The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) welcome the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Alexis Taylor to serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs. Earlier today, the Senate confirmed Taylor by a voice vote.

“NAWG applauds the confirmation of Alexis Taylor to this key role, and I personally congratulate her for this historic appointment,” said NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. “I have worked with Alexis for over 15 years, and I know the agriculture industry will benefit immensely from her expertise. She is a widely recognized leader on agriculture policy and has the domestic and international experience to help navigate U.S. agriculture through growing global changes and help expand markets for U.S. agricultural products. We appreciate the Senate’s bipartisan support of Alexis and look forward to working with her.”

“Global markets for food and agricultural products like milling wheat are growing, so finally having Ms. Taylor in this position will help re-establish the United States as a leading export market participant,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “After serving as Agriculture Director in Oregon she understands just how important it is to maintain a strong promotional effort in export markets. We look forward to working with her to build overseas markets for U.S. wheat.”

The Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs mission area plays a crucial role in developing and implementing USDA’s trade policy, oversees and facilitates foreign market access, and promotion opportunities for U.S. agriculture. The wheat industry looks forward to working with Alexis Taylor to advocate for U.S. wheat farmers and American agriculture.


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 in more than 100 countries. Its activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, visit our website at

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


New U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) rulings provide more streamlined processes for rail rate disputes and may benefit agricultural shippers. The STB established a voluntary arbitration program and an entirely new procedure for rate challenges, known as Final Offer Rate Review (FORR).

U.S. wheat farmers and the grain trade rely heavily on rail to transport wheat to export terminals by rail, but rates for hauling wheat are often higher than for other crops. The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Transportation Working Group is pleased that the STB recognizes rail shippers need new and innovative ways to engage railroads on rate concerns.

New Ways to Challenge Rates

“These rulings are a welcome sign that rail customers like wheat farmers are being heard. The voluntary arbitration program and the FORR process are intended to help give smaller shippers greater ability to challenge rail rates,” said Charlie Vogel, TWG chairman and executive director of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council. “Under these programs, the railroads can agree to binding arbitration or allow the STB to review a dispute and determine a final reasonable rate.”

STB Chairman Martin Oberman noted that the Board has been looking for ways to make smaller rail disputes “accessible, reasonable, and less time-consuming.” However, he added that “the Board’s prior efforts to provide rate review methods suitable for smaller disputes have been rarely used by shippers. I am optimistic that this time the Board’s efforts will achieve this long-desired goal.”

For more information visit


ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has created a new film titled “Wholesome: The Journey of U.S. Wheat” that shows how the dependable people along the export supply system maintain the U.S. wheat export reliability and its wholesome character. USW will premiere the film at 1:00 p.m. EST, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, on its Facebook page at this link:

“In our organization’s mission to promote U.S. wheat exports, our representatives focus on the consistently high quality of our supplies,” said USW Vice President of Communications Steve Mercer. “Through this film, the people at every step of the journey to export tell their own stories about how they thoughtfully produce new varieties, care for the land and the crop, and handle the wheat responsively to ensure it meets customer needs. This is an educational program that makes the stunning beauty of the land and the emotional attachment of these dependable people to the industry a key part of the story.”

The 25-minute film was produced in cooperation with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and Federal Grain Inspection Service, state wheat commissions, local elevators and export elevators. It will be available to 13 overseas USW offices for use at seminars, courses and trade events and serve as the foundation of new messages informing world wheat buyers and users about U.S. wheat export reliability and quality throughout 2021.

“In 2020, we celebrated our 40th year operating as U.S. Wheat Associates by telling our authentic story—that behind the world’s most reliable supply of wheat are the world’s most dependable people,” Mercer said. “Functional quality is a crucial part of that reliability and the people play such an important role in maintaining quality, we wanted them to help remind our customers about why U.S. wheat is so valuable.”

USW will also produce individual short subject programs covering chapters featured in the film. Each of these programs will be available for viewing later this year on the USW website,, and on the organization’s Vimeo page at

U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) 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