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Washington, D.C.  – The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) applaud the Biden Administration’s announcement today stating the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing $670 million in food assistance to countries in need. Specifically, this announcement will utilize the $282 million in the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust (BEHT) and USDA will provide an additional $388 million through the Commodity Credit Corporation to help cover the transportation costs.

The funding will be spent on purchasing domestic wheat and other commodities as part of a food aid package to help feed people in countries experiencing food insecurity. The funding will also be used to cover the costs of transporting the commodities to their destination.

“Today’s action is an important step in helping get assistance to countries facing food insecurity, which has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule stated. “Ukraine is a significant wheat exporting country, and Russia’s aggression has caused considerable market and global supply chain disruptions. Unlocking the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust will play a crucial role in helping address the urgent humanitarian needs resulting from this conflict.”

“It is so sad to think of more people being pushed into food insecurity around the world, but that is happening,” said Mike Schulte, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and chair of the USW and NAWG Food Aid Working Group. “Wheat has long been the most often donated commodity for food aid programs and wheat growers are ready again in this crisis to help ease the hunger.”

NAWG and USW will continue to work with USDA on ways the industry can support the food aid programs, while advocating for policies that benefit and enable U.S. farmers to continue growing wheat.

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About U.S. Wheat Associates. USW’s 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.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

About the National Association of Wheat Growers. NAWG is the primary policy representative in Washington D.C. for wheat growers, working to ensure a better future for America’s growers, the industry, and the general public. NAWG works with a team of 20 state wheat grower organizations to benefit the wheat industry at the national level. From their offices in the Wheat Growers Building on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members, Administration officials, and the public.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — In remarks to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on Oct. 19, 2017, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) stated that he has talked to farmers and that farmers “do not care” about U.S. in-kind food aid.

“I don’t know what farmers Senator Corker is talking to because I can assure you wheat farmers care a lot about in-kind food aid,” said Dighton, Kan., wheat farmer Ron Suppes. “In 2016, U.S. government donations of milling wheat that helped feed food insecure populations or were monetized by NGOs to fund local food security projects, reached a level that would be equal to a top ten export market.”

“Sen. Corker’s call to eliminate in-kind food aid donations in favor of all cash gifts is an extreme position, shared by AEI, a group that regularly attacks farm programs and farmers,” said Gordon Stoner, a wheat farmer from Outlook, Mont. “In-kind food aid and monetization are still important tools for delivering greater food availability and easing local market price volatility.”

In June 2017 at a House Committee on Agriculture hearing, Suppes testified on food aid and a trip to Tanzania where he saw development programs that utilized wheat.

“I saw first-hand how food aid can also generate goodwill with other countries,” he said. “By encouraging agricultural development in countries like Tanzania, we’re ultimately spurring economic growth, which means Tanzania is more likely to be a stronger trading partner in the future. And the tangible presence of U.S. wheat in that equation is a symbol that cash can’t match.”

In fact, one of the goals of the U.S. PL-480 food program is to get food to the places where it is needed most. Over time, this program has also had beneficial effects for U.S. farmers. The Philippines and Taiwan are countries that once received in-kind food aid from the United States. Today, both markets are major importers of U.S. wheat and other food ingredient commodities.

“U.S. Wheat Associates and NAWG believe time-honored U.S. food aid programs have been engines of peace, food security and local capacity building in countless countries around the world,” said Stoner. “In-kind food donation and monetization should remain a vital part of America’s tradition of global generosity.”

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About U.S. Wheat Associates
USW’s mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 18 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, visit our website at www.uswheat.org.

About the National Association of Wheat Growers
NAWG is the primary policy representative in Washington D.C. for wheat growers, working to ensure a better future for America’s growers, the industry and the general public. NAWG works with a team of 20 state wheat grower organizations to benefit the wheat industry at the national levels. From their offices in the Wheat Growers Building on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members, Administration officials and the public.

Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
U.S. Wheat Associates prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact U.S. Wheat Associates at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S.- 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, U.S. Wheat Associates, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. U.S. Wheat Associates is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Washington, D.C. (June 07, 2017) – Today, the House Committee on Agriculture held a Full Committee hearing on “The Next Farm Bill: The Future of International Food Aid and Agricultural Development.” On behalf of the wheat industry, Mr. Ron Suppes, a wheat grower from Dighton, KS, testified on food aid and a recent trip to Tanzania where he saw programs that utilized wheat.

“In Tanzania, I saw first-hand how wheat farmers can play a significant role in international food aid programs,” Suppes said. “These programs involve a significant amount of wheat, a fact not lost on farmers with full grain bins and more wheat piled on the ground from last year’s historically high harvest. It is a year when the U.S. needs to be a world leader in helping provide for those in need with these ample supplies.

“Food aid can also generate goodwill with other countries. By encouraging agricultural development in Tanzania, we’re ultimately spurring economic growth, which means Tanzania is more likely to be a stronger trading partner in the future. And the tangible presence of U.S. wheat in that equation is a symbol that cash can’t match.

“U.S. commodities play a key role in helping regions unable to produce wheat and other commodities on their own due to drought, conflict or other circumstances. We have enough surplus that no one should be going hungry.

“I commend the House Committee on Agriculture for recognizing and highlighting the valuable role that the agricultural industry plays in international food aid.”

Ron Suppes.

National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President David Schemm, a wheat grower from Sharon Springs, KS, made the following statement:

“The U.S. is producing enough wheat to meet global demand and still have a surplus. In 2017, USDA projects that global production of wheat will reach an all-time high of 751.3 million metric tons with stockpiles at a record high of 258.3 million tons.

“Wheat can play a significant role in the fight to end hunger. Not only for humanitarian reasons but for global security as well. Even if located on the other side of world, food-insecure nations are prone to enter civil unrest which can impact us right here at home.

“As a wheat farmer from Kansas, I am proud to play a role in helping to feed those who cannot provide for themselves.

For more information about wheat industry policy positions on food aid, visit https://www.wheatworld.org/policy-action/issues/food-aid/ or https://bit.ly/2fD8X06.

Additional panelists at the hearing included Ms. Margaret Schuler, Senior Vice President of the International Programs Group at World Vision; Ms. Navyn Salem, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Edesia Nutrition; Mr. Brian W. Schoeneman, Political and Legislative Director of the Seafarers International Union (AFL-CIO), on behalf of USA Maritime; and Dr. Thomas S. Jayne, University Foundation Professor at Michigan State University, on behalf of the Farm Journal Foundation.

USW’s mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 18 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, visit our website at www.uswheat.org.

NAWG is the primary policy representative in Washington D.C. for wheat growers, working to ensure a better future for America’s growers, the industry and the general public. NAWG works with a team of 20 state wheat grower organizations to benefit the wheat industry at the national levels. From their offices in the Wheat Growers Building on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members, Administration officials and the public.

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
U.S. Wheat Associates prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact U.S. Wheat Associates at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S.- 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, U.S. Wheat Associates, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. U.S. Wheat Associates is an equal opportunity provider and employer.