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ARLINGTON, Virginia — Three executives representing Korean flour milling companies will travel through the Pacific Northwest Aug. 7 to 14, for a more in-depth look at crop production and quality of soft white (SW), hard red spring (HRS) and hard red winter (HRW) wheat. Their visit, which includes stops in Montana, Washington and Oregon, will give them the opportunity to meet with growers, breeders and exporters.

“These milling companies hold purchasing tenders for milling wheat that supply all eight mills in Korea,” said USW Country Director Chang Yoon Kang, who is leading the team. “Each of these managers have a key role in making decisions about wheat origin, class, purchase contract specifications and wheat procurement policies. It is vital that they receive timely and reliable information on the crop situation.”

With funding from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, USW collaborated with the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee (MWBC), Washington Grain Commission (WGC) and Oregon Wheat Commission (OWC) to organize and host this trade team.

In calendar year 2015, South Korea imported 2.37 MMT of wheat, including 1.10 MMT U.S. SW, HRS and HRW wheat sourced from Pacific Northwest and northern plains fields. While Korean millers import most of their wheat from the United States, Canadian spring wheat is also imported to blend with U.S. classes for bread flour. Australian white wheat is preferred for Korean style noodles, but USW is working to flank that market by helping its customers introduce whole wheat products made with flour from U.S. wheat as a healthy noodle choice.

The team will start its visit in Great Falls, MT, to visit a Columbia Grain elevator and the State Grain Lab. They will also tour O’Hara Farms in Fort Benton, MT, and have dinner with MWBC commissioners. In Pullman and Spokane, WA, the team will meet with Washington State University breeders and tour the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Western Wheat Quality lab, as well as go on a tour of the HighLine Grain shuttle facility. The final leg of the trip will be to Portland, OR, where the team will learn more about the PNW supply chain from staff at the USW West Coast Office, Wheat Marketing Center, Oregon Wheat Commission, Pacific Grain Exporters Association and Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS). The team will round out their trip with a farm tour in the Willamette Valley.

“The Korean consumer is sophisticated and demands a wide range of high-quality wheat products that compete effectively with more traditional rice products. Korea has grown into a very important market for U.S. wheat producers because they buy our premium wheat classes and are willing to pay more to extract that quality from our market,” said USW Vice President and West Coast Office Director Steve Wirsching. “This trade team provides a way for the millers to learn more about the upcoming harvest so they can do a better job of originating the best quality we have to offer.”

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 (FAS).

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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 United States – +1-605-331-4923). 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 — (Updated 8/5/16) Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) has ended a temporary suspension of U.S. wheat imports after testing detected no genetically modified wheat in U.S. supplies. MFDS quickly deployed the test to assure U.S. wheat remains safe and reliable, adding confidence that nothing has changed the U.S. wheat supply chain’s ability to deliver wheat that matches every customer’s specifications. This action follows the discovery of a very small number of wheat plants that were genetically engineered (GE) to resist the herbicide glyphosate in an unplanted, fallow field in eastern Washington State in June.

Out of an abundance of caution, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF)is temporarily suspending only new purchases of western white wheat (soft white and 20 percent club wheat) from the PNW until it can validate and start using a customized version of the new detection assay test provided quickly by Monsanto and USDA. U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) expects that to happen by mid- to later-August. As we expect the testing will detect no GE wheat, the results will likely end the suspension very soon after Japan starts testing. In 2013, WW suspension was in place for 2 months. U.S. hard red winter and hard red spring tenders/purchases so open purchases (already contracted) with vessels loading in the PNW and discharge operation in Japan continue normally.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) took prompt and thorough action to identify the regulated wheat event in the plants that were discovered and has confirmed to us that:
the situation was isolated to only 22 plants in a fallow field;

  • there is no health risk associated with this wheat event based on Food and Drug Administration evaluation;
  • there is no evidence suggesting that this wheat event, or any other GE wheat event, has entered U.S. commercial supplies;
  • a validated test to detect this event in wheat was quickly produced and made available to trading partners if so desired to help ensure that any market disruption will be limited and temporary; and
  • a statement with more facts about this situation is posted at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/biotechnology/brs-news-and-information/ct_news.

