NAWG Weekly Updates, January 11, 2018

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.

NAWG Speaks to Growers at the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association Conference  
On Tuesday, January 09, 2018, NAWG President Gordon Stoner spoke as a no-till Montana farmer during the Pacific Northwest Direct Seeds Association Annual Conference held at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, WA. He talked with attendees on his experience as a direct seeder in Montana. NAWG VP of Policy and Communications provided growers with an update and timeline on the 2018 Farm Bill and NAWG’s priorities for the legislation.

NAWG Speaks to the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board
On January 11, 2018, NAWG’s Government Relations Coordinator Craig Burning spoke to the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board during their funding requests meeting in Grasonville, MD. Berning spoke to several on several of NAWG’s priorities including tax reform, Farm Bill, crop insurance, and trade.

Trump Endorses Farm Bill on Time with Crop Insurance, Toughness on NAFTA, Immigration
On Monday, January 08, 2017, President Donald Trump told attendees at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention that “Congress should pass the farm bill on time, including crop insurance, and promised to bring high-speed internet service to rural America,” reported The Hagstrom Report. “But he maintained a tough line on the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations, and offered farmers no expression of concern about the need for immigrant labor, even though Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall has said it is the No. 1 issue facing agriculture.”

Midwest Influence Grows on Senate Ag
“The Senate Agriculture Committee has two new members – and a stronger Midwest flavor – just in time for writing a new farm bill,” reported AgriPulse. The two new additions – Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Tina Smith, D-Minn., also will bring the number of women on the committee to seven. Fischer will fill the seat vacated by Luther Strange of Alabama, who was appointed to the Senate last year but subsequently defeated in a GOP primary. Smith was appointed to replace Al Franken, who resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment. She also replaces Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen, who’s leaving the committee. Minnesota and Iowa will now both have two seats on the committee. Smith is running for election to the seat in November, and she clearly has her eye on rural voters. Nebraska has been without a seat on the panel since Ben Sasse left a year ago. “Nebraska had been on the Ag committee for 50 years, since Carl Curtis in ’69,” Fischer tells Agri-Pulse. “This is an important year to get back on with the farm bill.” Fischer says her top priority will be protecting crop insurance from cuts.

Report to the President of the U.S. from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity
In April of 2017, President Trump established an Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue service as Chair. The task force was comprised of cabinet members of several federal agencies. The task force outlined 5 general principals that would allow rural America to have the resources, tools, and support to build and sustain rural communities. Those principles are E-Connectivity for Rural America; Improving Quality of Life; Supporting a Rural Workforce; Harnessing Technological Innovation; and Economic Development.  Read the complete report in detail here.

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.