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This is a Joint Statement by U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conclusion that it has no further questions regarding the safety of drought tolerant HB4 wheat developed by Bioceres Crop Solutions Corp.

The finding by the FDA is not an approval for this or any other transgenic wheat to be planted for commercial sale in the United States. To date, the HB4 wheat has been approved for commercial production within a closed system in Argentina only. The trait has been approved for human consumption by regulators in Brazil in the form of flour, and in Australia, New Zealand and now in the United States. Bioceres recently announced it will seek approval to plant HB4 wheat in Australia, but it has not announced plans to commercialize the trait in the United States.

With global demand for wheat increasing every year the need to produce more wheat in sustainable ways is clear. Drought had already reduced world wheat supplies and pushed prices higher before the invasion of Ukraine cut off supplies from the world’s fifth largest wheat exporting nation. A trait such as drought tolerance in wheat could help wheat growers in increasingly arid regions be more productive and ease food security concerns. Bioceres says the HB4 drought-tolerance technology has been shown to increase wheat yields by an average of 20% in water-limited conditions.

The U.S. wheat industry recognizes the benefits and value that can be created through the prudent application of modern biotechnology. USW and NAWG are guided by jointly approved “Wheat Industry Principles for Biotechnology Commercialization,” which lay out specific steps expected from plant breeding companies if they wish to commercialize transgenic wheat in the United States.

In addition, USW and NAWG support the ability of domestic and overseas customers to make purchases based on their preferences for specific wheat traits, classes, qualities and characteristics.

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Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, President Biden announced the nomination of Doug McKalip as Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

“NAWG applauds President Biden nominating Doug McKalip to this critical role, and we encourage the Senate Finance Committee to work quickly in moving forward this nomination,” said NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule. “I know Doug very well from his decades of public service at the USDA, and he will be able to hit the ground running on day one. There are numerous challenges facing the United States when it comes to ag trade, but we are eager to see Doug’s nomination move quickly so he may begin important work at USTR to advocate for U.S. wheat farmers.”

“Trade is incredibly important to U.S. wheat producers, who export about half their production each year. That makes securing market access and the work of USTR critical,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “We welcome the nomination and look forward to him being confirmed and in place to advocate for agriculture at USTR.”

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About U.S. Wheat Associates

USW’s mission is to develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers 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 www.uswheat.org.

About the National Association of Wheat Growers

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

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BEND, Ore. — Rhonda Larson, East Grand Forks, Minn., started her year as 2022/23 Chairperson of the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors June 8, 2022, at their annual meeting in Bend, Ore.  Michael Peters of Okarche, Okla., took his position as Vice Chairman. Clark Hamilton, Ririe, Idaho, began his year as Secretary-Treasurer. Darren Padget, Grass Valley, Ore., will serve one year as USW Past Chairman. USW is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry.

“I want to thank the entire wheat family for their support,” Larson said to the directors. “We heard here about all the challenges we face. But with your help, I look forward to representing American wheat farmers in overseas markets.”

2020/2022 USW Chairman Darren Padget (R) passes the gavel to 2022/23 USW Chairperson Rhonda Larson at the 2022 USW Summer Board Meeting.

She will soon represent growers at the World Trade Organization’s 12th Ministerial Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 17 years, serving as chair from 2010 to 2012. She served on the Wheat Foods Council board and is a long-time member of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.

Honored Service

Padget was honored at a reception June 7, 2022, for his service as USW Chairman, which covered two years because of pandemic travel restrictions.

“Considering Darren’s many years of service it would be hard to measure all the positive things he has done to help wheat farm families here and across the country,” said Oregon Wheat Commission CEO Amanda Hoey.

Previously, Padget held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010. He chaired the Research and Technology Committee for the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and is the Vice Chairman of the Wheat Marketing Center board of directors. He is a commissioner with the Oregon Wheat Commission.

Group photo of the 2022/23 USW Officers

2022/23 USW Officers. (L-R) Michael Peters, Okarche, Okla., Vice Chairman, Darren Padget, Grass Valley, Ore., Past Chairman; Rhonda Larson, East Grand Forks, Minn.; Chairperson; Clark Hamilton, Ririe, Idaho, Secretary-Treasurer; and Vince Peterson, USW President.