The agency has kept our organizations, as well as government officials in several key overseas markets, informed as it worked to find the facts. In turn, our organizations have shared information about the situation with the domestic grain trade and downstream customer organizations, as well as overseas grain trade and buyers in several countries that import U.S. wheat.

USW, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and state wheat organizations believe that APHIS has successfully managed this situation and provided sufficient evidence that this has not affected commercial wheat supplies. Based on that and other facts, we are very confident that nothing has changed the U.S. wheat supply chain’s ability to deliver wheat that matches every customer’s specifications. In fact, the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Farms and Rural Affairs has issued a public statement saying that there is no concern from Korean experts, including officials from the Quarantine Inspection Agency (QIA), that GM wheat has been or will be introduced to Korea.

It is also important to note that grain import officials in Japan and Korea have tested for the GE event identified in 2013 in virtually every load of U.S. wheat delivered to those countries since August 2013. The event has never been identified in more than 500 million bushels of wheat exported to Japan alone. In addition, researchers at Washington State University have been conducting routine phenotype screening for glyphosate tolerance in wheat since 2013. In each of the last three growing seasons, this field screening process has involved more than 80 varieties, 2,000 advanced breeding lines and more than 35,000 individual plots. Varieties included in these trials represent more than 95 percent of the wheat acreage planted in the state of Washington and much of the acreage planted in Oregon and Idaho. Screening to date has revealed no glyphosate tolerant wheat plants in these trials.

The federal systems in place ensure that unauthorized biotech products are tightly regulated and do not enter commercial channels. In fact, APHIS recently changed its rules to require developers to apply for a permit for field trials involving GE wheat. APHIS said this more stringent process will add protection that GE wheat will remain confined during the trials.

Nothing is more important to the U.S. wheat industry than the trust we have earned with customers at home and around the world by providing a reliable supply of high-quality wheat. We thank our customers for their reasonable approach to this situation and we are confident that public and private breeders and federal regulators are taking all appropriate actions to ensure that U.S. wheat, wheat flour and wheat foods remain safe, wholesome and nutritious for people, and in animal feed, around the world.

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 (FAS).

For additional information, please contact:

Ed Curlett
Director of Public Affairs
APHIS
301-851-4052

Steve Mercer
U.S. Wheat Associates
703-650-0251

Ainslie Campbell
National Association of Wheat Growers
202-547-7800

Glen Squires
Washington Grain Commission
509-456-2481

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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 United States – +1-605-331-4923). 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 — Quality control and purchasing managers from three Venezuelan flour mills will visit North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Ohio July 31 to Aug. 6, 2016, to learn more about the value of working with the U.S. wheat supply chain. With funding from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is sponsoring this trade team in cooperation with the North Dakota Wheat Commission, Nebraska Wheat Board, Kansas Wheat Commission and Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program.

Chad Weigand, USW Assistant Regional Director for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, said U.S. wheat exports to Venezuela are not as strong as they once were, in part because increased government intervention and limited access to U.S. dollars have forced millers there to make cost a primary buying decision.

Venezuela imports durum, high protein spring wheat and soft red winter wheat. However, current market conditions there have given Mexican durum a competitive advantage. Canadian western red spring wheat has only recently come up in price to near parity with U.S. hard red spring (HRS) wheat, but the high U.S. dollar value continues to favor Canadian origin export prices. For the vibrant cookie and snack market in Venezuela, soft red winter grown in eastern Canada continues to compete with U.S. soft red winter (SRW).

Participants on this team represent some of the largest mills in Venezuela, but they do not have significant knowledge of U.S. wheat quality, its marketing system or federal inspection services.

