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ARLINGTON, Virginia — A team of five executives representing large flour mills in Brazil will be in the United States June 14 to 20, 2015, to learn more about the 2015/16 crop and the U.S. wheat supply chain. Together, they purchase about 60 percent of Brazil’s annual wheat imports and were among millers purchasing a record amount of U.S. hard red winter (HRW) and soft red winter (SRW) in 2013/14 and 2014/15. Wheat farmers are pleased to see these buyers return to the United States.

“Brazil turned to the United States the last two years because its usual trading partners in Argentina could not meet demand,” said Osvaldo Seco, assistant regional director for South America with U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), who will travel with the team. “They were able to do that because we kept Brazilian millers informed about the quality, variety and value — and U.S. farmers had the wheat they needed.”

With funding from state wheat commissions and USDA market development programs, the work USW did in Brazil helped spur millers actively import most of their wheat from the United States. Brazil’s imports returned more than $1 billion to the U.S. wheat industry in a little more than one year from an investment of less than $100,000 in market development spending.

The potential for an on-going increase in U.S. wheat exports to Brazil is not being taken for granted, even though Argentina’s 2014/15 production provided exportable supplies again. USW, the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program, the Nebraska Wheat Board and the Texas Wheat Producers Board sponsored this team’s visit as a pivotal part of building buyers’ confidence in U.S. HRW and SRW wheat compared to supplies from Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, the EU or Canada.

After visiting farms in Ohio and Nebraska and meeting with export elevator managers in Texas’ western Gulf ports, Seco said these executives will go back to their mills with a greater knowledge of how to specify for the best quality and value from the U.S. supply. These flour millers will also get a chance to meet with their peers at a visit to a Mennel Milling Company flour mill, as well as tour a Mondelez snack food plant in Ohio.

“We will also meet with export grain traders and review the federal grain inspection system in Nebraska,” Seco said. “Relationships are very important to these buyers and there is no more powerful marketing tool than sitting face-to-face with the people who develop, grow and handle U.S. wheat.”

USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by FAS. USW maintains 17 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 classes of U.S. wheat.

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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.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia – Yesterday, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) jointly called for improvements in Canada’s treatment of U.S. wheat classes in a letter to Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Gerry Ritz, and Canadian Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast. While there has been positive collaboration between the two countries on wheat policy, the recent WTO Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) decision concerning the labeling of meat highlights Canada’s inconsistency on the issue of treatment of foreign agricultural products.

The United States is routinely Canada’s top wheat export market and allows wheat grown in Canada to be graded and traded the same as U.S. wheat in the market. Yet, the Canada Grains Act and Varietal Registration System (VRS) denies U.S. producers that same courtesy. Instead, all foreign grown grain is automatically downgraded under Canada’s official grading system to the lowest designation, regardless of whether the wheat is an approved Canadian variety or of high quality.

“Our concerns about the unfair regulatory environment that U.S. wheat faces in Canada closely parallel the arguments Canada successfully made in its WTO complaint against U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements,” states the letter signed by USW Chairman Roy Motter and NAWG President Brett Blankenship. “Specifically, the WTO Appellate Body found that the COOL measure was ‘inconsistent with Article 2.1 of the TBT Agreement because it accords less favourable treatment to imported livestock than to like domestic livestock.’ It is readily apparent to us that Canada’s treatment of imported wheat is less favorable than that of domestic wheat through its grading system.”

The two organizations propose that giving the market the freedom to determine origin segregation’s value — rather than mandating foreign grain labeling — not only increases benefits for both sides of the border, but also continues to strengthen the relationship between the two countries, further laying the foundation for a long-term, mutually profitable trade environment.

USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by FAS. USW maintains 17 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 classes of U.S. wheat.

NAWG is a federation of 22 state wheat grower associations that works to represent the needs and interests of wheat producers before Congress and federal agencies. Based in Washington, D.C., NAWG is grower-governed and grower-funded, and works in areas as diverse as federal farm policy, trade, environmental regulation, agricultural research and sustainability.

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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.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — Building mutual trust and long-term business relationships takes time and commitment. As a part of its market development activities, one important activity U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) employs to create stronger partnerships with overseas customers is to invite them to have a firsthand look at the U.S. wheat crop. That is what a team of six flour milling executives from Japan’s leading milling companies will do during travel to the Pacific Northwest April 30 to May 8, 2015.

“Japan imports large amounts of U.S. wheat so it is important for the Japanese flour milling industry to regularly exchange views and information with U.S. wheat organizations and businesses,” said Mr. Masaaki Kadota, executive director of Japan’s Flour Millers Association. “We really appreciate your efforts to support our needs as your customers.”

