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By Amanda J. Spoo, USW Assistant Director of Communications

Global demand for wheat food grows stronger every year, making exports vitally important to U.S. wheat farmers. As the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) works 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. USW relies on its successful working relationships with world-class educational partners that enhance its technical and trade service assistance to help separate U.S. wheat from its competitors. One of those partners is the Wheat Marketing Center (WMC) in Portland, Ore.

Located in the historic Albers Mill Building, WMC is a research and educational bridge between U.S. wheat farmers and their customers, dedicated to making the link between quality wheat and quality end products.

“Consumer tastes are evolving in domestic and international markets,” said Janice Cooper, WMC Managing Director. “WMC’s programs demonstrate how U.S. wheat can be used to meet changing consumer demand with products that are nutritious and cost competitive.”

In the mid-1980s, several state wheat commissions saw a need for a research and training facility that would help U.S. wheat customers understand how to best utilize U.S. wheat. With the help of the late Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield – who helped secure a federal grant to renovate the Albers Mill Building – WMC opened in 1988. Its charter members, state wheat commissions from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska and the Port of Portland, as well as five additional industry members, make up its board leadership. The building is also home to the Oregon Wheat Commission, Federal Grain Inspection Service and the USW West Coast Office.

WMC programming focuses on three pillars: technical training, research and crop quality testing.

Every year, USW identifies U.S. wheat market needs and works in partnership with WMC to provide technical training courses focused on addressing those topics. In 2018, USW is sponsoring customers from two of its eight marketing regions at WMC courses focused on noodle technology, frozen dough, baking products and contracting for wheat value.

“Earlier this year, the USW Taiwan Office brought a team to the Wheat Marketing Center to study flour quality for making different frozen dough products for the Taiwan baking industry,” said Sophia (Shu-ying) Yang, USW Asian Products/Nutrition Technologist. “The great facilities and experienced support staff and speakers helped make the course successful and met the objectives of the Taiwan millers.”

WMC also hosts a variety of other technical training courses, including independent courses that it organizes itself, partnerships with other entities and custom proprietary company courses.

In addition to technical training, WMC is involved in innovative research and product development.

“We identify research projects based on market need and market opportunity,” said Cooper. “If there is a challenge with the wheat harvest, we identify what research can be done to help navigate U.S. wheat customers through those challenges. Likewise, we study market demand and look for opportunities to help the industry move in new directions with new products.”

WMC uses its several pilot scale lines to give participants a hands-on experience.

“From crackers to Asian noodles and cookies to a full baking lab, we have the ability to make a wide array of wheat products in house,” said Cooper. “This equipment is the perfect size to link what is done in a research and development lab and a full scale food production facility, which is ideal for research, training and product development.”

Testing the quality of the crop is also an important service WMC provides. Each year it tests the quality of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) harvest and makes those results available in weekly reports on its website, as well as in USW’s weekly harvest report. It is responsible for the soft white (SW) and hard white (HW) wheat analysis featured in the annual USW Crop Quality Report, as well as an additional, more extensive SW report.

While many of its programs are focused on U.S. wheat customers, it is also important for the WMC to share why striving for better wheat quality is important and at the root its mission. Throughout the year, WMC hosts several grower workshops and programs for other visiting food and agriculture groups.

“The best way to explain what we do and why is for people to visit,” said Cooper. “With the other wheat industry partners in our building and our proximity to the many export elevators here, it makes visiting the Wheat Marketing Center a well-rounded opportunity.”

For those in search of more information in lieu of a visit, the WMC website serves as a gateway for valuable multi-media resources on research, the facility’s equipment, crop quality and testing. Ultimately, Cooper wants U.S. wheat farmers and customers to understand how WMC is helping the industry continue to move forward.

“We are unique because our focus is on end products, technology and giving customers a hands-on opportunity to take products made with a control flour that they are already using and compare it side by side with U.S. wheat and see the difference for themselves,” said Cooper. “Customers leave with a better appreciation of how valuable U.S. wheat really is and an understanding of the commitment made by U.S. wheat farmers to provide the flour they need to make the highest quality end products they are looking for.”

