U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry. USW promotes the reliability, quality and value of all six U.S. wheat classes to wheat buyers, millers, bakers, food processors and government officials in more than 100 countries around the world.
Its mission is to “Develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.”
Funding is made possible through checkoff dollars, goods and services from 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share grants from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
USW does not buy, sell, or process wheat; we do help make it easier for everyone else who does.
USW proudly represents the hard-working farm families that take great care in producing the highest quality wheat in the most sustainable ways possible to honor their family legacies and ensure greater value for their customers at home and abroad.
USW works to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors, and government officials understand the quality, value, and reliability of all six classes of U.S. wheat.
Wheat farmers in post-World War II United States were producing more wheat than ever before. So, to improve marketing opportunities, they organized and reached out to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for help. These visionary state wheat leaders ultimately formed two regional organizations to coordinate export market development: Western Wheat Associates and Great Plains Wheat Market Development Association.
The Great Plains Wheat Market Development Association, chartered in 1958, was tasked with promoting wheat exports from the Plains states.
Western Wheat Associates was formed in April 1959 to expand international markets for wheat from the Pacific Northwest.
Realizing that the world wheat market was transforming into a global marketplace, combined with overlapping demand for U.S. wheat classes, the two organizations merged in 1980 to form one overseas promotion organization for wheat – U.S. Wheat Associates.
USW remains fixed on the mission of the farmers who created an enduring legacy of commitment and partnership to provide the highest quality wheat for almost every customer need, backed by transparent pricing, trusted third-party certification and unmatched service before and after the sale.
USW is supported by a highly successful partnership between our state wheat commission members and cost-share funding from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
- State Support. Farmers contribute a portion of their wheat sales based on volume or production value to their state wheat commission, known as a checkoff program. Currently, 17 states contribute checkoff dollars to become USW members. These contributions qualify USW to apply for matching funds from FAS. Many state wheat commissions also contribute special project funds and time commitments.
- USDA Programs. Most annual matching funds come to USW from FAS through the Market Access Program (MAP), the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program and the Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program. FAS requires USW to prepare an annual Unified Export Strategy to earn program funding. While FAS funding varies, its awards to USW have contributed more than $2.00 for every $1 in state funding.
USW does not receive direct funding from any commercial source.
For more information, visit the Policy section of this website.