USW collaborated with the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Oregon Wheat Commission and Washington Grain Commission to organize and host this trade team.

The Oregon Wheat Growers League (OWGL) established the first overseas U.S. wheat export office in Tokyo in 1956 and in that same year, the first Japanese millers team visited the United States to learn about its markets. After it was established, USW continued the tradition and for well over a decade, this particular activity has become an annual trip for Japanese executive millers. According to Kadota — who has accompanied this team for many years — there is always something new to learn and discuss.

“There is nothing better than strengthening the mutual trust I have with those whom I meet each year,” said Kadota.

The team will make stops in Oregon, Washington and Montana. During meetings with wheat farmers, grain industry representatives and university researchers, the team will discuss the U.S. wheat supply and demand picture, including potential quality, availability and price. The team will also discuss current views on competitive markets, dietary trends and the role innovations in wheat breeding will have in balancing future world food supply demands with the need for less impact on the environment.

“This exchange of dialogue and information is essential to U.S. trade with Japan,” said USW West Coast Office Assistant Director Shawn Campbell. “When questions and concerns arise, we rely on the trust built during these activities to guide us toward decisions that have a positive impact for both U.S. wheat farmers and the Japanese milling industry.”

USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 17 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 classes of U.S. wheat.

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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.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia – The U.S. wheat industry applauds bipartisan support for the introduction of legislation to modernize and renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 includes improvements to the 2002 TPA law that are key to establishing the groundwork for progressive trade negotiations and outcomes for U.S. farmers and businesses.

“Trade is vital to the U.S. wheat industry, with 50 percent of the annual crop destined for export markets. U.S. farmers are eager to sell high quality wheat throughout the world, but artificial trade barriers often stand in their way,” said National Association of Wheat Growers President, Brett Blankenship. “Passage of TPA would send a strong signal that Congress and the Administration are united in their commitment to opening markets for the benefit of farmers and rural communities and creating jobs throughout this country.”

The TPA legislation outlines U.S. trade policy objectives and sets out conditions for the President to negotiate free trade agreements and other trade liberalizing initiatives as well as allowing for expedited Congressional consideration. Also known as “fast track,” TPA builds confidence with our negotiating partners that once an agreement is reached, Congress cannot change it. The bill also institutionalizes consultation requirements to ensure that Congress and the President maintain a strong partnership in advancing trade policy goals.

Together NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) encourage the swift enactment of TPA as an essential tool for negotiating market-opening free trade agreements. The United States is currently engaged in negotiations to complete the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the U.S. and European Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which will lower barriers to U.S. wheat exports in several key markets. These agreements will also help ensure that U.S. wheat producers have the same market access as other wheat exporters, including Canada and Australia.

“Comprehensive free trade agreements create a more fair and level playing field, and U.S. wheat farmers need the leverage that TPA would give U.S. negotiators to have a unified voice in a growing international market,” said USW Chairman, Roy Motter. “Japan and other countries are less likely to put their best offer on the table for politically sensitive agricultural products like wheat unless they have the confidence provided by TPA.”

The United States is the world’s largest wheat exporter, offering customers around the globe a reliable, high-quality supply of six wheat classes. In the 2013/14 marketing year, ending May 31, 2014, the United States exported about 32 million metric tons (nearly 1.2 billion bushels) of wheat valued at about $9.7 billion, which supports thousands of jobs and creates economic benefits across the country. More on the industry’s trade work is at www.wheatworld.org/trade or www.uswheat.org/whatwedo/tradepolicy.

USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by FAS. USW maintains 17 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 classes of U.S. wheat.

NAWG is a federation of 22 state wheat grower associations that works to represent the needs and interests of wheat producers before Congress and federal agencies. Based in Washington, D.C., NAWG is grower-governed and grower-funded, and works in areas as diverse as federal farm policy, trade, environmental regulation, agricultural research and sustainability.

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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.

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Washington, D.C. — After participating in a “learning journey” to Cuba March 1 to 4, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) have joined members of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC) to renew a call for Congress to end the U.S. trade embargo.

USW Assistant Director of Policy Ben Conner and Kansas wheat farmer Doug Keesling represented the U.S. wheat industry on the trip.

“Our visit was an important first step toward a stronger relationship with Cuba,” Conner said. “We appreciated the opportunity to sit down and personally discuss these issues with representatives of the Cuban government and its people. We left with the distinct impression that lifting the embargo represents a unique chance to benefit people in both countries.”