USW Vice Chairman Peters serves on the Mid-Oklahoma Coop board of directors and on the Plains Partners Coop Board, a division of CHS, and is a member of the Okarche Rural Fire Fighters’ Association Board. He has also served as President of St. John’s Lutheran Church. He currently serves as a Commissioner and Chairman of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission.

USW Secretary-Treasurer Hamilton served as an executive officer of the Idaho Grain Producers Association (IGPA), including as president, and has been a board member of Ririe Grain and Feed Cooperative, Inc., for several years. He is currently one of five wheat growers appointed as a commissioner on the Idaho Wheat Commission and served as chair of that organization.

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 www.uswheat.org.

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Arlington, Va. – Today, President Biden announced the nomination of Alexis Taylor to serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs. The Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs mission area plays a key role in developing and implementing USDA’s trade policy, oversees and facilitates foreign market access, and promotion opportunities for U.S. agriculture. The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) applaud the nomination of Alexis Taylor.

“Ms. Taylor has worked to open new markets for American agriculture in her previous position at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and as director of Oregon’s Department of Agriculture,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “Looking ahead to the next Farm Bill negotiations, we know she will be an experienced advocate who can help explain to policymakers how important export market development programs are to our country’s farmers and ranchers.”

“NAWG welcomes President Biden nominating Alexis Taylor to this key role and encourage the Senate Agriculture Committee to work diligently and expeditiously in considering this nomination, said NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule. “I have worked with Alexis for over fifteen years and know the industry appreciates her experience and understanding of the agriculture community and trade issues. We are eager to see this key leadership role be filled quickly and encourage timely Senate consideration so she may begin important work at the USDA to advocate for U.S. wheat farmers and be an advocate for American agriculture around the world.”

Alexis Taylor currently serves as the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Director, where she oversees the state’s efforts on food safety and consumer protection, natural resource protection and the promotion of Oregon products. Prior to this, Taylor oversaw the USDA’s Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, where she worked to improve market access and improve the competitiveness of U.S. agricultural products around the world. Before joining USDA, Alexis worked on Capitol Hill in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Attend the Inaugural Ag on the Mall Event in Washington, D.C. on March 21-22

ARLINGTON, Virginia – U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA), and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) are joining the inaugural Celebration of Modern Agriculture on the National Mall near the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) headquarters on Monday, March 21 and Tuesday, March 22 (National Ag Day). The event will showcase America’s equipment manufacturers, farmers, ranchers, and agriculture innovators on the cutting-edge of science and technology.

USW, NAMA, and NAWG will host a booth that tells the story of wheat production, from field to flour and wheat foods’ final destinations around the world. The booth will include an interactive tabletop display and trivia.

During the event, leaders from all three organizations will be available to speak with media about their organizations’ participation in the event and how America’s farmers, ranchers, and growers are sustainably providing for a growing world.

WHAT:

Celebration of Modern Agriculture on the National Mall

WHEN:

Monday, March 21, 2022, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET and Tuesday, March 22, 2022,

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET

WHERE:

On the National Mall, near the Smithsonian Metro and outside the USDA Headquarters between the Smithsonian Museums.

USW, NAMA, and NAWG will be located at Booth 28. View the event map here.

Celebration of Modern Agriculture on the National Mall 2022 Map

MORE INFO:

Access a virtual press room with additional materials from USW, NAMA, and NAWG here.

CONTACTS: 

NAWG: Mariah Wollweber, mwollweber@wheatworld.org

NAMA: Sarah Hubbart, shubbart@namamillers.org

USW: Amanda Spoo, ajae.spoo@uswheat.org

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U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia – Following productive talks with the United States last year, the Vietnamese government eliminated a three percent U.S. wheat import tariff on Dec. 30, 2021. On Feb. 6, 2022, the first shipment of U.S. wheat purchased without a tariff arrived at port in Ho Chi Minh City, carrying more than 68,350 metric tons of soft white and hard red spring wheat grown in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains.

“With the import tariff reduced to zero, the Vietnamese buyer saved almost $1 million on this vessel load of U.S. wheat alone,” said Robert Hanson, Agricultural Counselor, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Hanoi. “We thank the Vietnam government for ending the tariff, a decision that will hold the line on food costs and help make U.S. wheat more competitive in Vietnam’s growing market.”

