Weekly Update for
Weekly Update for
NAWG Washington, D.C. Fly-In
This week, the National Association of Wheat Growers hosted producers in Washington, D.C., to discuss key Farm Bill priorities with Members of Congress. NAWG met with key Senators and Representatives, including Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Boozman and House Agriculture Committee Chairman GT Thompson, to discuss the priorities wheat growers hope to see in the 2023 Farm Bill. Thank you to our wheat growers who flew out to advocate for NAWG’s policy priorities in the 2023 Farm Bill, and a huge thank you to the Members of Congress who took the time to meet with us. If you missed the July fly in, wheat growers are encouraged to join the September NAWG Part 2 Fly In.
NAWG Joins Maryland Commodity Classic
NAWG Board Member Eric Spates, Vice President of Policy and Communications Jake Westlin, and Government Relations Representative Jack Long attended the 25th Annual Maryland Commodity Classic in Queenstown, Maryland. During the event, they engaged with numerous individuals, highlighting NAWG's crucial role in spearheading policy and advocacy efforts for wheat growers nationwide. The discussions primarily revolved around the 2023 Farm Bill priorities for the wheat industry.
Food Aid Letter
This week, NAWG and multiple state wheat grower organizations sent a coalition letter urging the House Rules Committee to reject a number of harmful amendments that are being considered as part of the Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill. These 131 organizations have long supported full funding of the P.L.480 Title II Food for Peace, Food for Progress, and the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education during the annual appropriations process. These programs have a vested history of over 65 years of feeding the world’s hungry, in addition to a sizable benefit to the American economy and to our national security interests. While the House Appropriations Committee passed its version of an FY2024 Agriculture Appropriations Bill out of committee in June on a party-line vote, it had maintained robust support for these programs. However, the House Rules Committee is considering incorporating several controversial amendments that would make drastic cuts or eliminate funding for these programs. Additionally, other steep programmatic cuts are being considered by the House Rules Committee, which will need to consider the bill before it comes to the floor of the House of Representatives. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of an agricultural appropriations bill with unanimous bipartisan support earlier this summer.
USDA Invests in Research, Extension and Education at 1890 Land-grant Universities
The United States Department of Agriculture announced an investment of over $33 million to support capacity-building initiatives at 1890 Land-grant Universities. Administered through USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), this funding will facilitate 82 research, Extension, and education projects across the nation's 19 Historically Black Colleges and Universities designated as 1890 Land-grant Universities. The projects are part of NIFA's 1890 Capacity Building Grants Program, aimed at funding teaching, research, and Extension activities. The USDA’s goal of the funding is to strengthen the quality and diversity of the country's higher-education workforce, enhance research and knowledge delivery systems, equip 1890 Land-grant Universities to better tackle emerging challenges, and create new opportunities in agriculture. “Through this investment, the Biden-Harris administration is helping deliver real-life, applicable solutions to make our food system stronger, while at the same time inspiring a next generation of students and scientists who will help us meet tomorrow’s agricultural challenges,” said Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Xochitl Torres Small.
Biden-Harris Administration Announces Investments in Urban Agriculture, Food and Market Access Programs Through Investing in America Agenda
The Biden-Harris Administration recently announced a series of investments that aim to increase market access and to given consumers better accessibility to locally grown foods and healthier food options. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed several key initiatives, including the establishment of 17 new Urban Service Centers and ten new urban county committees. Additionally, they allocated around $10.7 million for the Patrick Leahy Farm to School Program and expanded the Healthy Food Financing Initiative. The expansion included approximately $30 million in funding for the new Local and Regional Healthy Food Financing Partnerships Initiative. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting urban communities through increased market opportunities for small and mid-sized producers, strengthening the food system nationally and locally, and investing in urban agricultural operations,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These steps will allow families and farmers alike to benefit from healthier food produced closer to home.”
Senate Agriculture Committee Releases Farm Bill 101
On Tuesday, July 25, the Senate Agriculture Committee released a newsletter entitled “Farm Bill 101: Protecting Food Access for Families” This one-pager is designed to be easily digestible and breaks the otherwise complicated farm bill legislation into two primary parts: the farm safety net and the nutrition title. The release highlights the necessity of the farm safety net not only to farmers and ranchers, but also to the consumers that rely on them. “The Farm Bill’s nutrition programs weave a safety net for American families that reduces food insecurity, benefits our farmers, and lifts millions out of poverty,” said Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Stabenow.
Senate Considers NDAA and Passes Foreign Land Ownership Amendment
As the Senate continues to debate the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (S. 2226), on Tuesday it passed an amendment (S.Amdt. 813) offered by Senator Daines (R-MT) that would empower the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to consider agriculture needs when screening foreign investment affecting national security. Specifically, the amendment would prohibit China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea from purchasing U.S. farmland and agricultural companies, add the Secretary of Agriculture as a standing member of CIFUS, and require the president to submit a report to Congress on any limited waiver granted to a prohibited country. Voting on the NDAA is ongoing in the Senate and this legislation would also need to be considered by the House of Representatives.
Northern Crops Institute is Hosting The Next Five Years
The Northern Crops Institute is hosting the event, The Next Five Years, which is an executive conference to be held in Moorhead, MN, on September 11. The conference is focused on major shifts happening in the agricultural marketplace and how they will impact agriculture and consumers from the region to the international marketplace. The focus is to not look at this growing season, nor to look at where agriculture and surrounding markets may be in the next ten years or more, but how things might change and how those impacts will change how we do business locally and globally.
Spring Wheat & Durum Tour
At the Wheat Quality Council Spring Wheat and Durum Tour, the Foundation’s own Anne Osborne and Brian Walker each served as drivers on the tour, in addition to Brian providing assistance in hosting the event!