Learn more about the Wheat Marketing Center and its programming and services at https://www.wmcinc.org/.

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By Amanda J. Spoo, USW Assistant Director of Communications

Global demand for wheat food grows stronger every year, making exports vitally important to U.S. wheat farmers. As the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) works 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. USW relies on its successful working relationships with world-class educational partners that, through courses, workshops and seminars, enhance the technical and trade service assistance to help separate U.S. wheat from its competitors. One of those partners is AIB International (AIB) in Manhattan, Kan.

AIB was founded in 1919 as a technology and information center for bakers and food processors. Its mission is to empower the global food industry to elevate their food safety and grain-based production capabilities. AIB’s staff includes experts in baking production, experimental baking, cereal science, nutrition, food safety and hygiene. While most of its training occurs at its United States headquarters office, both AIB’s physical and virtual overseas offices are involved in coordinating its food safety services as well as public and private training on location.

“AIB has evolved as a company, but that educational piece of our mission has remained at the core of everything we do,” said Brian Strouts, AIB Vice President of Baking and Food Technical Services.

In 2018, USW is sponsoring participants from Japan, China and Hong Kong at AIB courses focused on variety breads and rolls, and baking science and technology. USW Technical Specialist Dr. Ting Liu recently completed the Baking Science and Technology Resident Course, an intensive, 16-week residency held twice a year that combines science, hands-on lab work and baking tradition. Liu shares her first-hand experience at the course in the story (The AIB Baking Science and Technology Course: A Pathway to Success) below.

Participants learn how key ingredients function and interact in baked products, which processes are critical to finished products, sound manufacturing practices and how to manage the production process. The course is accredited by the Kansas Board of Regents, so participants who pass it also receive 60 IACET (International Association for Continuing Education and Training) continuing education units.

“This course is the capstone of our baking training programs and holds quite a bit of weight in the industry because of its historical significance,” said Strouts. “This most recent class to graduate was class 192, and the true value of this certificate is the knowledge of the students who came before them in classes 1 through 191, and what that experience means to them individually and to their organizations.”

AIB also offers an extensive database of online resources, webinars and guides, both free and for purchase. This includes several resources focused on helping bakeries address key elements of the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act.

USW recognizes the value of sending both its own staff and U.S. wheat customers to AIB for training. Strouts explained that the key component of AIB’s relationship with USW is the international perspective from the participants that USW sponsors.

“Our courses — especially one as long at the Baking Science and Technology Course — is an immersion of its participants, their cultures and individual experiences,” said Strouts. “That value is intangible.”

Learn more about AIB and its programming and services at www.aibonline.org.

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By Dr. Ting Liu, Technical Specialist, USW Beijing Office

Before attending the Baking Science and Technology (BST) course at AIB International, I was told by a former BST graduate that it would be an intensive, demanding, and competitive course. The course curriculum guide advised us to expect “a minimum of eight hours in class/laboratory and two to four hours preparing homework each day.” So even before the start of the coursework, I realized that the BST course was no piece of cake. But only later did I fully realize the abundant and comprehensive baking knowledge that is included in this course.

The majority of attendees were from industrial bakeries, including Grupo Bimbo and Yamazaki Baking Co., Ltd, and the remaining were from the baking industry, including flour mills, machine manufacturers, educational programs and market development organizations. Attendees from the United States, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, China, Philippines, India and Uganda not only shared their different cultures, but also their diverse production experience. The instructors created a great learning atmosphere, helping participants with their studies and coping with the new environment. Without support and encouragement from instructors and fellow classmates, one may not successfully finish the course.

The content consists of six major components: Baking Science, Bread and Roll Production, Cake and Sweet Goods, Operations, Food Safety and Bakers Math. The curriculum emphasizes the fundamentals of baking science, formulations and procedures, but also approaches to solving commercial industrial-scale production problems.

As expected, AIB is fully equipped, representing the state of the art equipment and tools used in current production. The instructors are very knowledgeable, experienced and patient in lecturing and answering students’ questions. The curriculum design is very clear and the instructors have clear divisions in their coursework.

