafb.com/events/washington-watch and follow @NAFB.

Secretary Perdue Announces New Senior Leaders at USDA
On April 19, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the selection of senior leaders in several U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies. Perdue appointed Ken Isley as Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Administrator, Joel Baxley as Rural Housing Service (RHS) Administrator, and Martin Barbre as Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator. In addition, Perdue announced the appointment of Tommie Williams as Minister-Counselor for Agriculture at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome.

Agri-Pulse Trade Series Kicks Off
Agri-Pulse has kicked off its new trade series “Export or Bust,” dealing with the challenges and opportunities for U.S. agriculture when it comes to selling more commodities and value-added products to overseas customers. Part one looks at the importance of international markets for a wide variety of farmers, ranchers and value-added producers. The first article is sponsored by Farm Bureau, while down the page on the Agri-Pulse Home Page (right side) and the page with the article, NAWG and U.S. Wheat’s sponsorship of the series is also listed. NAWG and USW are the featured sponsors for the third article in the series which is schedule to release during the week of May 30th.

NWF National Wheat Yield Contest: Winter Wheat Deadline – May 15! 
The National Wheat Foundation’s (NWF) annual National Wheat Yield Contest continues to drive innovation in the industry by spotlighting the best practices among American wheat growers. In its third year, the contest added a quality requirement, raising the bar for what constitutes the greater grain among U.S. wheat growers. For more information on contest guidelines, deadlines and how to apply, visit https://yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org/. The deadline for Winter Wheat submissions is May 15th!