“The Foreign Agricultural Service worked hard to cut this barrier and level the playing field for U.S. wheat in Vietnam,” said Vince Peterson, President, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW). “Vietnam first reduced the U.S. wheat import tariff from five percent to three percent in July 2020. The talks continued until Vietnam published the final decree, and USDA and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced in November 2021 that the tariff would be eliminated.”

Photo shows a bulk vessel at port in Vietnam.

A bulk vessel loaded with more than 68,000 metric tons of U.S. wheat purchased by Vietnamese flour millers after the Vietnam government eliminated a 3% U.S. wheat import tariff arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on Feb. 6, 2022. Eliminating the tariff helps make U.S. wheat imports more competitive with Australian and Canadian wheat. Photo courtesy USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.

Vietnam imports an average of about four million metric tons of wheat per year. Australia and Canada are large wheat suppliers to Vietnam and have enjoyed duty-free access to Vietnam for many years under regional trade agreements.

However, despite the applied U.S. wheat import tariff, Vietnamese millers doubled U.S. import volume to more than 520,000 metric tons between 2015 and 2021. In addition to soft white and hard red spring wheat, Vietnam imported U.S. hard red winter and soft red winter wheat in 2021. That returned about $130 million to U.S. farmers and the wheat supply industry.

“Eliminating the U.S. wheat import tariff came at the right time for Vietnam given the run-up in U.S. and global wheat prices,” said Peterson. “We will keep helping Vietnamese customers gain more value with the U.S. wheat supplies needed to meet the growing demand there for better quality wheat foods.”

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About USW

U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors elected new officers for the organization’s 2022/23 (July to June) fiscal year at their meeting Jan. 14, 2022, in Washington, D.C. The board elected Clark Hamilton of Ririe, Ida., as Secretary-Treasurer; Michael Peters of Okarche, Okla., as Vice Chairman; and Rhonda Larson of East Grand Forks, Minn., as Chairperson. These farmers will begin their new leadership roles at the USW board meeting in June 2022. Current Chairman Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore., will become Past Chairman at that time. USW is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry.

Group photo of the 2022/23 USW Officers

2022/23 USW Officers. (L-R) Michael Peters, Okarche, Okla., Vice Chairman-Elect, Darren Padget, Grass Valley, Ore., Past Chairman-Elect; Rhonda Larson, East Grand Forks, Minn.; Chairperson-Elect; Clark Hamilton, Ririe, Idaho, Secretary-Treasurer-Elect; and Vince Peterson, USW President.

“I decided to run for office because I sincerely believe that the success and profitability of wheat growers depends on developing and protecting our export markets,” Hamilton said. “Growers have to be involved because our relationships with overseas customers are critical in this increasingly competitive global market where U.S. wheat is rarely the lowest cost source. Going forward, I am going to listen to our customers to ensure USW is adapting to meet their needs. And I am going to listen to USW staff to be sure the Board of Directors is providing the guidance and support they need to carry out the organization’s mission.”

Portrait Clark Hamilton

Clark Hamilton, a wheat farmer from Ririe, Idaho, was elected Jan. 14, 2022, as the next Secretary-Treasurer of U.S. Wheat Associates.

Hamilton and his wife, Kristy own Hamilton Triple C Farms, a 6,000-acre diversified family farm in eastern Idaho, that they operate with their two sons. They grow four specific wheat classes as well as barley, potatoes, pulses, and alfalfa.

Hamilton spent several years serving and representing Idaho wheat and barley farmers as an executive officer of the Idaho Grain Producers Association (IGPA), including one year as president, and has been a board member of Ririe Grain and Feed Cooperative, Inc., for several years. While serving in those roles, he became very familiar with the local, state and national issues impacting agriculture and particularly wheat. He is currently one of five wheat growers appointed as a commissioner on the Idaho Wheat Commission and served as chair of that organization. Hamilton remains active in leadership roles in his church and community.

Michael Peters is a farmer and rancher growing hard red winter wheat and canola, and grazing stocker cattle on wheat. He serves on the Mid-Oklahoma Coop board of directors and on the Plains Partners Coop Board, a division of CHS, and is a member of the Okarche Rural Fire Fighters’ Association Board. He has also served as President of St. John’s Lutheran Church. He currently serves as a Commissioner and Chairman of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. He has participated in several farm leadership programs sponsored by CHS and the National Wheat Foundation. Peters and his wife Linda have two sons who work with him and his father on their farm.

