NAWG Weekly Updates, November 02, 2017

NAWG Officially Announces David Schemm’s Resignation as President
NAWG has announced the resignation of former NAWG President, David Schemm, who is pursuing other professional opportunities in his home state of Kansas. NAWG’s Past President and Montana farmer Gordon Stoner has been chosen to assume the duties and role of the President until the next officer election at the 2018 Commodity Classic. Read NAWG’s release here.

NAWG President Defends NAFTA During U.S. Chamber of Commerce Panel
NAWG President Gordon Stoner, along with other agricultural representatives, participated in a NAFTA panel titled “The Future of NAFTA: The Stakes for American Agriculture and Business” this past Tuesday. Gordon defended NAFTA by stressing the importance of international markets for U.S. wheat growers, especially during a time of financial distress within our farm economy. He continued with statements regarding how Mexican millers have already begun sourcing wheat from other countries. Read NAWG’s release here.

House GOP Releases Tax Reform Legislation
Today, the House of Representatives released its 429-page “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” which includes a broad set of proposed changes to the corporate and individual tax system. Visit the House Ways and Means Committee page to read the bill and news from the Committee.

Senate Confirms Ibach, Not Northey
On October 26, 2017, the Senate confirmed Greg Ibach’s nomination to serve as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, they did not act on the nomination of Bill Northey as Agriculture undersecretary for farm production and conservation. The Senate Ag Committee approved both nominations but Northey’s nomination has become an issue due to the dispute over the Renewable Fuel Standard. According to AgriPulse, “Oil Senators wrote President Trump demanding a meeting with him to talk about changes to the RFS.” On October 30, 2017, Greg Ibach was sworn into his post at the USDA.

Clovis, Linked to Mueller Probe, Withdraws Nomination for USDA Top Scientist Post
On November 02, 2017, Sam Clovis has withdrawn his name from consideration as the president’s pick to be the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist. The withdrawal came just days after Clovis had been questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and testified before the grand jury. NBC News reported the story.

Mexico Begins Sourcing Wheat from Argentina
Mexico has issued an approval to import Argentine wheat decreasing the country’s dependence on U.S. wheat farmers during the increasingly turbulent renegotiation of NAFTA, AgriPulse recently reported. Mexico has reached agreement on a phytosanitary protocol to import wheat from Argentina, and that one trial shipment is scheduled for later this year. Mexican millers have stated that these new purchases do not reflect the anticipation of Trump’s administration decision to pull out of NAFTA but rather the current economic factors and market forces.

House Science to Holds Ag Research Hearing
On Thursday, November 02, 2017, The House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology held a Research Technology Subcommittee hearing titled “Putting Food on the Table – A Review of the Importance of Agriculture Research.” Witnesses included: Dr. Daniel Gerstein, senior policy researcher, RAND Corporation; Dr. Stephen Higgs, associate vice president for research and director, Biosecurity Research Institute, Kansas State University; Dr. Stephen P. Moose, Denton and Elizabeth Alexander Professor, maize breeding and genetics, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Dr. Elizabeth Wagstrom, chief veterinarian, National Pork Producers Council. Watch the webcast here.