“We have exported wheat to Cuba in the past and there should be no reason why we can’t do it now or in the future,” Keesling said. “It is the biggest wheat importer in the Caribbean — just a couple days away from our Gulf ports — and our own policies are keeping us from working together again. That’s not good for farmers or for the Cuban people.”

While ongoing travel and financing restrictions negatively affect the export potential for U.S. wheat farmers, competitors in the European Union and Canada freely sell wheat to Cuba. Even if the U.S. government loosens its trade policies, the larger political implications of an ongoing embargo create an unstable business environment for the United States and Cuba.

“Since Cuba can buy almost anything from anywhere except from the United States, the embargo is effectively an embargo against U.S. businesses and citizens, not of Cuba,” said USW President Alan Tracy.

“We will seize every opportunity to expand trade and Cuba is no exception,” said NAWG President Brett Blankenship. “Cuba represents untapped trade potential within our own hemisphere, and an end to the embargo would greatly benefit the U.S. export economy. Our wheat growers stand with America’s farm and business leaders to promote trade with Cuba today, tomorrow and well into the future.”

Last week’s visit included more than 95 U.S. agricultural leaders who met with officials of the Cuban government and learned about initiatives underway in Cuba to boost food production.

“As a result of this week’s learning journey, U.S. agricultural interests are well-positioned to facilitate a strong, two-way relationship when the embargo is lifted,” said USACC Chair Devry Boughner Vorwerk.

USW is the wheat industry’s export market development organization working to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in more than 100 countries. Its activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

The purpose of the USACC is to re-establish Cuba as a market for U.S. food and agriculture exports and address liberalizing trade between the United States and Cuba. The coalition will work to end the embargo and allow for open trade and investment.

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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.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) welcomes Amanda Spoo as Communications Specialist in its Arlington, VA, headquarters effective March 9, 2015. Spoo will provide public relations and marketing communications support, specifically working to communicate the value of USW to stakeholder organizations.

“Amanda’s education and creative approach in her current position are ideal to support what we are doing to expand outreach to wheat farmers and their overseas customers,” said USW Vice President of Communications Steve Mercer. “We look forward to having Amanda join our growing base of young, talented associates.”

Spoo grew up in Hermiston, OR, and earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and journalism at Kansas State University. She gained valuable experience in the grain industry by working three years as a Student Communications Specialist at the IGP Institute and also worked as a Communications Intern in Government Affairs with ICM, Inc., a Kansas biofuels company. Spoo was an active member of Agriculture Future of America, serving on its student advisory team. Over the past two years, Spoo managed a broad range of strategic producer communications and consumer outreach projects as Director of Communications at the Kansas Pork Association.

USW is the wheat industry’s export market development organization working to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in more than 100 countries. Its activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Amanda Spoo

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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.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — Several influential countries are not complying with the domestic agricultural support commitments they made as members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). That is the conclusion of a study sponsored by U.S. commodity organizations and introduced to agricultural negotiators Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, in Geneva, Switzerland. Those organizations made the point that recognizing the current realities in agricultural support and trade could help improve the chances of finally reaching a Doha Round agreement.

The study was conducted by DTB Associates, Washington, DC, and updates a similar study conducted in 2011. U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) was one of the sponsors of the latest study indicating that the governments of India, China, Turkey, Brazil and Thailand have dramatically increased trade distorting subsidies for wheat, corn or rice production over the past ten years to levels that exceed their WTO agreements — in most cases by large margins. That information has not been readily available to WTO negotiators.

“U.S. wheat farmers strongly support the goals of the WTO and the Doha Round,” said USW President Alan Tracy. “We also believe every WTO member must follow the rules. Sadly, the facts we have uncovered show this is not the case.”

Member countries are required to report their domestic support levels to WTO regularly, but more than 650 notifications were late as of November 2014, Tracy noted. Turkey has not reported its support since its 2001 crop year. China has not reported since 2008 and India just submitted a notification last fall covering seven crop years to make them current through 2010. However, the study demonstrates that even notifications that have been reported often rely on faulty methodology.

“This study shines a light on what is really happening,” said USW Vice President of Policy Shannon Schlecht. “What it shows is a massive increase in government-sanctioned support prices and violations of Aggregate Measure of Support agreements that are distorting world trade in wheat, corn and rice.”

The dramatic increases in current support price levels by country and commodity in the study are clear and most revealing when compared with reference prices in the United States (see “Support Price Levels).