“With key decision makers like these, we have to demonstrate why performance and value is worth more, but it is very difficult for our staff to conduct activities in Venezuela,” said Weigand. “By coordinating with our state wheat commissions, however, we can bring these customers to the United States to see our production and export system at work. That first-hand experience will help increase their confidence in U.S. wheat.”

Weigand, who is based in USW’s regional office in Mexico City, is leading the team, which includes Jenny Villasuso, Purchasing Manager for MONACA, the second largest milling group in Venezuela. Laura Paz is Purchasing and Quality Manager for Pastas Capri in Caracas, one of Venezuela’s largest pasta producers. Violeta Rosales is Purchasing Manager for Molinos Hidalgo, which operates a mill in Catia La Mar.

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 — A large purchasing decision demands serious consideration, and for wheat buyers from Colombia, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is adding value to that process by bringing them to the United States. Five executives from Colombia will visit North Dakota, Montana and Louisiana July 24 to 30, 2016, to gain a better understanding of the U.S. wheat industry and renew their familiarity with the advantages of the U.S wheat marketing system.

“This team represents the major flour, cookie and pasta groups in Colombia. They are experienced buyers and account for 40 percent of the country’s wheat imports in 2015,” said USW Assistant Regional Director Osvaldo Seco, who is leading the team. “They are directly responsible for evaluating and importing wheat for their organizations, and this trip will put them directly in contact with traders and better inform their purchasing decisions.”

With funding from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, USW collaborated with the North Dakota Wheat Commission (NDWC) and the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee (MWBC) to organize and host this trade team.

Colombia was the top destination for U.S. wheat in South America in marketing year 2015/16 (June to May), importing over 670,000 metric tons (MT) from four of the six U.S. wheat classes. The United States has typically supplied more than half of Colombia’s 1.4 million metric tons (MMT) of annual wheat imports, in what is considered a competitive market. USW staff in its South American Region office in Santiago, Chile, has a history of providing technical performance information with Colombian millers and buyers to improve product quality using U.S. wheat.

The team will start its visit in Fargo, ND, to hear from a variety of North Dakota State University durum and spring wheat researchers on breeding and quality programs, pasta production techniques and pricing strategy. They will also meet with staff and growers from the NDWC and Northern Crops Institute, as well as visit a grain elevator and Todd Ellison’s farm in Mapleton, ND. In Great Falls, MT, the MWBC with host the team on tours of the State Grain Lab, Pasta Montana, General Mill, Columbia Grain and Arganbright farm in Carter, MT. The final leg of the trip will be to New Orleans, LA, where the team will visit the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) field office, and both a Bunge and Cargill grain elevator.

USW Marketing Specialist Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann will join the team in New Orleans.

“Colombia is a top destination for U.S. soft red winter and hard red winter, and this team is very representative of the Colombian industry. The agenda for this team is top-notch from the speakers and tours in North Dakota and Montana to the export terminal tours in New Orleans,” said Bryant-Erdmann. “This team will see U.S. wheat from farm to port, and I am excited to be able to accompany them.”

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 (FAS).

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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 United States – +1-605-331-4923). 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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FARGO, North Dakota – The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Board of Directors installed new officers at its annual meeting July 20, 2016, in Fargo, ND. Jason Scott of Easton, MD, was installed as Chairman, while last year’s Chairman Brian O’Toole of Crystal, ND, transitioned to Past Chairman and Chairman of the USW Budget Committee. Other officers installed included Mike Miller of Ritzville, WA, as Vice Chairman and Chris Kolstad of Ledger, MT, as Secretary-Treasurer. USW officers were elected to these one-year positions at the January 2016 Winter Wheat Conference in Washington, DC.

