NAWG Weekly Updates, August 23, 2018

Deputy Secretary Censky in North Dakota Thursday for Trade Event with Congressman Kevin Cramer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
On Thursday, August 23, 2018, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Steve Censky will visit North Dakota to participate in a trade discussion with Congressman Kevin Cramer and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

In another event, NAWG Board of Director and ND wheat farmer Jeff Mertz will be participating in a trade related panel with Deputy Secretary Censky and Secretary Ross.

Additionally, Farmers for Free, which NAWG is a member, bought eight billboards in North Dakota ahead of the event. For the week of August 20, the billboards will be throughout Fargo and will rotate with the message, “Secretary Ross, Tariffs Hurt ND Farmers.”

NPR: Farmers Swept Up In Trade Wars Remember ’80s Grain Embargo
NPR’s KCUR station recently interviewed farmers on how they were impacted by the 1980s grain embargo and how this parallels to today’s trade war with China. NAWG Past President and Kansas wheat farmer Paul Penner was interviewed for the piece and talked about the difficulties to regain market share once it is lost.  Listen here.

Details of USDA Trade Aid Package Released on Monday
According to Politico, the Agriculture Department could release details on its $12 billion aid package for farmers harmed by tariffs on Monday, instead of Friday as had been expected. “Our stated target has been to implement the plan and begin remitting payments beginning right after Labor Day, and we are on track to do just that,” USDA spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in an emailed statement. Agriculture interests had been expecting to see details posted on the Federal Register by Friday, but Murtaugh suggested today that Monday is now “more likely.”

NAWG is currently drafting a response to the notice and circulate out to its member states.

First Farm Bill Conference Meeting Scheduled for Sept. 5 in Washington
Farm Bill conferees Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, Senate Agriculture ranking member Debbie Stabenow, and House Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson announced Wednesday that they will hold Farm Bill conference public meeting on September 5. The meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. in Room 325 of the Russell Senate Office Building.

According to the Hagstrom Report, “the meeting is expected to be dominated by speeches and may not include much negotiation on the top issues in the farm bill, including the differences between the House and the Senate over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and limits on subsidy payments to farmers.”

FFT Host Booth at 2018 Farm Progress Show
Farmers for Free Trade will have a small booth at the Iowa Farm Progress which is scheduled to take place from August 28-30. For more information on the recent activities of Farmers for Free Trade, visit their site here.

NWF Seeking for WILOT Applicants
The National Wheat Foundation’s Wheat Industry Leaders of Tomorrow (WILOT) program will be taking place in St. Louis, MO, from November 11-16th, 2018 and seeks applicants to participate. This week-long training program that is sponsored by Monsanto is geared towards current leaders and those who soon could take on leadership positions at the state and national levels for wheat organizations. The program will focus on personal leadership, communicating to earn the public’s trust, agricultural policy, advocacy skills, and media and messaging training. Thanks to Monsanto, this program will not cost state associations or farmers any money to participate. Please contact Craig Berning, if you are interested or would like to nominate someone to participate by Monday, September 3rd. 

Housing Opens for the 2019 NAWG/USW Fall Conference
NAWG and U.S. Wheat will be holding their 2019 Fall Conference at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay in Tampa Bay, Florida from October 30th to November 2nd. NAWG’s schedule of events and information on housing can be found here. Registration for the conference will open in September.