This week, National Association of Wheat Grower’s CEO Chandler Goule and National Wheat Foundation project manager, Anne Osborne, attended the Wheat Quality Council’s 2021 Hard Spring and Durum Tour in North Dakota.
During the tour, the group would split up and visit about 110 farms a day across the state of North Dakota and engaged in discussions about wheat quality. The Wheat Quality Tour brings together newcomers and veterans alike, which allows the fundamentals of wheat to be taught and shared to help educate the wheat industry and value chain.
The tour provided Goule and Osborne with the knowledge to advocate for wheat growers who have been facing disastrous drought conditions. After seeing firsthand how severely growers have been impacted by the drought, CEO Chandler Goule said, “In years like this where growers experience extreme drought, we need to be diligent in our efforts to advocate for crop insurance and disaster assistance. We’ve seen the effect of the drought.
“Now, we will continue to stress to lawmakers about providing timely assistance to growers and continue to seek programmatic improvements that look at quality loss from a disaster. Wheat growers need to know that their needs are being advocated for on Capitol Hill.”
The discussions and tours immersed Goule and Osborne into the realities of a difficult growing season and provided the on-the-ground perspective that helps NAWG to better serve wheat growers across the nation. The tour also demonstrates the importance Farm Bill programs play in helping provide certainty and value to growers, be it through critical risk management tools or conservation programs that work to maintain soil health and improve farm productivity.
As NAWG looks ahead towards the reauthorization of the Farm Bill in 2023, seeing firsthand the drought impacts on operations provides valuable insight as we continue to develop wheat growers’ policies and priorities for the next Farm Bill, which helps NAWG in prioritizing programs as they work on the Hill.