Jason Scott is a sixth generation wheat farmer from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where he is farm manager of Walnut Hill Farms and produces soft red winter (SRW) wheat, row crops and vegetables. He is also an Independent Sales Representative for Pioneer Hi-Bred Int’l, under the title Scott’s Seed, L.L.C. Scott is a founding member of the Dorchester County Young Farmers, past president of the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board and the Maryland Grain Producers Association. In 2011, he won the Maryland Young Farmers Achievement Award. In his seven years on the USW Board, Scott has represented his state and USW on two board team delegations to Africa and Europe and served as Secretary-Treasurer and Vice Chairman as well as on several USW committees. He and his wife Dr. Casey Scott have a young daughter.

Mike 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 third term on the Washington Grain Commission and his fifth 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.

Chris Kolstad is the fourth generation of his family to farm in Montana’s “Golden Triangle” region. He and his wife Vicki have four children, including their son Cary who is a partner in their operation. They grow hard red winter (HRW) wheat, dark northern spring wheat and durum, plus barley and dry peas. A commissioner of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Kolstad has represented his state on the USW board since 2012. He is also a member of the Montana Grain Growers Association and Montana Farm Bureau. His community leadership includes serving on his local school board, as treasurer of his family’s church and as a regular blood donor who has given almost 19 gallons of blood since 1972.

Brian O’Toole is the president of T.E. O’Toole Farm Seed Company. He and his wife Sara have four children and raise wheat, edible beans and sugarbeets on their northeast North Dakota farm. 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. He has served as Secretary-Treasurer and Vice Chairman of USW.

Also during the USW board meeting, committees met on Monday, July 18, and Tuesday, July 19, including the Joint Biotechnology and Joint International Trade Policy committees that operate in conjunction with the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). Official business was called to order Tuesday, July 19, and continued through Wednesday, July 20.

Reports to the board included a welcome from North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley, background on local production and policy from the Agriculture Commissioner of North Dakota, Doug Goehring, and a review of market factors that could change the dynamics of the world wheat market from Mike Krueger, President of The Money Farm. The board also heard an update on trade relations with Cuba from Tyler Jameson, Legislative Assistant to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), USW Regional Vice President Mitch Skalicky and Assistant Director of Policy Ben Conner. The farmer directors from 18 states also heard from Vance Taylor, President and General Manager of the North Dakota Mill and Elevator Association in Grand Forks, ND, about the history and output of the only state-owned milling facility in the United States.

USW’s next Board meeting will be held jointly with NAWG in Denver, CO, Nov. 2 to 5, 2016.

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.” The activities of USW are made possible by producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and through cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org or contact your state wheat commission.

Header Photo Caption: Caption: USW Officers were installed at the organization’s Board of Directors meeting July 20, 2016, in Fargo, ND. Left to right: Roy Motter, Brawley, CA, rotated off the officer roster as 2015/16 Past Chairman; Brian O’Toole, Crystal, ND, is now 2016/17 Past Chairman; Jason Scott, Easton, MD, is now 2016/17 Chairman; Chris Kolstad of Ledger, MT, is now 2016/17 Secretary-Treasurer; Alan Tracy has served as USW President since 1997.

Caption: Jason Scott, Easton, MD, accepts the U.S. Wheat Associates Chairman’s gavel from Brian O’Toole, Crystal, ND, at the USW Board of Directors meeting in Fargo, ND.

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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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U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), the industry’s export market development organization, promotes three associates to Vice President. Ian Flagg is named Regional Vice President for the organization’s European and Middle Eastern, North and Eastern Africa regions. Jennifer Sydney becomes Vice President of Programs and Planning, and Dalton Henry becomes Vice President of Policy. In addition, Shawn Campbell is promoted to Deputy Director, West Coast Office, and Jim Frahm becomes Senior Advisor.

Flagg is based in USW’s regional office in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Sydney and Henry serve in the organization’s Headquarters Office in Arlington, VA. Campbell works in Portland, OR, and Frahm works half-time from his home in Charleston, SC.

