NAWG Weekly Updates, January 24, 2019

NAWG Provides Update on Congress to Kansas Wheat Board
On January 23, 2019, NAWG VP of Policy and Communications Josh Tonsager and Government Relations Representative Craig Berning, via conference call, joined the Kansas Wheat Grower’s board meeting to discuss the lay of the land for Congress in light of the government shutdown. Additionally, Tonsager and Berning provided an overview of the NAWG’s agenda for 2019 which includes meeting with the new members of Congress. Email Josh Tonsager if interested in having NAWG do a similar presentation for your board.

In addition, the deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program has been extended to Thursday, February 14.

NAWG CEO to Participate in Michigan Wheat’s Annual Grower Meeting
The Michigan Wheat Program’s 7th Annual Winter Grower Meeting is set to take place on March 20 from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the MSU Saginaw Valley Research & Extension Farm in Frankenmuth. NAWG CEO Chandler Goule is scheduled to speak NAWG’s priorities for 2019 and issues for wheat growers at the national level. Learn more here.

Ranking Member Conway Announces House Ag Republicans
On January 23, 2019 House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) announced that the Steering Committee has made its recommendations of the Republican members to serve on the House Agriculture Committee for the 116th Congress. The new House Agriculture Committee members are Rep. Dusty Johnson (SD-AL), Rep. Jim Baird (IN-4), and Rep. Jim Hagedorn.

USDA to Reopen FSA Offices for Additional Services During Government Shutdown
On January 22, 2019, USDA Secretary Perdue announced that all Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices nationwide will reopen to provide administrative services to farmers and ranchers amidst the lapse in federal funding. Beginning January 24, FSA offices will open and offer a longer list of services beyond assisting with existing loans and tax documents. For the first two weeks (January 28 through February 1 and February 4 through February 8), FSA offices will be open Monday through Friday. In subsequent weeks, offices will be open three days a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, if needed to provide additional services.

Gene Editing Campaign “Innovature” Launched
For the past two years NAWG has been a part of an informal coalition led by American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) regarding Gene Editing and the regulatory and consumer perceptions around gene editing. Last week, BIO and ASTA officially launched Innovature, “a new platform to engage people in an important and thoughtful dialogue around innovation in food and agriculture. Innovature, through Innovature.com and parallel social media channels, aims to cultivate broad-based partnerships and fully realize the potential that innovation, such as gene editing, has to address society’s most urgent challenges that affect our planet, our health and our food.”

NAWG is scheduled to have staff from BIO present to the Joint Wheat Breeding Innovation Committee at the upcoming joint 2019 NAWG/U.S. Wheat Winter Conference and overview this campaign they just launched.

NWF Officially Opens 2019 National Wheat Yield Contest
The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) has officially announced that it is accepting grower enrollment for the 2019 National Wheat Yield Contest! The deadline for Winter Wheat entries is May 15th with an early registration deadline of April 1st. The Spring wheat entry deadline is August 1st, with an early registration deadline of June 15th. To register for the contest, visit here.

The 2019 National Wheat Yield Contest sponsors include AgriMaxx, Ardent Mills, BASF, Corteva Agriscience, Indigo Ag, Grain Craft, John Deere, LimaGrain Cereals, Syngenta, and WestBred.

2019 NAWG/U.S. Wheat Winter Conference Housing and Registration Open!
The 2019 NAWG/USW Winter Conference is scheduled for February 12-15, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Washington in downtown Washington, D.C. To see the agenda and register for the conference, visit U.S. Wheat Associates’ site here.

NAWG’s Policy Committees Meet at the 2019 Commodity Classic!
There is still time to register for the 2019 Commodity Classic, which is scheduled for February 28th – March 2nd in Orlando, Florida at the Orange County Convention Center. NAWG has been assigned to the Rosen Centre hotel (9840 International Drive, Orlando, Florida 32819) which is located right next to the Convention Center.

Visit here to register for Classic’s trade show. If you plan on attending NAWG’s committee meetings, please register with us here.