NAWG Weekly Updates, December 07, 2017

Tax Reform and Appropriations Year End Activity
This week, House and Senate Republicans continued moving on tax reform with both chambers voting to move into conference. Conferees from the House are: Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), Budget Chairwoman Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), Don Young (R-Alaska) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.). The Democratic conferees: Ways and Means ranking member Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.). Senate Republican Conferees are: Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Senate Budget Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Pat Toomey (R-PA). NAWG has sent this letter to all conferees outlining areas that need fixes.

The current continuing resolution (CR) funding the government expires at midnight on Friday. The House voted 235-193 to move a two-week CR that would extend through December 22nd. The Senate will then need to waive time requirements to pass this an avoid a government shutdown. While a shutdown isn’t expected, the following two weeks bring a lot of uncertainty with many controversial political decisions to be made.

Ag Commodity Groups Engage in NAFTA Grassroots Campaign at President Trump and the White House
As reported in Politico Pro, on December 06, 2017, NAWG, along with 14 national commodity associations and their state-level affiliates, “took to the phones and Twitter for a grass-roots and campaign day aimed at Trump and the White House. The message from farmers will stress the benefits of NAFTA and the importance of staying in the pact. The effort is part of a broader grass-roots campaign focused on getting farmers to speak up about the importance of the imperiled trade agreement now under renegotiation.

“Some of the groups involved in the effort include the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Seed Trade Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Pork Producers Council and USA Rice, according to a source familiar with the campaign.” For more information, follow #Farmers4NAFTA, the designated hashtag of the campaign, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

NAWG President Attends and Speaks at South Dakota Ag Horizons Annual Convention
NAWG President Gordon Stoner attended the South Dakota Ag Horizons Conference from December 5-6, 2017 in Pierre, South Dakota. He spoke to attendees on his current activities as NAWG President and updated the group on the Farm Bill, Trade (NAFTA), policy issues impacting wheat, and tax reform. For more information, visit South Dakota Wheat’ site here:

NAWG and Ag Coalition Files Injunction in Federal Court to Halt California’s Prop 65 Requirement
A national coalition of agriculture groups led by the National Association of Wheat Growers is seeking to immediately halt the State of California’s misguided labeling requirement for Glyphosate citing irreparable harm to American farmers, consumers and the nation’s agriculture economy. On December 7, 2017, the agriculture coalition filed a motion for a preliminary injunction with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in response to California’s flawed Prop 65 regulation, which requires the labeling of products that may contain the herbicide glyphosate. For more information, read NAWG’s release here.

NAWG, U.S. Wheat Associates, and Farm groups Tell Lighthizer their Priorities for WTO meeting
On December 7, 2017, NAWG, U.S. Wheat, and a coalition of 14 farm groups sent a letter TO Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging the Trump Administration to take a number of positions to defend U.S. agriculture in the World Trade Organization ministerial conference to be held Sunday through Wednesday in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In a letter to, the organizations said they had three priorities: Oppose attempts to weaken the disciplines on price supports through public stockholding programs; Oppose new disciplines on domestic support for the United States while several large agricultural trading countries ignore current disciplines; Preserve the binding, enforceable WTO dispute settlement mechanism while ensuring it continues to function as quickly as possible. Read the letter here.

Roberts, Stabenow Announce Full Senate Confirmation of Farm Credit Nominee Glen Smith
U.S. Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., have announced that the nomination of Glen R. Smith to be a member of the Farm Credit Administration Board was approved by the U.S. Senate. Read more here.

Farm Futures 2017 Survey
Farm Futures has circulated a final production survey for 2017 where they would like input regarding yields, acreage, current challenges, and 2018 plans. All results will be sent to participants before USDA releases its Jan. 12 reports. Click Here to Start the Survey

Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship Opportunity for Students in Agriculture
Jerry Minore was a longtime friend of the wheat industry and advocate for wheat farmers. To honor his work and life, his company, BASF, has partnered with the National Wheat Foundation to establish a scholarship for students with connections to the wheat industry who are planning careers in agriculture. The Minore Memorial Scholarship will fund four college scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic year: two $1,500 scholarships and two $1,000 scholarships. Deadline for applications is December 31, 2017. For more information on how to apply, visit the National Wheat Foundation site.

Registration and Housing Has Officially Opened for 2018 Joint USW/NAWG Winter Meeting
The 2018 NAWG/USW Winter Meeting is taking place February 6-10, 2018 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. To register for this year’s conference, visit here. Hotel reservations under the NAWG room block can be made here. Please note the CUT-OFF DATE for making hotel room reservations is Friday, January 12. You can also view the schedule and register for the conference on NAWG’s website.