“I have said many times how proud I am of the people who work at U.S. Wheat Associates,” said USW President Alan Tracy. “These associates and the people who report to them are making a real and positive difference for USW and for the U.S. wheat farmers we represent. Their commitment to their jobs and promoting U.S. wheat is very strong and is clearly evident in the results of their work.”

Minnesota native Ian Flagg first served USW as Assistant Director, West Coast Office, then as Market Analyst in the Headquarters Office, before accepting a position in 2009 as Assistant Director for the Middle East, East and North Africa (MEENA) region in Cairo. He was promoted to Regional Director in 2014 and moved to Casablanca, Morocco, then transferred again to Rotterdam in January 2016 to direct activities in MEENA and Europe. Flagg has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and a master’s degree in Agribusiness and Applied Economics from North Dakota State University.

Jennifer Sydney directs the preparation and submission of USW’s annual Unified Export Strategy proposal to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), manages FAS activity amendments, coordinates state funding and supervises USW Programs staff. Sydney had similar responsibilities at the U.S. Grains Council in Washington, DC, before joining USW in 2010. She is a native of Greeley, CO, and received a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies from the University of Colorado.

Dalton Henry has lead responsibility for coordinating the USW policy team’s efforts and managing relations with wheat value chain organizations. He joined USW in March 2015 after five years with Kansas Wheat as Director of Governmental Affairs. Henry grew up on and is still involved with a diversified crop and livestock operation near Randolph, KS. He has a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications and Journalism from Kansas State University.

As Deputy Director, West Coast Office, Shawn Campbell is responsible for liaison with the grain export trade and constituent state-level wheat commissions, hosting visiting trade delegations and additional support for headquarters and overseas office staff. Before joining USW in 2009, Campbell was an agricultural economist for an Alberta, Canada, feedlot. An Oregon native, Campbell earned a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness and Agricultural Systems Management and a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Idaho.

Jim Frahm has been with USW since 1978, serving most recently as Vice President of Planning. He coordinated long term strategy and program evaluations with and between USW’s overseas offices and USDA FAS. As Senior Advisor, Frahm will continue to represent the organization on wheat quality and sanitary/phytosanitary issues and in other assignments. His first position with USW was in Rotterdam directing market development activities in Eastern Europe. He worked as a grain merchandiser for Continental Grain before joining USW. Frahm received a bachelor’s degree in History and International Relations from Iowa State University. He also earned a master’s degree in International Affairs specializing in Russian area studies at Columbia University.

USW works in more than 100 countries 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 18 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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USW welcomes Kurt Coppens to its Arlington, VA, headquarters office staff as fiscal officer effective July 5, 2016. In that position, Coppens will consolidate expenses for USW’s 15 foreign offices for USDA claims, perform internal auditing, prepare reconciliations and many other financial reporting tasks.

He will report to Kevin McGarry, USW vice president of finance.

“Kurt has a wide breadth of accounting experience and significant international exposure over more than 10 years. I think Kurt will add great value to USW and I am excited to have him join the finance team,” said McGarry.

Most recently, Coppens was employed as an accounting manager at Agora, Inc., a specialty publishing house in Baltimore, MD. Prior to that, Coppens was an accounting manager at Agora’s office in Paris, France, from 2009 to 2011. In both positions, he managed company accounting practices, revised accounting systems and served as a liaison between the Baltimore headquarters and the French and Swiss offices.

Prior to 2009, Coppens worked for such international companies as BridgeStreet Corporate Housing Worldwide, Intelsat Global Service Corporation, NeuStar, Inc, and FaciliCom International.

Coppens holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from George Washington University in Washington, DC, where he majored in finance and international business. He is fluent in French, and proficient in Dutch and German.