Naturally the coursework focuses on extracting the highest value possible from U.S. wheat flour. The milling and flour science curriculum helped students to further understand the characteristics of U.S. wheat and flour, the flour milling process, testing methods and how to adjust formulas and processes according to flour specifications. This directly benefits U.S. wheat growers by promoting their wheat to customers in international markets.

I gained many useful skills and knowledge from the BST course. The baking fundamentals on ingredients, formulas and processes further increased my knowledge and laid the foundation for answering customers’ technical questions about using U.S. wheat. Large-scale production experiments and the operation component deepened my understanding of actual production, making me feel more confident to provide on-site technical service. Moreover, the introduction of global bakery trends enabled me to learn about other countries and promote these trends in China — hopefully to contribute to the development of the Chinese bakery industry.

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has a long-standing partnership with AIB and frequently sends attendees to the BST course, and assists in the application and accommodations for attendees from U.S. wheat importing countries. This cooperation is a win-win strategy for all involved. International attendees will bring what they learned at AIB back to their countries and contribute to the development of the baking industry there. The course is beneficial for U.S. wheat producers by demonstrating the high quality of U.S. wheat. USW helps spread baking culture, and promotes AIB to potential participants. All the while, AIB instructors can also learn from students about baking practices in different countries. Only by sharing knowledge can we promote the progress of all parties.

Ting Liu

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By Jeff Coey, USW Regional Vice President, Hong Kong

The Baking Science and Technology course at AIB International in Manhattan, KS, is an intensive, 16-week program combining science, hands-on lab work and baking tradition. It is the “gold standard” for baker training and is well attended by aspiring, industrial scale bakers from around the world.

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has helped many bakers participate in this and other AIB International courses over the years. This year, however, USW invested some of its activity funding to send USW Technical Specialist Dr. Ting Liu from our Beijing, China, office to the course. With her doctorate in food science and experience in cereal chemistry, we knew she would do well — but she far exceeded our expectations.

We are so happy and proud to report that Ting represented herself and USW with distinction, earning top student honors and an “Excellence in Laboratory Leadership” award for her participation in the course!

The context for Ting’s achievement at AIB is the changing nature of wheat food in China. Traditional Chinese wheat foods have been successfully made for thousands of years using local wheat. However, demand today is sharply skewing toward non-traditional baked goods like chewy breads and fluffy cakes, products that rely on the functionality of higher and lower strength gluten flours that are best made with the classes of U.S. wheat specifically bred for those purposes.

There is intense interest in professional baking expertise, especially in the scaling up of industrial sized operations in China. USW intends to help channel that interest in ways that work for U.S. wheat, whether through Ting’s work, our consulting experts or through our long, respected collaboration with the Sino-American Baking School in Guangzhou.

Ting brings the unique set of tools needed to enhance our customers’ effective processing of U.S. wheat flour and how its functional attributes perform for the baker. Now, after succeeding so well in AIB International’s prestigious Baking Science and Technology course, she will be better prepared to lead such services and, in concert with our milling experts, to troubleshoot and solve customer problems as they come up.

So, we say congratulations to Ting and, along with our other talented colleagues, we look forward to much more success representing U.S. wheat farmers in the challenging but growing Chinese market.

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By Amanda J. Spoo, USW Assistant Director of Communications

Global demand for wheat food grows stronger every year, making exports vitally important to U.S. wheat farmers. As the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) works 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. USW relies on its successful working relationships with world-class educational partners that, through courses, workshops and seminars, enhance the technical and trade service assistance to help separate U.S. wheat from its competitors. One of those partners is the IGP Institute, in Manhattan, Kan.

Located in the Kansas State University (KSU) Grain Science Complex, the IGP Institute offers innovative technical courses to enhance the market preference, consumption and utilization of U.S. cereal grains, oilseeds and their value-added products. Both on-campus and distance education courses are led by KSU faculty and industry professionals in the areas of flour milling and grain processing, grain marketing and risk management, and feed manufacturing and grain quality management.

“We are committed to our primary mission to educate international customers on the value of U.S. grain products. Customers may have lower-priced suppliers, but when it comes to quality and consistency, our grains offer more value,” said Gordon Smith, IGP Institute Director and Head of the KSU Department of Grain Science and Industry. “As the wheat industry faces challenges, IGP is focused on providing technical leadership in milling, baking and grain storage.”

