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Soft Wheat Division Meeting Minutes – March 26, 2013

North American Millers’ Association
Soft Wheat Division Business Meeting

Hammock Beach Resort
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Harbor/Galleon Rooms
7:30-9:30 a.m.


Members Present

Division Chairman, William W. Keynes, Keynes Bros., Inc.

Steven D. Arndt, Renwood Mills, LLC

Brent Bash, General Mills, Inc.

Ray S. Clark, Hopkinsville Milling Company

Robert Drum, Renwood Mills, LLC

Michael Fassezke, Star of the West Milling Company

Roderick J. Geiger, Bartlett Milling Company

Steve Gorman, Horizon Milling LLC/Cargill

Howdy S. Holmes, “Jiffy” Mix

Edward Hostetter, “Jiffy” Mix

David Katzke, General Mills, Inc.

Alan Koenig, Milner Milling, Inc.

Kevin Like, ADM Milling Company

Heidi Long, The Mennel Milling Company

Michael Manos, Renwood Mills LLC

D. Ford Mennel, The Mennel Milling Company

Donald L. Mennel, The Mennel Milling Company

James M. Meyer, Italgrani, U.S.A., Inc.

Joseph Mitchell, Bartlett Milling Company

David M. Remley, Keynes, Bros., Inc.

Thomas A. Rogers, Wilkins Rogers Mills

Carl Schwinke, Siemer Milling Company

Richard C. Siemer, Siemer Milling Company

Douglas E. Snavely, Snavely’s Mills Inc.

Susan Sobieck, General Mills, Inc.

Kirk Stehr, Milner Milling, Inc.

Grover Van Hoose, The Mennel Milling Company

Nick Weigel, ADM Milling Company

John Wiebold, General Mills, Inc.

NAMA Staff

Terri Long, Staff Liaison, Director of Membership, Communications and Meetings

James A. Bair, Vice President

Sherri Lehman, Director of Government Affairs

Lyndsey Valentine, Administrative Assistant

Joseph T. Holahan, Legal Counsel, Morris, Manning, & Martin, LLP (via phone)

1.  Call to Order – Division Chairman, William Keynes, Keynes Bros., Inc.
Mr. Keynes, Division Chairman, called the meeting to order at 7:35 a.m.

a.  Introductions – Division Chairman, William Keynes, Keynes Bros., Inc.
Self-introductions were made.

b.  Review of Antitrust Guidelines – Joseph T. Holahan, Morris, Manning, & Martin (via phone)
Mr. Bair reviewed the antitrust guidelines. Mr. Holahan, legal counsel, joined the meeting via phone.

2.  Administrative

a.  Approval of Minutes – Terri Long, NAMA
The March 13, 2012 meeting minutes were distributed for review prior to this meeting. Mr. Ford Mennel moved to approve the minutes. Mr. Rogers seconded the motion. The motion was approved at 7:44 a.m.

b.  Report on Soft Wheat Committee Reserve Fund – Terri Long, NAMA
Ms. Long reported that the balance of the Soft Wheat Committee Reserve Fund is $132,707.

3. Items for Discussion

a.  Update on Soft Wheat Quality Lab – Sherri Lehman, NAMA
Mr. Don Mennel noted the Soft Wheat Quality Lab (SWQL) hired a new scientist, Dr. Byung-Kee Baik. Mr. Mennel reported the presentations at the Soft Wheat Quality Review that was held last week were not as good as in years past and suggested SWQL form an advisory committee to better organize future conferences.

Mr. Siemer agreed with Mr. Don Mennel regarding the quality of the conference. He asked Mr. Don Mennel to review the discussion regarding protein levels in soft wheat. Mr. Don Mennel said SWQL wants to make lower proteins a priority. Mr. Ford Mennel said U.S. Wheat Associates were suggesting Falling Numbers were getting too high on SRWW and that we should be breeding to lower these numbers which is absolutely not what NAMA wants to see happen. Mr. Schwinke said if there is a change, NAMA needs to let the lab know what to look for and that NAMA does not support reducing wheat protein levels. If protein levels are on the high end and still perform like soft wheat, millers would still want to use it. Mr. Don Mennel agreed with Mr. Schwinke that NAMA needs to tell SWQL what millers are looking for and the importance of quality. He questioned the super cleaning practice at the lab noting that the environment at the lab is different than in the mill.