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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 — Reliable ingredient sourcing and supply are key to any market functioning successfully. For 15 years, Nigerian millers have traveled to the United States to take stock of their primary supply of HRW wheat. This year, two milling executives from South Africa and Ghana are joining five Nigerians on a team that will travel to Texas, Kansas, North Dakota and Minnesota June 12 to 24, 2016, to assess trade opportunities and U.S. wheat quality.

“The milling industries in these countries rely on an uninterrupted supply of quality wheat,” said Gerald Theus, USW regional assistant director for Sub-Saharan Africa in the regional Cape Town, South Africa office. “In competitive markets where we face new challenges, there is nothing more valuable than connecting these participants directly with the farmers and other members of the supply chain.”

USW collaborated with the Texas Wheat Board, Kansas Wheat Commission, North Dakota Wheat Commission and Minnesota Research and Promotion Council to organize and host this trade team. Theus and James Ogunyemi, USW technical consultant for the Lagos, Nigeria, office, will lead the team.

In marketing year 2015/16 (June to May), Nigeria was once again one of the largest buyers of all U.S. wheat classes and is the dominant buyer in USW’s Sub-Saharan Africa region having imported more than 1 million metric tons (MMT) of hard red winter (HRW). The market development activities USW followed there provides a foundation for other nearby countries including Ghana. South Africa is a steady if not large wheat importer but with good potential.

“This team represents major milling groups in each of their respective countries,” said Theus. “Mills throughout Africa appreciate the high milling quality characteristics of U.S. wheat and its superior baking aspects.”

Bringing these buyers to see U.S. wheat quality and to discuss ways to keep their importing costs down is a very important activity during a time of very aggressive competition. Throughout the tour, the team will meet with various grain merchandisers and state wheat commissions, and visit farmers in each state to see the progress of the 2016/17 wheat crop. In Texas, the team will visit the Port of Corpus Christi and in Kansas, their stops include the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, USDA’s Center for Grain and Animal Health Research and IGP Institute. During their travel to North Dakota and Minnesota, the team will meet with wheat breeders and tour the Alton Grain Terminal, Duluth Seaway Port Authority and CHS Export Terminal.

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 — For more than 54 years, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has provided trusted information about supply, quality and functionality of U.S. wheat and useful technical service to millers and the broader wheat foods industry in the Republic of the Philippines. This work, supported by farmers and export market development program funding administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), has created a strong preference for U.S. wheat in this Southeast Asian nation.

To help sustain that preference, USW has invited four influential Philippine journalists to the United States June 9 to 18, 2016, to learn more about U.S. wheat quality improvement, production and marketing. Ric Pinca, executive director of the Philippine Milling Association and Joe Sowers, USW assistant vice president and regional director for South Asia, who is based in Manila, will lead the team on visits to the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and Washington, DC.

“The Philippines is still a developing country so food can be a very sensitive issue,” Sowers said. “Cost and outside influences get attention, sometimes in ways that do not reflect the real situation, and Filipinos have questions about why so much U.S. wheat is imported. We want to show these influential reporters that our production and marketing systems are transparent and benefit the wheat food industry and consumers in the Philippines.”

In the PNW June 8 to 14, the reporters will follow the path U.S. wheat takes from the breeders’ field trials to a bulk vessel bound for an overseas port. USW’s West Coast Office in Portland, OR, in cooperation with the Oregon Wheat Commission, the Washington Grain Commission and the Idaho Wheat Commission will demonstrate how U.S. wheat quality and functionality is maintained from breeding and production through transportation. The reporters will also watch Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) officials independently certify that U.S. wheat meets buyer specifications before it is loaded for export.

In Washington, DC, June 15 to 17, USW headquarters staff will review the world and U.S. wheat supply and demand situation and how U.S. prices are determined. The reporters will meet with representatives from the domestic and export grain trade as well as USDA officials to discuss how the activities of several agencies benefit buyers. Policy developments, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, are also on the agenda. Finally, the team will learn more about the U.S. milling and wheat foods industries and discuss such common issues as wheat food safety and nutrition before departing for the Philippines on June 18.

