By Steve Mercer, USW Vice President of Communications
On January 12, 1980, wheat farmer leaders with Great Plains Wheat and Western Wheat Associates officially merged to become one organization, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), to focus on building overseas demand for U.S. wheat.
To mark its 40-year anniversary in 2020, USW has launched an outreach effort to recognize and celebrate the people who produce the wheat and their enduring partnerships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wheat buyers and wheat food processors around the world.
This anniversary is a platform for us to reinforce our authentic story—that behind the world’s most reliable supply of wheat are the world’s most dependable people. That despite the different roles or distances, all of the people in our story share an unspoken connection through USW and through our shared values of growth, hard work and family.
So, throughout this year, in online media (#USWturns40), new marketing materials and face to face with overseas wheat buyers, we are going to talk about the legacy of commitment from farmers and the important partnerships that are a unique and valuable part of importing U.S. wheat.”
The primary component of the USW campaign is a new page on www.uswheat.org titled “Our Story.” The page includes historical background, and profiles of U.S. wheat farm families and overseas customers. USW also produced a new video that highlights the value created by the entire U.S. wheat export supply system and the service the USW organization offers to flour millers and wheat food processors around the world.
A significant element of the campaign will describe how previous generations of U.S. farm families organized, invested their time, talent and treasure and reached out to the federal government to build overseas markets for their wheat.
Many of the millers and food processors USW works with overseas are also family-owned and going through the same generational changes as U.S. farm families. That is one reason why we will emphasize past and present connections between our farmers and customers in those stories, through our Wheat Letter blog and in Facebook and Twitter posts.
USW is truly built around its partnerships at home and abroad.
Farmers represented by 17 state wheat commissions work closely with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service through our organization to demonstrate the need for export market development support. Those organizations and the rest of the efficient U.S. supply chain share in the challenges and rewards of wheat trade. The campaign will also demonstrate how the world’s wheat buyers, millers and food processors view their partnership with our organization.
This legacy and those partnerships provide advantages USW believes no other wheat exporting country can provide. They help supply the highest quality wheat for almost every customer need. Pricing is set by market conditions and remains transparent to the buyers. U.S. wheat is backed by trusted third-party certification by the Federal Grain Inspection Service. USW representatives and technical service experts provide unmatched service before and after the sale. Together, these advantages build differential value for our customers.
In many ways, this story built and sustains the culture of the USW organization and it underpins what the U.S. wheat “brand” stands for in the world wheat marketplace.
USW invites U.S. wheat farmers, our state wheat commission members and our overseas customers to visit https://ourstory.uswheat.org/ often and to share their own stories as we continue to update content throughout 2020.