Wheat grower associations return to nation’s capital to urge action on farm bill

WAWG officers and staff are in Washington, D.C., this week to advocate for swift passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and to discuss trade. One of their first meetings was with Washington Rep. Suzan DelBene (second from left).

The Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG), along with grower associations from across the United States, will join the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) this week in Washington, D.C., to urge the advancement of legislation that will provide a strong safety net for farmers.

WAWG has been closely monitoring progress of the 2018 Farm Bill. The House of Representatives showed progress earlier last month by introducing H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018. “It was promising to see the House introduce the legislation, but we must keep the momentum going. In order to continue to move forward, we call for the House to come to a bipartisan agreement on the nutrition title so that reauthorization is complete before current legislation expires,” said Marci Green, president of WAWG and a grower from Fairfield, Wash.

WAWG continues to advocate for a strong crop safety net program, as well as maintaining effective conservation programs, and programs that help build new markets for U.S. wheat. “With the current farm economy the way it is, we cannot afford cuts to essential programs, especially those that would undermine the crop insurance program. We also see value in improving on and maintaining the choice of revenue-based (Agricultural Risk Coverage) and price-based (Price Loss Coverage) programs. Together, these programs provide stability when farmers need it most, in times of low prices, inclement weather and trade uncertainty,” said Michelle Hennings, executive director of WAWG.

Nicole Berg, secretary of NAWG and a grower from Paterson, Wash., said, “It is great to see the state associations come together and have a presence in Washington, D.C., during this important time of policy debate. They are able to bring on-farm examples and discuss why a timely reauthorization is so important with members of Congress.”

Green added, “We urge the House and the Senate Ag Committee to advance legislation that will secure the best farm policy options for wheat growers. This is a critical time in policy development, and WAWG is committed to working with Congress to discuss the needs of growers across the state.”