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 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. Its activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars contributed by 18 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding from 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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Following is a Joint Statement from U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, the International Trade Commission (ITC) released its highly anticipated report on the economic impacts expected to accrue from the adoption of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). For the entire agriculture and food sector, the report forecasts a $7.2 billion increase in exports or a growth of about 2.6 percent by 2032 compared to the same timeframe without TPP.

The report recognized that the U.S. wheat industry would see substantial gains in market access and subsequent exports to Vietnam where the United States currently competes at a tariff disadvantage to Australian suppliers. Specifically, the ITC notes that U.S. wheat and other grain exports to Vietnam would increase by a healthy 25.3 percent by 2032 under TPP. However, ITC also concludes that U.S. wheat exports to Japan would decline by 17 percent under TPP. Given our industry’s 60 years of experience in the unique Japanese market, we respectfully believe that ITC got this one wrong.

There are two distinct markets for wheat in Japan: one for high quality food grade wheat and one for lower quality, lower priced livestock feed wheat. Japan has consistently imported about 60 percent of its annual milling wheat needs from the United States, with Canada and Australia making up the balance. Because access to Japan’s milling wheat market would remain equal among the three suppliers under TPP and because Japan requires different types of wheat for distinct uses, we see no reason why U.S. sales would decline.

Regarding the feed wheat market, ITC notes that Canada would see higher feed wheat sales under TPP because it is a “low-cost producer.” If Canada has such an advantage over U.S. wheat producers, then why has U.S. wheat made up 45 percent of Japan’s feed wheat imports on average since 2013 while only 20 percent has been imported from Canada? The relative cost of feed wheat compared to alternative feed grain has far more to do with Japan’s feed import decisions than cost of production. As long as corn and other feed grain alternatives remain inexpensive Japan does not buy much feed wheat from any origin.

ITC’s statement that Canada is positioned to out compete the U.S. in either milling or feed wheat sales to Japan is out of touch with the reality of Japan’s preferences for U.S. wheat. It also fails to recognize that Canada’s competitive position with respect to the United States would be unchanged under TPP.

Modeling policy impacts to individual countries 16 years in the future is inherently difficult theoretical work. The reality is that TPP reduces barriers facing U.S. wheat farmers and keeps us on a level playing field with two of our largest competitors. That is particularly important because Canada and Australia continue to seek tariff advantages by negotiating and signing free trade agreements in competitive markets at a much more rapid pace than the United States.

“The assumptions made in the ITC report are disappointing and misleading,” said NAWG President Gordon Stoner. “U.S. wheat farmers stand to benefit from a lower MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries) markup and new market access in Japan and from being able to compete on a level playing field in Vietnam. Congress should act quickly to enable farmers to take full advantage of the potential economic opportunities at stake under TPP.”

What really sets TPP apart from past agreements is it creates a platform for future growth. Not only does it target one of the fastest growing regions in the world, but once enacted it becomes a forum for other countries to join. Countries in line to join TPP include Indonesia, the world’s second largest wheat importer, the Philippines and Thailand, also significant importers. Each country already signed FTA’s with Australia.

That is why U.S. wheat farmers remain convinced that we need swift consideration and approval of TPP.

“Every day that TPP implementation is delayed, our ability to compete on a level playing field in established and new markets erodes that much more. Wheat farmers need TPP, but so do our customers around the world,” said USW Chairman Brian O’Toole, a wheat farmer from Crystal, ND.

Read the full ITC report online at https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4607.pdf. Additional information about how TPP will benefit wheat farmers is also online at https://www.uswheat.org/newsRelease/doc/9B4AC6CC055E03CC85257F4F0056A111?Open and at https://www.uswheat.org/factsheets/doc/026BAE500967A7FE85257F2A006F0FDE/$File/TPP%20Fact%20Sheet%20Handout%20PDF.pdf?OpenElement#.