David Schemm – KAWG

(Conrad) Welcome to Farm Factor. I’m your host Conrad Kabus. Kansas Wheat recently had a holiday open house at their Wheat Innovation Center in Manhattan, Kansas. Take a look. David Schemm is part of the National Association of Wheat Growers and was present at the open house. The National Association of Wheat Growers was founded more than 60 years ago by producers who wanted to work together for the common good of the industry. Today, NAWG works with 22 affiliated state associations and many coalition partners on issues as diverse as federal farm policy, environmental regulation, the future commercialization of biotechnology in wheat and uniting the wheat industry around common goals. (David) You know we’ve had a lot of things going on on the national side with wheat growers, obviously recently the Senate and the House passed the tax extender bill that’s been really important specially to a lot of farmers out there. Being able to help them manage their tax situations. So we’ve had that going on. And of course there’s some trans Pacific partnerships going on that we’ve been working on and dealing with that there. Hoping to get that through to open up some export opportunities with Pacific partners. Kind of some new things that’s kind of affecting a lot of people right now is the Cuba talks, what the President just announced too. (Conrad) The National Association of Wheat Growers strength comes from the grassroots of wheat growers across the country, who research issues, set policy and educate policy makers in Washington, D.C., about how these issues affect the nations wheat farms. Farmers who step up to represent their state associations on the National Association of Wheat Growers Board of Directors serve as the crucial link between individuals and wheat growers, the state organizations and the national organization in Washington, D.C. (David) Well, I am Secretary Treasurer of the National Association of Wheat Growers within Washington D.C. We’re an organization of 22 member states of wheat producing states, grower members and we very much pride ourselves on a grassroots operation. Our board members are made up of farmers and our officers are made up of farmers. And what we’re able to do is basically to listen and hear the concerns of our producers out there and be able to take that and communicate that to our legislatures there. So, that’s kind of what NAWG’s made up of. (Conrad) NAWG works in conjunction with many state associations and though these state associations themselves vary in size, composition and resources leaders from all of them come together to create a strong, national organization. (David) Obviously with Kansas being the number one wheat producer there, a vital and very important member to the National Association of Wheat Growers, the wonderful partnership that was there is actually, well the Kansas Wheat Growers was originally formed and the members that originally formed it, were the leading roles in forming the National Association back in the ’50s. So, there remains that strong tie right now. And it’s really important. One of the focuses and one of the priorities of NAWG is to be able to help promote the research side of it. And this is what has put the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center really in the lead role of the nation. Not just in the state but in the nation, being able to bring both public and private partnerships together. To be able to advance wheat research. And so it’s a really unique building and opportunity that exists here at the Wheat Innovation Center and it’s something that’s been very exciting to be able to work here at a state level but also a national level too.

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