*Reference Price, Agricultural Act of 2014
**Support price under the Paddy Pledging Scheme
Note: China and Brazil wheat reflect 2014/15 support price levels

The minimum government prices reported in the study indicated a significant increase in support for wheat production in these countries over the past several years. Since the original study in 2011, a few countries increased their minimum support price for wheat by $50 to $100 per metric ton.

Under the Uruguay Round Agreement of the mid 1990s, WTO member countries agreed to abide by limits on Aggregate Measure of Support (AMS). The DTB study showed India, China, Turkey and Thailand have exceeded their AMS commitments by a wide margin (See “Aggregate Measure of Support”). WTO records show that the United States has always met its annual notification commitment and has never exceeded its AMS limit of $19.1 billion.

Aggregate Measure of Support (AMS)
2013/14 and 2014/15
Billion U.S. Dollars
Country Wheat Corn Rice Other Total AMS Limit
China $15.5 – $18.4 $20.6 – $54.4 $12.4 – $37.0 NA $48.4 – $109.8 $0
India $12.4 – $15.8 $2.5 – $3.8 $13.3 – $28.2 $33.0 $36.1 – 93.4 $0
Brazil $0.8 01 $0.6 NA $1.4 $0.912
Turkey $5.7 $1.0 $0.3 NA $7.0 $0
Thailand NA $0.5 $1.4 – 10.1 NA $1.9 – $10.6 $0.634
1 Support below de minimis level

The fact that these countries have far exceeded their WTO support commitments leads to serious trade distortions. An insightful example may be found in the Indian government’s wheat production and trade policies.

The study determined that India’s minimum support price for wheat increased by 111 percent between 2005/06 and 2013/14. India recently notified the WTO of a much lower increase but the study showed that the Indian government used faulty tactics to calculate the number it reported, a number that many other WTO members have questioned.

Increasing support levels gave Indian farmers an artificial incentive to produce more wheat. In fact, India’s wheat production increased by 35 percent over those seven years to record levels. That buoyed world wheat supplies and increased pressure on prices that hurt wheat farmers in other countries.

Over the same time, Indian wheat exports increased from 300,000 metric tons (MT) to 6.5 million MT. The study also included evidence that India is offering wheat export subsidies that are also illegal under its WTO commitment. Yet, claiming it must maintain a large public stockpile of grain to maintain food security as an advanced developing country, India has demanded exemptions to its trade-distorting levels of support.

“We agree with our U.S. agricultural negotiators that we see no possibility of concluding the Doha agreement by pursuing the same approach used over the last decade,” Schlecht said. “Hopefully the facts in the study will help raise awareness of the current realities of trade-distorting farm subsidies. Without this information it will be impossible for WTO members to achieve a balanced Doha Round conclusion across the domestic support, market access and export competition pillars.”

For more information, visit www.dtbassociates.com/docs/DomesticSupportStudy11-2014.pdf and www.dtbassociates.com/docs/domesticsupportstudy.pdf.

USW is the wheat industry’s export market development organization working to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in more than 100 countries. Its activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, visit our website at www.uswheat.org.

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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.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Feb. 12, 2015, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced major legislation that would end the U.S. trade embargo of Cuba. The bill would end the restrictions on U.S. companies doing business in Cuba that have been in place since 1961. Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) co-sponsored the bill.

NAWG and USW are pleased to see bipartisan Congressional progress being made, and look toward a speedy and permanent end to the Cuban trade embargo. NAWG and USW are members of the U.S. Agricultural Coalition for Cuba, which also endorsed the legislation.

“It is refreshing to see our nation’s lawmakers reaching across the aisle to produce real and meaningful change. Increased trade with Cuba has great potential for U.S. wheat growers,” commented NAWG president Paul Penner.

Cuba’s 11 million people consume close to one million metric tons of wheat each year. It is the largest wheat market in the Caribbean, but it currently purchases almost all of that wheat from the European Union and Canada. Cuba could import at least 500,000 metric tons of wheat from the United States each year but has not purchased U.S. wheat since 2011. Under the current embargo, the United States can export agricultural products to Cuba through the use of third-party banking institutions, which makes facilitating trade burdensome and often more expensive.

“The farmer directors of NAWG and USW recently renewed a call to end the Cuban trade embargo,” said USW President Alan Tracy. “We support the bipartisan effort in the Senate that moves us one step closer to seeing U.S. wheat flowing to our Cuban neighbors again.”

USW is the wheat industry’s export market development organization working to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in more than 100 countries. Its activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

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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.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — Rapidly changing international trade policies increasingly influence world wheat market opportunities. Recognizing the need for additional resources, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) announces that Dalton Henry will join the organization in March 2015 as Director of Policy. Henry is currently Director of Government Affairs for Kansas Wheat, the cooperative agreement between the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers.