Shawn Thiele, IGP Flour Milling and Grain Processing Curriculum Manager, says that hands-on training is where participants maximize their experience, which is why IGP makes it a priority to schedule half the time of all flour milling courses outside a classroom. IGP partners with the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) to host these courses that focus on everything from wheat selection, flour blending and end-use products to mill optimization and maintenance.

“We have a range of courses from an introduction to flour milling, which is for non-millers working in the milling industry, to basic and advanced milling,” said Thiele. “Our goal is to showcase U.S. wheat quality, and through each of these courses we discuss all six classes of U.S. wheat, how their different characteristics translate into different milling practices and how to optimize each to extract its full value.”

In its grain marketing curriculum, led by Jay O’Neil, Senior Agricultural Economist and Grain Marketing and Risk Management Curriculum Manager, IGP offers courses that are beneficial for commodity traders, bankers and individuals responsible for buying U.S. food and feed grains. The grain purchasing course focuses on the mechanics of purchasing raw materials and features detailed discussions of cash and futures markets, financing and ocean transportation. The risk management course focuses on the principles of risk management and commodity price control through the principles of hedging and utilization of various hedging strategies.

In addition to the IGP Institute Conference Center, which houses a grain grading lab and meeting rooms equipped with simultaneous translation capabilities, the complex is home to the commercial grade Hal Ross Flour Mill, O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center, the Bio-processing and Industrial Value-Added Program, and laboratories for flour and dough testing and baking. As part of the KSU Department of Grain Science and Industry, the IGP Institute leverages the unique diversity of resources the department provides.

“In order to meet our mission, we have many value-added tools and multi-disciplinary faculty to aid our focus on technical assistance, including millers, bakers, feed scientists, grain storage specialists and economists,” said Thiele. “We also utilize resources from the industry. If we can’t find the expertise we need here, we can rely on friends from the industry to help bridge any gaps so that we have the best experts teaching the material.”

Also located in the heart of hard red winter (HRW) wheat country, IGP’s proximity to Kansas wheat farmers, grain elevators, USDA, Federal Grain Inspection Service and AIB International, all allow course participants to experience and learn from the full spectrum of the wheat supply chain.

Smith adds that IGP’s partnerships help make its programming most successful.

“U.S. Wheat Associates, the Kansas Wheat Commission and our other supporting commodity organizations are critical to what we do,” said Smith. “In addition to financial support, the value of our relationship with the industry and the donation of their time and materials is difficult to quantify.”

In 2018, USW is sponsoring customers from three of the eight USW marketing regions at IGP courses focused on grain purchasing and flour milling. This includes four millers from Taiwan, who are attending an IGP milling course to gain a better understanding of the U.S. wheat industry and wheat quality characteristics.

“IGP provides a good learning environment and experienced instructors that will help these millers lay a solid foundation for milling U.S. wheat,” said Boyuan Chen, USW Country Director for Taiwan.

Past course participants agree.

“The program helped us improve our flour milling operations,” said Vangala Ravindra, from Pure Flour Mills in Nigeria. “We understand the different U.S. wheat variety characteristics, their end-uses and impact on milling extraction and flour quality.”

Nestor Morales, from Gold Mills in Panama, attended an IGP grain purchasing course last month and is already beginning to implement what he learned.

“The staff at IGP was phenomenal. I now have a very good impression of the quality assurance that exists in the entire U.S. wheat value chain,” said Morales. “This course has the potential of improving our buying practices and better understanding the market in greater detail.”

IGP continues to look for ways to better reach U.S. wheat customers. In 2008, IGP partnered with the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) to offer distance education training courses, and through additional partnerships has since provided content to more than 5,000 industry professionals globally.

Thiele said that IGP is expanding those opportunities by recording key lectures that are normally only offered on-site, to be used as additional online training tools.

“Our goal is that these tools are a first step toward customers saying ‘wow, this is something that I need to invest more in,” said Thiele. “At the end of the day, the biggest benefit is being here at IGP to get the full experience. Nothing can replace that face-to-face interaction.”

