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"Our wheat industry is heavily reliant on continuing the relationships that have been built over the past 60 years with our overseas customers," says Gary Bailey, Washington farmer and WGC chairman.
RITZVILLE, WA, July 03, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ -- International trade, the uniqueness of the Pacific Northwest agriculture, and the 2018 Farm Bill top the list of priorities leadership and staff of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) and Washington Grain Commission (WGC) will convey while USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue visits the PNW this week.
Known for production of soft white wheat destined for overseas markets, Washington exports approximately 90 percent of the state's wheat crop, which requires the need for stable and effective trade agreements. "Our wheat is known throughout the world as being of the highest quality," said Gary Bailey, a farmer from St. John, Wash. and chairman of WGC. "Our wheat industry is heavily reliant on continuing the relationships that have been built over the past 60 years with our overseas customers. Agriculture contributes positively to the trade balance and these markets cannot be jeopardized by uncertain trade programs."
Central to WAWG's current lobbying efforts is for the swift bipartisan passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and full funding of the USDA. "It has been promising to see action taken so far by the House and Senate in regards to the farm bill, but we must keep the momentum going. We look forward to discussing policy and the importance of farm programs with Secretary Perdue. Farm policy, and its effective implementation, to provide stability and certainty for America's farmers is paramount," said Marci Green, president of WAWG and a grower from Fairfield, Wash.
"This is a great opportunity for Washington agriculture to showcase our state and to convey how critical effective trade programs and stable farm policies are to the producers of the Pacific Northwest," said Michelle Hennings, executive director of WAWG. "We would like to thank Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers and Congressman Newhouse for their efforts in making this visit possible. Our growers provide a high-quality product that is greatly desired in overseas markets and today more than ever we need to share our story of the uniqueness of Washington agriculture."
According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, Washington agriculture contributes a market value of $10.6 billion of crops and livestock to the state's economy, of which $6.7 billion of food and ag products are exported overseas. A 2016 economic impact study from Washington State University shows the total value of the state's wheat sales was $1.3 billion and it supported nearly 6,500 jobs.
About WAWG: Education and outreach are the heart of Washington Association of Wheat Growers activity, all of which is aimed at helping Washington wheat families. Since 1954, WAWG has been dedicated to the enrichment of the Washington wheat industry as a nonprofit trade association, which depends on volunteers, membership dues and donations to carry out activities as representatives on the state and national levels. WAWG monitors state, transportation, research and natural resources policy and partners with the National Association of Wheat Growers to monitor national farm policy. Visit wawg.org for more information. For more information on this or other related issues, please contact Michelle Hennings, Executive Director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers at, 509-659-0610, [email protected] Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Washington-Association-of-Wheat-Growers-194847140538562 Twitter: @WAWheatGrowers
About WGC: The Washington Grain Commission (WGC), was created through state legislation by merging the Washington Wheat Commission (WWC) and the Washington Barley Commission (WBC). The WGC is a self- governing agency of the State of Washington. The WGC enhances the profitability of Washington wheat and barley growers and meets ever-increasing market demands by: strengthening existing markets and developing new markets for PNW small grains, encouraging and supporting research to optimize grower, buyer and end user benefits and promoting and providing education. Visit wagrains.org for more information. For more information on this or other related issues, please contact Glen Squires, CEO, WGC, at 509-456-2481. https://www.facebook.com/washingtongrain/
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