NAWG Weekly Updates, December 21, 2017

Registration and Housing Has Officially Opened for 2018 Joint USW/NAWG Winter Meeting
The 2018 NAWG/USW Winter Meeting is taking place February 6-10, 2018 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. To register for this year’s conference, visit here. Hotel reservations under the NAWG room block can be made herePlease note the CUT-OFF DATE for making hotel room reservations is Friday, January 12, 2017. You can also view the schedule and register for the conference on NAWG’s website.

House Passes Short-Term Spending Bill 
On December 21, 2017, the House passed an interim continuing resolution (HR 1370) extending agency appropriations at current levels through Jan. 19, sending it to the Senate for final passage as early as Thursday evening. The vote was 231-188. The latest CR (PL 115-90) is expected to expire midnight Friday.

Note that the CR also would waive “paygo” rules that would trigger steep mandatory spending cuts in January due to the tax overhaul measure (HR 1), which will add nearly $1.5 trillion to 10-year deficits under conventional Congressional Budget Office scoring.

Congress Approves and President Signs Final Tax Reform Bill
NAWG has been actively engaged in the tax reform process. On December 19th, the Senate passed the conference agreement on a 51-48 vote. On December 20, 2017, the House passed the package on a 224-201 vote and the conference agreement has now been sent to the White House for the President’s signature.  NAWG has prepared a comparison table to show our best understanding of the tax reform bill and how it compares to current law.  The IRS will soon be developing guidance about how provisions will be implemented.

NAWG News Release: EPA Delivers Blow to California’s Prop 65 Rule on Glyphosate
In a new draft human health risk assessment, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that “glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans,” a finding that bolsters the case of an agriculture coalition suing the State of California for falsely asserting the opposite. Read NAWG’s release on the announcement here.

ERS Releases Family Farm Report
The Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service has released its 2017 annual edition of “America’s Diverse Family Farms.” The report uses a farm classification, or typology, developed by USDA’s Economic Research Service that categorizes farms into more homogeneous groupings to better understand conditions within the Nation’s diverse farm sector. Download the report here.

Biofuels Groups Reject Cruz Proposal on RINS reject
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has proposed a fixed price for the renewable identification numbers (RINs) that are part of the Renewable Fuel Standard but biofuels groups have rejected his proposal, DTN/The Progressive Farmer reported. Cruz has a hold on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Bill Northey to be Agriculture undersecretary for farm production and conservation over his objections to the RFS.

Organic and Natural Outlook 2018: A Trend-Forward Exploration of the Category, Context and Consumers
Beginning January 2018, The Hartman Group will field a syndicated research study to update and expand our understanding of the organic and natural consumer and marketplace. The Organic & Natural 2018 syndicated research will explore the distinctions and similarities among organic consumers and natural consumers to assess how their beliefs and behaviors manifest in the marketplace. For more information and to download study overview and participation order form, visit here.

2017 Census of Agriculture Gets Underway
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) starts mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to the nation’s producers this week. Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by farmers, ranchers, trade associations, researchers, policymakers, and many others to help make decisions in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more. For more information, read the release here.

Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship Opportunity for Students in Agriculture
Jerry Minore was a longtime friend of the wheat industry and advocate for wheat farmers. To honor his work and life, his company, BASF, has partnered with the National Wheat Foundation to establish a scholarship for students with connections to the wheat industry who are planning careers in agriculture. The Minore Memorial Scholarship will fund four college scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic year: two $1,500 scholarships and two $1,000 scholarships. Deadline for applications is December 31, 2017. For more information on how to apply, visit the National Wheat Foundation site.

Registration and Housing Has Officially Opened for the 2018 Commodity Classic
The 2018 Commodity Classic is taking place from February 25-March 02, 2018 in Anaheim, California at the Anaheim Convention Center. Wheat growers can register and book housing online: www.commodityclassic.com/registration or via phone: (800) 465-0482. Tours may be reserved online at http://www.commodityclassic.com/optional-tours. If you have questions regarding tours, please direct them to: Hello! California at (619) 785-5828 or email: cc2018tours@hello-dmc.com. They are available 8:30 am – 5:30 pm Pacific Time, Monday-Friday. Tours may not be reserved by telephone. For more information on Commodity Classic, visit the conference site: http://www.commodityclassic.com/home.