NAWG Weekly Updates, November 16, 2017

Action Against California’s Flawed Classification of Environmentally-Safe Herbicide
On November 15, 2017, NAWG joined a coalition of leading agriculture groups across the country as the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against the State of California for its inaccurate classification of glyphosate under Proposition 65. The case was filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. For more information, read our release here.

Ag Coalition Writes Governors about Importance of NAFTA
On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, a coalition of 100 agriculture groups, including NAWG, wrote the nation’s governors to ask them to “let President Trump know that you support a modernized NAFTA that maintains and enhances food and agricultural trade between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.” The Hagstrom Report covered the story, “the groups sent the letter Tuesday just as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross complained at a Wall Street Journal conference that ‘As one special interest group, say agriculture, for example, gets nervous, they start screaming and yelling publicly. They start writing letters, soliciting the Congress people, and [then] they start screaming and yelling in public. It just complicates the environment and, frankly, makes the negotiations harder.’” The letter can be found here.

Tax Reform: Coalition of 180 Farm Groups Urge Preservation of Section 199
NAWG along with 180 farm and agribusiness groups has written House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging them to preserve the deduction for co-op production and marketing expenses known as Section 199. In the remarks, the groups argued that “H.R. 1 repeals Section 199 and would not benefit the farm sector and in no way compensate for the loss of the agriculture deductions of Section 199.” Read the letter here. On Thursday, November 16, 2017, the House passed the GOP tax bill (HR 1) 227-205.

WILOT Class of 2017 Attends Training in St. Louis
This week, the Wheat Industry Leaders of Tomorrow (WILOT) Class of 2017 is taking place in St, Louis Missouri. Sponsored and produced annually by Monsanto in partnership with the National Wheat Foundation, WILOT is designed for producers who want to take on a greater role in leadership by becoming more involved in their state wheat grower associations or by pursuing a position on the NAWG officer team. So far, the class went through personal skill identification and development training, received updates on how to use communications in advocacy and establish rapport with an uninformed public, and will learn how to effectively engage the public through new and traditional media outlets. The class also had the opportunity to tour Monsanto’s research facilities and the work they are doing on biotech crops. NAWG’s Caitlin Eannello gave the group a Communications overview while NAWG’s Joh Tonsager updated the growers on NAWG’s recent advocacy work in Washington. The WILOT program is an excellent opportunity for growers to become trained, active participants in wheat advocacy and become more involved in their state associations.

Study: What is the Food and Ag Industries’ Impact in Your Community
The 2017 Food and Agriculture Industries Economic Impact Study estimates the economic contributions made by the food industry to the U.S. economy in 2017. For the purpose of the study, the food industry included any businesses involved in food product agriculture, food manufacturing, food wholesaling, and food retailing (so-called “farm to fork”). John Dunham & Associates conducted this research, which was funded by The Goodstone Group. The study measures the number of jobs in food and agriculture related industries; the wages paid to employees, the value added and total output. In addition, it measures the economic impact of the suppliers that support the food and agriculture industries, as well as those industries supported by the induced spending of direct and supplier industries. NAWG and 21 ag organizations sponsored the study. The study can also sort out information by state and congressional district. Visit http://www.feedingtheeconomy.com/ for more information!

Senate Agriculture Committee Sends Farm Credit Nominee Glen Smith to Full Senate
On Thursday, November 16, 2017, The Senate Committee on Agriculture voted to favorably report nominee Glen R. Smith to be a Member of the Farm Credit Administration Board. Visit the Committee page for more information.

Field to Market Announces Sustainability Leadership Awards
On November 16, 2017, Field to Market announced the recipients of the 2017 Sustainability Leadership Awards and honored Kellogg Company, Syngenta, and The Nature Conservancy with the 2017 Collaboration of the Year Award. This award recognizes outstanding collaboration and cross-sector partnership in advancing improvement in sustainable U.S. agriculture. For more information, read the release here.

EPA and the Army Propose to Amend the Effective Date of the 2015 Rule Defining “Waters of the United States”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) are proposing to amend the effective date of the 2015 rule defining “waters of the United States.” The agencies are proposing that the 2015 rule would not go into effect until two years after today’s action is finalized and published in the Federal Register. This amendment would give the agencies the time needed to reconsider the definition of “waters of the United States.”

The agencies will be collecting public comment on this proposal for 21 days after publication in the Federal Register and plan to move quickly to take final action in early 2018. Additional information on this proposal and how to comment: www.epa.gov/wotus-rule.

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.

Guest Blog: Can Variable Rate Technology Improve Spring Wheat Quality?
The National Wheat Foundation has published its latest guest blog submission from Chris Heidrich, Senior Technology Manager of WinField United. The blog touches on the use of variable rate technology to improve wheat quality and can be found here.