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NAMA Members Urge Congress to Continue Long-Term Investment in Wheat Research

March 28, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. — March 28, 2012 — Members of the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) joined researchers, growers and bakers in Washington today to urge Congress to continue the long-term investment of federal dollars into public wheat research managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). NAMA members participating in the advocacy effort included Rick Siemer, Siemer Milling Company and Glen Weaver, ConAgra Mills. Sherri Lehman, NAMA director of government relations helped lead the teams on legislative visits to Capitol Hill. “NAMA has, and will continue, to educate lawmakers and the Administration officials on the essential need to invest in agricultural research to improve yield, nutritional quality and disease resistance,” said Ms. Lehman.

NAMA is a strong advocate for public and private wheat research to ensure an adequate supply of optimum quality grains to feed a growing population. The United Nations estimates there will be 9.1 billion people to feed in 2050.1 A challenge for the milling industry has been wheat acreage lost to corn and soybeans. In 2011 54.4 million acres of wheat were planted, compared to 91.9 million acres of corn and 75.0 million acres of soybeans.2 In order to increase the availability and quality of wheat grown in the U.S., a concerted public/private effort is needed towards the development of new varieties that can adapt to fluctuations in weather and be water and nitrogen efficient.

In addition to future benefits, increased research funding provides current economic benefits. For every $1 invested in publicly funded agricultural and food research, $20 in economic activity is generated. Go to http://www.namamillers.org/pdf/WheatResearchBrief.pdf for details about who is doing wheat research, where and why.

The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and the National Wheat Improvement Committee (NWIC) organized the two-day advocacy event.

NAMA is the trade association of the wheat, corn, oat and rye milling industries. Member companies operate 176 wheat, oat and corn mills in 38 states and Canada.

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1United Nations Population Report
2USDA Annual Crop Report

The North American Millers’ Association prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact NAMA at 202.484.2200 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Mary Waters, President, 600 Maryland Avenue SW, Suite 825W, Washington, DC, 20024 or call 202.484.2200 ext. 12. NAMA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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