“I am very pleased with the talented trade policy team working for U.S. wheat farmers to increase market access and monitor previous trade commitments,” said USW President Alan Tracy. “Dalton’s commitment to our industry and experience managing these and other issues for a major wheat producing state organization will add a lot of strength to that effort.”

“It is exciting to continue working on behalf of our country’s wheat farmers as part of the USW policy team,” Henry said. “They have a great track record of producing results and I look forward to helping move the trade policy agenda forward.”

Henry joined Kansas Wheat in 2010 and has been responsible for implementing policies for the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and managing the association’s membership function, including member retention, programming, meetings and communications. He has also been the association’s primary contact for Congressional offices, state agencies and agricultural organizations.

A May 2010 graduate of Kansas State University (K-State), Henry earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and journalism, emphasizing in agricultural economics. He grew up on and is still involved with a diversified crop and livestock operation near Randolph, KS. He was involved in 4-H and FFA, and was elected president of the Kansas FFA Association in 2006. Henry had a distinguished college career, serving on several student government committees and as Student Body President in 2009/10. He was a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and served in the College of Agriculture Ambassadors and as a charter member of the Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter at K-State.

USW is the wheat industry’s export market development organization working to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in more than 100 countries. Its activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Dalton Henry

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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.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) farmer directors elected officers for the 2015/16 (July to June) fiscal year at their board meeting in Washington, DC, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. Mike Miller of Ritzville, WA, was elected to serve as Secretary-Treasurer. Current Vice Chairman Brian O’Toole of Crystal, ND, was elected Chairman and current Secretary-Treasurer Jason Scott of Stevensville, MD, was elected Vice Chairman. Current Chairman Roy Motter of Brawley, CA, will become Past Chairman. The new USW officers begin their one-year terms in July 2015 at the organization’s annual meeting in San Diego, CA.

“I see the opportunities and challenges ahead for the wheat industry through the eyes of my kids,” Miller said. “What we do over the next few years will affect the next generation the most. I’m excited about working in a leadership position to help meet those needs and to maintain or grow new overseas markets for U.S. wheat.”

Miller is a fourth generation farmer who operates a dryland wheat farm and grows multiple crops on a separate, irrigated farm in east central Washington. He has served on many local, state and national boards, and is in his second term on the Washington Grain Commission and his fourth year as a USW director representing Washington. Miller is also very active in supporting wheat research and development. He and his wife, Marci, have three children: Lacey, 14; Spencer, 12 and Cooper, 10.

Brian O’Toole is an experienced agricultural and community leader. He serves on the North Dakota Wheat Commission, on the board of the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, OR, and is Chairman of SBARE Wheat Granting Committee. He is also past president of the North Dakota Crop Improvement and Seed Association and past president of Crystal Farmers Elevator Co-op. O’Toole has received the Young Outstanding Farmer Award, Master Farmer Award and Friends of 4-H Award.

Jason Scott is at least a sixth-generation wheat farmer from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where he manages his family’s soft red winter (SRW) wheat, row crop and vegetable operation. He also owns and operates a Pioneer Hi-Bred® seed dealership with his father. Scott has been a member of the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board since 2003 and served as president from 2005 to 2007. Scott received the Maryland Young Farmer Achievement Award in 2011. In his six years on the USW Board of Directors, Scott has represented his state and USW on two board team delegations to Africa and Europe.

Roy Motter is managing partner of Spruce Farms, LLC, a diverse operation in California’s Imperial Valley that produces Desert Durum®, lettuce, cabbage, onions, sugar beets, sugar cane, alfalfa seed and hay, sudan grass, melons and tomatoes. He has been a member of the California Wheat Commission since 1998.

USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Header Photo Caption: U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) directors elected officers for 2015-16 (July to June) during their board meeting Jan. 31, 2015, in Washington, DC. USW officer team includes (left to right) President Alan Tracy; current Secretary-Treasurer Jason Scott, Stevensville, MD, who was elected Vice Chairman; newly elected Secretary-Treasurer Mike Miller, Ritzville, WA; current Vice Chairman Brian O’Toole, Crystal, ND, who was elected Chairman; and current Chairman Roy Motter, Brawley, CA, who will become Past Chairman. The new USW officers officially begin one-year terms in July at the organization’s annual meeting in San Diego, CA.

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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, USW, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. USW is an equal opportunity provider and employer.