NAWG Weekly Updates, January 30, 2020

JOINT PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Wheat Industry Applauds the Trump Administration for Signing the U.S. Mexico-Canada Agreement into Law
On January 29, 2020, President Trump signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into law. The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates issued a joint release commending the Administration for this action. In its release, NAWG and USW stressed that USMCA retains tariff-free access to imported U.S. wheat for customers in Mexico, while also making important progress towards more open commerce for U.S. wheat farmers near the Canadian border.

NAWG Speaks to Nebraska Wheat Board at Annual Meeting
On January 27, 2019 the Nebraska Wheat Growers Association held its annual meeting in North Platte, NE. Josh Tonsager, NAWG Vice President of Policy and Communications, zoomed into the meeting and provided growers with an update on NAWG’s recent activities as well as a lay of the land for Congress over these upcoming months. 

U.S. Wheat Associates launches its 2020 40th Anniversary Campaign
On January 29, 2020, U.S. Wheat Associates launched their 2020 campaign Dependable People Reliable WheatThe campaign’s goal is to emphasize the partnerships, commitments, and services wheat producers have provided that have helped make importing U.S. wheat so valuable. The platform emphasizes personal stories from American farmers to promote global trade. NAWG encourages you to help share this news by promoting U.S. Wheat’s Facebook post and Twitter post.

Commodity Classic is Right Around the Corner
The 2020 Commodity Classic is scheduled to take place from February 27-29, 2019 in San Antonio. The marketing assets for the 2020 show have been updated on the Classic website as well as the schedule. Additionally, NAWG will be holding it’s Committee meetings, Board of Directors Meeting, and receptions in the Marriott RiverCenter. NAWG’s booth #1747 is located right inside the Hall 3 entrance, and we hope that those of you able to attend this year’s Classic can stop by and participate in our raffle.

FSA Encourages Producers to Enroll Soon in Agriculture Risk and Price Loss Coverage Programs
On January 15, 2020, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that agricultural producers can now enroll in the Agriculture Risk (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. The FSA estimates that there are 1.3 million producers left to enroll, so to ensure program delivery expectations, they urged producers to enroll now. The deadline is March 15, 2020, for the 2019 crop year.

FCC Launches $20 Billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund
Earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), published a docket of the “Rural Digital Opportunity Fund”. This program will use a competitive bidding process to target up to $20.4 billion over 10 years to support up to gigabyte speed broadband networks in areas that lack access to 25/3 Mbps broadband service. Several groups have expressed support of the program, including NAWG in our recent tweet here.

The FCC voted Thursday, January 30, 2020, to roll out the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund with 6 million homes and businesses expected to be eligible under the first phase.

House Members Release $760 Billion Infrastructure Framework
On January 29, 2020, Chairmen of three House Committees released a framework for a five-year, $760 billion investment in infrastructure that would address the country’s infrastructure needs. The framework outlines major investments, including those in highways, rail, and transit systems, airports, ports, harbors and inland waterways, wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, brownfields, and broadband. The framework put forth by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA), would bolster the Federal role in order to help communities around the country undertake transformative projects that are “smarter, safer, and made to last”.

2020 Ag Outlook Forum
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue gives the keynote speech at the 96th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, held February 20-21 in Arlington, Virginia. USDA’s largest conference brings together producers, policymakers, business, government, and industry leaders to discuss the top issues in American agriculture. Register Today.

United Nations Declares 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health
On January 27, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture announced its campaign and partnership with the United Nations to bring Awareness to plant health. They are calling on people, organizations, industries, scientists, and governments to work together to protect plants against the introduction and further spread of invasive pests. These pests cause $220 billions of trade losses each year according to the U.N. To see how you can play a role in plant health you can visit the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.