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Oat Division Meeting Minutes – March 13, 2011

Hilton Marco Island Resort & Spa
Marco Island, FL
March 13, 2011
Oat Milling Members Present
Mark Ramsland, General Mills, Inc., Oat Division Chairman
Keith Ballard, PepsiCo/Quaker Oats
William Bonner, Viterra
Karl Gerrand, Viterra
Cullen Harder, Grain Millers, Inc.
Joe Lutz, General Mills, Inc.
Chad Molesky, Viterra
Bruce Roskens, PepsiCo/Quaker Oats
Rick L. Schwein, Grain Millers, Inc.
Dan Ward, La Crosse Milling Company
Others Present
Jim Bair, NAMA, Vice President
Eric Jackson, USDA/ARS
Sherri Lehman, Director of Government Relations
Terri Long, NAMA, Director of Meetings & Communications
Robert H. Myers, Jr., NAMA, Legal Counsel
Richard Pedde, Prairie Oat Growers Association
Mary Waters, NAMA, President
Jenni Weems, NAMA, Administrative Assistant
                                                                               
1. Call to Order –Division Chairman, Mark Ramsland, General Mills, Inc.
Chairman Ramsland called the meeting of the Oat Division Business Meeting to order at 11:05 a.m. Attendees made self-introductions. NAMA legal counsel, Robert H. Myers, Jr., reviewed antitrust guidelines.
2. Administration
a. Approval of Minutes – Terri Long, NAMA
The minutes were distributed prior to the meeting for review and a motion was made by Mr. Schwein for their approval. Mr. Ramsland seconded the motion and the group voted in favor unanimously.
3. Items for Discussion
a. Summary of Technical Committee Meeting – Bill Bonner, Viterra
Mr. Bair reviewed recent government actions to reduce methyl bromide use and revoke the food residue tolerances for sulfuryl fluoride (see attached briefing paper). For 2013, the government proposes to make 40,000 pounds of methyl bromide available, which is sufficient for approximately 40 average-size mill fumigations.

Mr. Bair has been working with other associations to have a coordinated response to the proposal to revoke the food tolerance for sulfuryl fluoride. He will submit a letter requesting an extension to the comment period and believes the EPA will extend the comment period beyond the current deadline of April 19.

The Technical Committee will work on planning a seminar on alternative sanitation practices that would include a list of current alternatives and the pros and cons of each. NAMA will ask Kansas State University and the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) to cosponsor the workshop.

Mr. Bair discussed the deoxynivalenol (DON) study published in December 2010 that was conducted to determine what effects processing would have on DON levels in food products. It was previously thought that there was a 50% reduction from raw wheat to flour. However, the study showed that DON is very stable. While the data show a 50% reduction in bread and donuts, DON seemed to concentrate in pretzels and flaked cereal. The committee discussed how this information should be managed now that it has been published.

Mr. Roskens reported that USDA granted full deregulation to Syngenta’s corn amylase product without conditions. Syngenta has committed to forming an advisory council. The release will be quite small in 2011. It will be grown first around an ethanol facility in Oakley, KS. Environmental activist groups are planning to sue. NAMA has not been asked to join this effort and has not discussed it. A sub group of the Technical Committee will perform further testing on behalf of NAMA.

Quality
a. Mycotoxin Regulation in Canada & Discussion of November Budget Request for Cantox study – Rick Schwein, Grain Millers, Inc.
Health Canada has been moving ahead aggressively on their position on mycotoxins on the belief that ochratoxin A (OTA) is harmful to health. Cantox, a leading international scientific and regulatory consulting firm, has published a study that shows the Government of Canada’s position is vastly over-conservative. NAMA contributed funds to get this report peer reviewed so it would carry more weight. The goal of these efforts is to get Health Canada to embrace these results. There is a tension between Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on the enforcement of mycotoxins in grain and food products.

Mr. Gerrand noted that NAMA has been working on an effort for regulatory harmony between CFIA and Health Canada for a number of years. Mr. Bair noted that NAMA has been working with Gordon Harrison and the Canadian National Millers Association. Mr. Gerrand asked Mr. Bair to develop a plan to determine how to approach the Canadian government about this regulatory inconsistency. Mr. Bair will set up a conference call for next week.

Research
a. Update on NA CORE Research Project – Joe Lutz, General Mills, Inc.
Mr. Lutz of General Mills provided an update on the NA-CORE oat genome project.

Much progress has been made and NAMA members are invited to a meeting on April 16, 2011 to discuss where to go next. When the NA-CORE funding ends we will need to decide how to proceed on oat research. Currently the millers fund research through NAMA and the oat growers fund research through the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA). A proposal should be written in the spring of 2012 for the next funding cycle of 2013. We need to keep pushing oat research forward and ensure that the NA-CORE program stays together so that the benefits are available to everyone.

Mr. Roskens stated the NAMA oat division needs to ask the core group for specific short- and long-term strategies. The project has grown exponentially and the breeders are excited about the findings, but there needs to be a focus on implementation.

b. Sustainability – Bruce Roskens, PepsiCo/Quaker Oats
Mr. Roskens showed the division a pamphlet on sustainability from the sunflower industry. The group discussed how to create a statement about oats for consumers. Mr. Bair will start with a proposal and distribute it to members for additions.
4. Information Items – for discussion if requested
a. Biotechnology – Jim Bair
b. Biotechnology and Nutrition/Product Promotion Committees – Mary Waters
c. FY 2012 Federal Budget for Agriculture Research – Sherri Lehman
d. Partnership for Food Safety – Sherri Lehman
5. Other Business
Mr. Roskens discussed the Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus research funding at the University of Illinois. Mr. Roskens is concerned that this project may be ended due to budget concerns. Ms. Lehman will contact Kay Simmons of Agricultural Research Service and research the current status and report back to the group. Mr. Bair noted that while this project started as a Congressional earmark, it was included in the Administration’s budget proposal two years ago and funding has continued under the continuing resolutions to fund the government.

(Mr. Jackson and Mr. Pedde left the meeting).

6. Report on Oat Division Reserve Fund & Budget – Mary Waters, NAMA
Ms. Waters gave a report of Division funds. The reserve funds of the oat division are $21,473. Individual companies have contributed $181,000 this year for outside oat research. The NAMA budget includes $500 for meetings and $30,000 for oat research. Included in the budget is $4,000 available for oat research lobbying, but trips have not been scheduled due to the uncertainty of the budget and weather.
7. Adjournment
Mr. Ramsland made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Roskens seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Waters
President

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