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: Wyoming Wheat Marketing Commission
Member of USW since 1980
The Wyoming Wheat Marketing Commission (WYWMC) was established in 1975 with the goal to develop and maintain wheat markets around the globe. The WYWMC is also active in providing support and funding for wheat research, education and market development. The five-person board operates on a $1.75 cent-per-bushel checkoff which funds the activities promoted by the WYWMC, including its work with U.S. Wheat Associates.
Why is export market development important to Wyoming wheat farmers and why do they continue to support USW and its activities?
Based on available information, about 60 percent of the wheat produced in Wyoming is exported. Being near rail crossroads, high-quality Wyoming HRW can move either south to Gulf ports and Mexico, or west to the Pacific Northwest ports. As global wheat production has changed, the opportunity to work with USW to increase sales in Asia and the west coast of South America is of vital importance to the continued success of wheat farmers in Wyoming and across the United States.
How have Wyoming wheat farmers recently connected with overseas customers?
For several years, WYWMC members have taken part in overseas trade mission trips and have also participated in overseas buyers’ conferences. The opportunity to make connections with overseas customers by meeting with them face-to-face is invaluable. While current events have limited these opportunities, we joined USW and other state commissions in a virtual meeting with Colombian wheat customers earlier this summer.
What is happening lately in Wyoming that overseas customers should know about?
While Wyoming has a relatively small wheat production area compared to most other USW member states, our unique production issues compel us to conduct research for our high-altitude and short growing season. Wyoming is often the first to plant HRW, and often among the last to harvest. We look at experimental varieties from three neighboring states to produce wheat with higher end-use qualities for customers, while minimizing input costs so that Wyoming wheat farmers can remain profitable. We recently licensed a new variety from Colorado which will allow farmers in Wyoming to better address a new type of stripe rust, which periodically affects Wyoming wheat production.
The commission is also active in trade and domestic policy. We have actively engaged with U.S. government officials, including the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), to promote expansion of trade access and avoid market disruption due to tariff implementation, while remaining in close contact with our Congressional delegation to influence domestic production issues.
Learn more about the Wyoming Wheat Marketing Commission on its web page here.