Learn more about the IGP Institute and its programming and services at https://www.grains.k-state.edu/igp/.

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By Amanda J. Spoo, USW Assistant Director of Communications

Global demand for wheat food grows stronger every year, making exports vitally important to U.S. wheat farmers. As the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) works 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. USW relies on its successful working relationships with world-class educational partners that, through courses, workshops and seminars, enhance the technical and trade service assistance to help separate U.S. wheat from its competitors. One of those partners is the Northern Crops Institute (NCI), in Fargo, N.D.

Located on the North Dakota State University (NDSU) campus, NCI is a collaborative effort by North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota to support promotion and market development of crops grown in the four-state region. Since 1979, NCI has been an international meeting and learning center that brings together customers, commodity traders, technical experts and processors for discussion, education and technical services. From the beginning, USW was involved in helping establish NCI and its mission and, since then, has sponsored hundreds of U.S. durum and spring wheat customers from around the world to participate in NCI programming.

Taking the helm as NCI’s new director to start 2018, Mark Jirik understands NCI’s strong tradition and reputation as a reliable resource for the U.S. wheat industry. From the start, he was impressed to witness the relationship NCI has with USW and the supporting state wheat commissions.

“This region is known as the heart of spring wheat country, a crop with a worldwide reputation for quality, so our focus on wheat has always been a baseline here on the upper Great Plains. People have made it their life’s work to make sure the world understands the quality and value of U.S. spring and durum wheat,” said Jirik. “The U.S. wheat industry is visionary and forward thinking when it comes to quality. As the new guy, it is humbling to see the U.S. wheat industry’s vision and that its participants continue to support NCI, even when times may be tough.”

In his new role, Jirik has set goals focused on building on that reputation.

“First and foremost, my goal is to maintain our mission of helping expand markets for this region and aid value added processing,” said Jirik. “We have a strong reputation in the marketplace and we are focusing, not only on how we maintain that reputation, but also how we use our assets to continue to grow and provide value to the industry.”

NCI provides hands-on programming that enables participants to learn about northern climate crops and their unique qualities, marketability and processing characteristics. Its laboratories are equipped for baking, pasta processing, twin-screw extrusion, grain grading and commodity and product analyses. The pilot-sized swing mill and the Feed Production Center enhance the NCI staff’s ability to demonstrate the varied uses of northern-grown crops. The NDSU Commodity Trading Room offers a live experience for participants to learn how to extract and analyze information, and make decisions with respect to risk and risk management.

In 2018, USW is sponsoring customers from six of the eight USW marketing regions at NCI courses focused on contracting for wheat value and grain procurement management for importers. Joe Sowers, USW Regional Vice President for the Philippines and Korea, not only regularly brings customers to NCI, but also has participated in a course himself.

“The NCI grain procurement course offers innovative training in state of the art facilities, such as the NDSU commodity trading laboratory,” said Sowers. “Participants observe the mechanics of the U.S. wheat marketing system from production to storage, and transport to export, providing them with crucial information fundamental in grain purchasing. Spending nearly two weeks with buyers from around the world, participants gain useful contacts they will maintain throughout their careers.”

When participants complete a course at NCI, Jirik wants them to have a solid understanding of the value and quality — and the heart — that goes into the products they buy. “I want them to walk away thinking, ‘Wow, what a fantastic experience. I understand now why I should be using U.S. wheat in my products.”

Learn more about NCI and its programming and services at www.northern-crops.com.

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Everyone at USW is looking forward to working with Mark Jirik who was recently selected as the next director at the Northern Crops Institute (NCI), Fargo, N.D.

NCI is a respected educational partner with USW that supports regional agriculture and value-added processing by conducting educational and technical programs that expand and maintain markets for northern-grown crops. After working closely with Mark Weber over the six years he led NCI, USW was sad to learn that he planned to retire at the end of 2017. With Mark Jirik’s background, NCI should not miss a beat in the transition.

“We are confident that Mark is the right choice to lead NCI,” said Northern Crops Council Chairman Greg Kessel, a producer from Belfield, N.D.

