Dependable People: A Spotlight on Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board
For 40 years, U.S. wheat farmers have supported U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) efforts to work directly with buyers and promote their six classes of wheat. Their contributions to state wheat commissions, who in turn contribute a portion of those funds to USW, qualifies USW to apply for export market development funds managed by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Currently, 17 state wheat commissions are USW members and this series highlights those partnerships and the work being done state-by-state to provide unmatched service. Behind the world’s most reliable supply of wheat are the world’s most dependable people – and that includes our state wheat commissions.
Member: Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board
USW Member since 2000
Location: Queenstown, Maryland
Classes of Wheat Grown: Soft Red Winter (SRW)
USW Leadership: Jason Scott, 2016/17 Chairman
The Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board (MGPUB) works to increase the profitability of Maryland grain production and improve public understanding of agriculture through promotion, education and research.
Why is export market development important to Maryland wheat farmers and why do they continue to support USW?
While Maryland has a large poultry industry in our state as an important customer for our grain, most of the soft red winter wheat grown here is primarily used to mill flour for cookies, pretzels and pastries. MGPUB recognizes that the export market is an important factor in supporting the commodity price for all farmers, including Maryland wheat growers.
How have Maryland wheat farmers recently interacted with overseas customers?
Maryland’s proximity to Washington, D.C. makes it a popular stop for farm tours for buyers and trade teams from different countries. In the last several years, Maryland has hosted trade teams and buyers from nearly twenty different countries showing them the quality of production methods and the soft red winter wheat grown in Maryland.
What is happening lately in Maryland that overseas customers should know about?
Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board funds several projects focused on wheat quality and production through the University of Maryland. These research projects include “Improving Soft Red Winter Wheat Cultivars,” “Increasing Protein of Soft Red Winter Wheat,” and “Managing for Fusarium Head Blight.”
Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board is also helps fund Maryland Farm & Harvest, a 30-minute, educational public television show that shares the good news story of farming with the public. Born from an idea at an MGPUB board meeting, the series is now an Emmy-winning, No. 1 rated local program, attracting an audience of over four million viewers.