NAWG Weekly Update: November 13, 2014

Big Data Agreement Reached
A coalition of major farm organizations and agriculture technology providers (ATPs) today announced an agreement on data privacy and security principles that will encourage the use and development of a full range of innovative, technology-driven tools and services to boost the productivity, efficiency and profitability of American agriculture. The principles promise to greatly accelerate the move to the next generation of agricultural data technology, which includes in-cab displays, mobile devices and wireless-enabled precision agriculture that has already begun to boost farm productivity across the United States. Many analysts compare today’s big-data-driven precision ag to the “green revolution” of the 1960s and 70s, which has likely saved a billion lives or more from starvation since its inception. The coalition supporting the principles includes: American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, Beck’s Hybrids, Dow AgroSciences LLC, DuPont Pioneer, John Deere, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, Raven Industries, The Climate Corporation – a division of Monsanto, and USA Rice Federation. Read the full press release here.

NAWG Attends NAFB Annual Convention
This week NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) attended the 71st Annual NAFB Convention in Kansas City, Mo., by staffing the U.S. Wheat Industry booth at the 2014 Trade Talk. During the convention, NAWG president Paul Penner had many meaningful conversations with farm broadcasters. This year’s convention highlighted the history of NAFB and provided three days of professional development, networking events, and panels of newsmakers who providing informative insights and celebrated the accomplishments of their farm broadcaster peers. During Trade Talk, President Penner discussed various issues that NAWG is currently working on commenting, ”We’ve accomplished a lot this year and participating in events like these is a great opportunity to have conversations with farm broadcasters from across the country to discuss wheat.” Click here for more information on the Convention.

NAWG Participates in USFRA Annual Meeting
The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance® (USFRA) Annual Meeting was held in Kansas City, Mo. this week, from November 9-10. NAWG serves as the wheat industry affiliate to USFRA, and NAWG director of corporate relations, Hugh Whaley, participated in the Communications Committee and Board of Directors meetings. The primary purpose of USFRA is to build consumer trust in today’s production agriculture. At the meeting, USFRA recognized the efforts of the first class of the “Faces of Farming & Ranching,” of which several members were in attendance. The USFRA Board approved their FY 2015 communications plan, the focus of which will be: the wider distribution of the James Moll documentary, Farmland; a continuation of the USFRA Food Dialogues; and the announcement of a new class of “Face of Farming & Ranching.” That class, introduced on Wednesday, Nov.12, at the NAFB Annual Convention in Kansas City, included: Erin Brenneman (Iowa), Darrell Glaser (Texas), Jay Hill (New Mexico), Thomas Titus (Illinois) and Carla Wardin (Michigan). USFRA also elected a new chairman, Nancy Kavazanjian, who represents the United Soybean Board on the USFRA Board of Directors.

WIA Wheat Forum Wraps Up
Wheat growers, handlers, millers, bakers and representatives of several technology/seed companies met in St. Louis, Mo. on November 7-8 to share expectations on improving the profitability of wheat at the Wheat Innovation Alliance (WIA) 2014 Wheat Forum. Five speakers covering a range of topics including: the future of federal funding for agricultural research, global wheat competition, wheat production economics, public perception of wheat and biotechnology and the practical implications of segregation in the grain handling stream. These speakers gave participants background information to engage in discussions over the two days that centered on industry segment needs, particularly related to the future introduction of biotechnology in wheat.

A key takeaway from the discussion was that early biotechnology traits will be focused on agronomic characteristics, but if these are brought to market they will be part of packages that will help growers in the U.S., Australia and Canada become more effective in producing wheat that is competitive in the marketplace. A written summary of the meeting will be provided to the WIA Board for consideration at their January meeting in Washington, D.C.

Apply for the NWF Jerry Minore Scholarship
The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) has partnered with BASF to award four scholarships, on behalf of the Minore Memorial Scholarship, for college students who have a personal connection to the wheat industry and a planned career path in the agriculture industry.

The scholarship is named in honor of Jerry Minore, who was a longtime friend of the wheat industry and an advocate for wheat farmers. To honor Jerry’s life and work, the Minore Memorial Scholarship will fund two $1,500 scholarships and two $1,000 scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year.

To be eligible for the Minore Memorial Scholarship, students must:

  • Be freshmen, sophomores or juniors pursuing an agricultural-related degree;
  • Be enrolled in an accredited college, university, junior or community college;
  • Be a member of the National Association of Wheat Growers; have a close relative (parent, grandparent) who is a member of the National Association of Wheat Growers; OR be nominated by someone sitting on the NAWG Board of Directors or a state wheat association board.

The scholarship application can be found here.