b.  Soft Wheat Breeding Research Grant Proposal – Don Mennel, The Mennel Milling Company
Ms. Lehman reported Mr. Clay Sneller sent NAMA a proposal on quality analysis for T-CAP (Triticeae Coordinated Agricultural Project). She said the grant would focus on climate change on crops. NAMA would receive free samples from the T-CAP project to use for testing. Mr. Siemer questioned the practicality of the proposal and whether it could be accomplished. He recommended NAMA not be involved in the project. He suggested people who are more familiar with breeding would be a better match for the project and that the project would yield too many lines for NAMA to evaluate. Mr. Siemer was reluctant to commit the entire Soft Wheat Division reserve fund to one project. Mr. Don Mennel said the proposal was poorly written and dated. He also did not approve of Mr. Sneller’s lab receiving all the funding. He said the ROI to NAMA was not clear and that the project would use the entire reserve fund.

c.  Update on FSMA Implementation – Sherri Lehman, NAMA
Ms. Lehman said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released two long-awaited proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). She said FDA is requesting comments and NAMA has crafted a draft that has been distributed to members for feedback. She requested committee members provide feedback by April 15. Final comments are due to FDA in May. Ms. Lehman said NAMA is also working with the Grocery Manufacturers Association on this effort.

d.  Codex Development of DON Maximum Levels – Jim Bair, NAMA
Mr. Bair said CODEX is a body of the United Nations (U.N.) that develops model food standards that countries have an option to adopt. The U.S. generally chooses not to adopt Codex standards.  The U.S. feels it must defend why U.S. guidelines are different than those of Codex.  Mr. Bair said the next meeting is in April in Moscow, Russia.  He noted that he has met with the U.S. delegation and explained U.S. guidelines including the fact that NAMA does not support maximum levels on raw grain.

e.  Harmonization of U.S./Canada Food Safety Laws – Jim Bair, NAMA
Mr. Bair reported Canada’s food safety law reads, “no person shall sell food that has in or on it any poisonous or harmful substance,” while U.S. law gives FDA flexibility if the substance is naturally occurring. U.S. law gives the industry latitude. Mr. Bair stated millers could be in double jeopardy if they operate on both sides of the border. He noted last year Canada passed a food safety law, but it did not address or fix the alignment problem that still exists today.

f.  Fumigant Update – Jim Bair, NAMA
Mr. Bair said since 2005, NAMA has received a critical use exemption (CUE) from the law that banned the use of methyl bromide (MB), however 2014 will be the last year NAMA members can use MB.

Mr. Bair said there has been no change in the status of the EPA proposal to delete the tolerances for residues of sulfuryl fluoride (SF) on food, and cancel all associated uses. He said EPA mistakenly made this proposal and that he agency is trying to figure out a way of withdrawing the proposal without embarrassment.

Mr. Bair noted he has been working with IAOM the last year and a half to develop an IPM manual that will be made available online. He expects the project to be completed very soon.

3. Other Business
Mr. Siemer commended the staff for putting on a good meeting. He asked NAMA Chairman Jim Meyer for a brief update on the search for a new president. Mr. Meyer reported a search committee was formed and several candidates have expressed interest in the job. He said the interview process is under way. An executive search firm is conducting interviews. When interviews are complete, the firm will provide the NAMA search committee a general assessment, which will determine who the search committee invites for formal interviews. Mr. Meyer said the process will be complete within 60 days. He commended the staff for a job well done during this transition period. He said later in the week a survey will be sent to all board members inviting comments on the direction of NAMA, now and in the future.

Mr. Bair reported he attended a meeting at the American Bakers Association (ABA) to discuss sustainability. Because Walmart is sending sustainability surveys to ABA’s member companies, ABA is asking NAMA to provide specific data measurements from individual members. Mr. Bair has been having conversations with the wheat growers, and they are trying to develop an online sustainability questionnaire. The bakers said this solution will be okay for this year, but they expect more detailed information in the future. Mr. Siemer asked if any NAMA members have received this survey? Mr. Bair said three companies have contacted him regarding this matter. Mr. Schwinke said the survey is extensive and asked if there is any penalty for not providing the information on time. He said the data is impossible to collect in the time frame given. He said it would take months to collect all of the data to put into a reasonable form for submitting. Mr. Katzke said there are data gaps in the Keystone [Field to Market – The Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture] report [Environmental and Socioeconomic Indicators for Measuring Outcomes of On-Farm Agricultural Production in the United States]. He asked, since wheat and corn are commodity crops, should NAMA put funds toward validating the data? He suggested NAMA’s wheat and corn millers pool their funds and together validate the data. Mr. Katzke said if NAMA validates the data, Keystone can separate the reports. Mr. Bair said all options will be considered and NAMA is trying to get data production from NAWG. Mr. Don Mennel said NAWG is without leadership and money to take on this project.

4. Adjournment
Mr. Katzke made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Ford Mennel seconded the motion. The motion passed and the meeting was adjourned at 8:41 a.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Terri Long,
Staff Liaison

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