Rhonda Larson was raised on her family’s Red River Valley farm and engaged full-time in the operation for nearly 30 years. Her father started the farm growing potatoes, wheat and barley. With her two brothers and her son, the third generation on the farm, they currently grow wheat and sugarbeets. Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 17 years; serving as chair from 2010 to 2012. She served on the Wheat Foods Council board and is a long-time member of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association. As a USW director, she served on the Long-Range Planning Committee and the Budget Committee. Larson received a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a juris doctor’s degree in law from the University of North Dakota.

Darren Padget is a fourth-generation farmer in Oregon’s Sherman County, with a dryland wheat and summer fallow rotation currently producing registered and certified seed on 3,400 acres annually. Previously, Padget held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010. He chaired the Research and Technology Committee for the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and served on the Mid-Columbia Producers board of directors, for which he was an officer for 10 years. He is a commissioner with the Oregon Wheat Commission.

U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — Today’s announcement that Vietnam’s government will eliminate a 3 percent U.S. wheat import tariff effective December 30, 2021, is welcome news to producers at home and their customers and wheat food processors in Vietnam.

As we reported in August 2021, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) appreciate the efforts by the Biden Administration, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance toward eliminating this tariff, which follows a reduction from 5 percent to 3 percent in July 2020.

Vietnam imported more than 500,000 metric tons of U.S. hard red spring, soft white, hard red winter, and soft red winter wheat valued at $129 million in marketing year 2020/21, second in volume only to Australia. Vietnam imports an average of about 4 million metric tons of wheat per year.

“U.S. wheat exports to Vietnam’s growing market are much slower so far this year because of short supplies and rising prices, so eliminating this tariff is very important for growers like me,” said Darren Padget, USW Chairman and a soft white wheat grower from Grass Valley, Ore.

“With about half of the wheat we produce available for export each year, we depend on increasing access to markets like Vietnam,” said Dave Milligan, NAWG President and a wheat grower from Cass City, Mich. “Here at home, NAWG will continue advocating for trade policies that work toward positive opportunities for wheat growers and their customers.”

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About USW

U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

About NAWG

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 on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members, Administration officials and the public.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) announces that Joe Bippert will join the export market development organization as Assistant Regional Director for South Asia on Nov. 1, 2021. Bippert will work remotely until he and his family can relocate to USW’s office in Manila, Philippines. Bippert has served as Program Director with the Washington Grain Commission (WGC), Spokane, Wash., since January 2017.

“I am grateful for the time I have spent at the Washington Grain Commission representing the state’s wheat and barley producers, and the exposure to markets in South Asia,” Bippert said. “Now I look forward to expanding my service to every wheat producer in the United States as I begin my role at U.S. Wheat Associates.”

Joe Bippert

Joe Bippert will join U.S. Wheat Associates Nov. 1, 2021, as Assistant Regional Director, South Asia, and will relocate to Manila, Philippines, when pandemic travel rules allow.

“Having worked with Joe during his time with the Washington Grain Commission, we knew he was the right person with the proper skill set, personality and knowledge of the wheat industry to fill this position,” said USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Mike Spier. “He will have an experienced and successful manager in Joe Sowers, our Regional Vice President for South Asia, and excellent technical support to help him build the already strong demand for several U.S. wheat classes in the Philippines and the rest of the region.”

Joe Bippert grew up on a family timber farm near Olympia, Wash., and learned Spanish in Mexico while serving a church mission. After earning a Business degree from Brigham Young University in 2008, he began his career in international trade and marketing with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA). His focus was helping producer groups develop and implement international marketing strategies and included management of agricultural delegations on two governor-led international trade missions. With the WGC, Bippert manages Latin American marketing strategy, analyzes the state’s wheat industry economy and monitors trade and transportation policy. He currently co-chairs USW’s Wheat Transportation Working Group. Bippert, his wife Corinne and their sons Jack, Max and Luke currently call Spokane, Wash., home.

Major wheat markets in USW’s South Asian region include Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. U.S. wheat regional sales there of about 6.4 million metric tons, or about 235 million bushels, of hard red spring, soft white, hard red winter and some soft red winter wheat represented the largest regional sales volume and about 25% of total U.S. commercial wheat sales in marketing year 2020/21.

U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

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