Jirik has more than 17 years of experience in commodity merchandising and commercial management at Cargill. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from North Dakota State University and a master’s degree in agricultural economics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

We wish Mark Jirik the best of luck in this new position, and we also wish Mark Weber a very long and happy retirement.

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By Erica Oakley, USW Program Manager

Every year, USW collaborates with educational organizations to offer training that fits the needs of overseas customers. From grain purchasing to milling and end-product development, these courses are created to provide information and training that is beneficial to U.S. wheat buyers and their customers.  This year, approximately 70 USW customers from more than 15 countries will travel to the United States to participate in 11 short courses at our partner institutions.

Wheat Marketing Center. This week, the Wheat Marketing Center (WMC) in Portland, OR, is hosting a USW-sponsored Korean team taking part in an Asian noodle development course aimed at evaluating noodles made from various blends of U.S. wheat. The course includes testing a whole-wheat noodle made with soft white (SW) wheat flour.

“Last year, a Korean development team found that noodles with more than 30 percent whole wheat flour from hard red winter wheat did not have the texture, color and flavor that Korean consumers desire,” said Janice Cooper, WMC Managing Director. “In discussions with WMC Technical Director Dr. Gary Hou, the soft white option came up and Dr. Hou developed a research proposal, which was funded by the Idaho Wheat Commission. This year’s Korean team will help test the validity of that concept.”

The WMC provides key programs including technical training, product development and research on end-product quality to help solve customers’ issues and expand the demand for U.S. wheat around the world.

Northern Crops Institute. As in years past, customers from several USW regions will attend a Grain Procurement Management for Importers course at Northern Crops Institute (NCI) in Fargo, ND, this summer. Along with USW participants from Europe and Latin America, the Philippines, one of USW’s largest customers, will be represented by four rising managers and top executives.

“Many of these managers have significant experience and have been active in the industry for some time but are attending the NCI course to refine their knowledge base and increase their skills,” said Joe Sowers, USW Assistant Regional Vice President based in Manila. “They will observe state of the art grain trading software and technologies in the North Dakota State University Commodity Trading Lab. Through the course, they hope to improve their contract specifications and price risk management practices.”

Millers in the Philippines purchase more hard red spring (HRS) and SW wheat than any country. The NCI course includes local farm visits so participants can see HRS production practices first hand. After the course, the Philippine participants will continue to the heart of SW country in eastern Washington state to meet farmers, visit wheat variety breeding facilities, and observe inland logistics infrastructure that has more than doubled in size in the last decade.

International Grains Program. At the International Grains Program (IGP) in Manhattan, KS, a team from Nigeria and South Africa will participate in a customized flour millers short course in June. For both Nigerian and South African senior personnel, “the course offers a refresher on the basics of milling and an enhanced understanding of new milling equipment, techniques and concepts,” said Gerald Theus, USW Assistant Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa based in Cape Town, South Africa. “Whereas for junior level milling managers and technicians, the in-depth exposure to various USW classes is a great tool for determining end-use applications and enhancing performance at work.”

A customized course like this provides the opportunity to identify and address issues that are unique to Nigeria and South Africa, which keeps those customers returning year after year.

California Wheat Lab. The California Wheat Quality Laboratory, housed within the California Wheat Commission (CWC) in Woodland, CA, is unique in that it also has an on-site milling and baking laboratory. Through the lab, CWC provides hands-on training to customers and conducts quality testing, chemical analysis and end-product testing.

“The CWC Lab has developed a relationship with overseas buyers, particularly those from Latin America, as they trust our results and seek our input,” said Executive Director Claudia Carter. “The CWC Lab provides guidance about wheat quality related issues and the overseas customers that utilize the lab tend to be those that seek high quality wheat.”

In addition to providing services to overseas customers, the CWC Lab analyzes samples of hard red winter (HRW) wheat and Desert Durum® for USW’s annual Crop Quality Report.

These are just a few examples of the technical support provided by our U.S. educational partners and the value they add to USW’s ability to help meet our customers’ needs. These partnerships will remain a crucial part of USW’s service to our customers overseas on behalf of the U.S. wheat farmers and USDA Foreign Agricultural Service export market development programming that fund such activities.