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NAMA News – February 25, 2013

February 25, 2013

Inside this issue

NAMA Pushes Back Against Major Threat to U.S. Food Aid Programs

NAMA took a leading role in a multi-commodity and multi-industry effort to prevent the Obama Administration’s budget from proposing an end to Food for Peace and Food for Progress, the mainstay food aid programs of the US.  The proposal that is rumored to be part of the budget the Administration is still preparing, would end these international food assistance programs and replace them with authority to give cash for foreign procurement of food called Local and Regional Purchase (LRP).

Numerous commodity groups, NGOs and Maritime labor organizations worked together to obtain a powerful letter to the President supporting FFPeace and FFProgress from Senator Mark Pryor, (D-Arkansas), Chairman of the Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittee and Senator Roy Blunt, (R-Missouri) the Ranking Minority member of that committee.  They were joined by 19 other Senators including the Chairman and Ranking Minority members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) and Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi).  This letter (attached) warns the Administration that its proposal will not be considered seriously and is a good sign for budget deliberations on food aid programs for 2014.  Also attached are letters from agriculture, NGOs and maritime organizations to the Administration and the Senate showing the coalition support for food as an effective tool to project US humanitarian concern and fight terrorism.

To view the Food for Peace ag letter to the senate, follow this link:


To view the US food aid group support letter to the President, follow this link:


Sequester May Impact Milling Industry

With the March 1 budget sequestration looming and predictions of general chaos in the delivery of federal government services, NAMA has prepared a briefing paper for members on the possible affects on the milling industry. The paper is available in the Members Only section of the website at https://www.namamillers.org/membership/membership-portal/.

As has been widely reported, the budget sequester is an across the board $85 billion cut in the current year’s federal government budget, roughly divided half to the military and half to non-military spending. It was a last-ditch effort amid budgeting gridlock and designed to be so onerous to both parties that they would have incentive to negotiate a more permanent budget solution. Without progress toward more normal budgeting and both parties digging in on who will be blamed for the potential chaotic situation, it now seems very likely that the government will begin implementing the cuts on March 1.

Since the cuts amount to about a 6 percent reduction in the annual budget, to be implemented in the last half of the year, the impact on the remaining months of the fiscal year is expected to be about twice that percentage. The Obama administration says it will do little to prioritize how the cuts will be spread around, but that posture is likely intended to generate public pressure on Congress to take action to avoid the sequester.

Wheat Quality Council holds 2013 Annual Meeting

Participants from wheat–growing states gathered in Kansas City, Missouri last week to hold their annual meeting and technical conference. In addition to the annual review of new wheat lines submitted for testing from three wheat classes – hard winters, hard springs and eastern softs, a forum was held with a variety of interesting spears.  Author Noel Vietmeyer discussed his book “Our Daily Bread,“ which highlights the life of agronomist Norman Borlaug.  Bikram Gill, Ph.D., Kansas State University, delivered a presentation on “Mapping the Wheat Genome – What Does This Really Mean.” Keynote speaker Heidi Nebel, and attorney with McKee, Vorhees and Pease of Des Moines, Iowa gave an interesting talk on patent law considerations related to genetic modification of any edible plant.

New Representation for LifeLine Foods on NAMA Board

LifeLine Foods, LLC has named Robin Michael Venn, CEO of LifeLine Foods to the NAMA Board of Directors. He replaces Mike Sobetski.

NAMA to Co-Host 54th Annual Corn Dry Milling Conference

The 54th Annual Corn Dry Milling conference is scheduled for May 15-16, 2013 in Peoria, Illinois.  Jointly sponsored by NAMA and the USDA National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR), the conference is a unique event to share information about the corn dry milling industry, including the latest advances in milling, product testing technologies and the science of corn production technology.

The conference begins with a banquet on Wednesday, May 15 at the Embassy Suites East Peoria hotel in Peoria, IL.  NAMA members meet at the hotel on May 15 immediately before the banquet.  Presentations are made the following day from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM at the NCUAR, which is also located in Peoria.

Hotel rooms have been reserved at the Embassy Suites East Peoria for those who need overnight accommodations.  Watch for your email notification that registration is open in early spring.

For more detailed information regarding this meeting, please visit:


Mark Your Calendar for the 2013 Wheat Tours

The Wheat Quality Council (WQC) invites interested parties to participate in one or both of the wheat tours they sponsor. The hard winter wheat tour will start in Manhattan, KS April 29 and end in Kansas City May 2. The hard spring wheat and durum tour will start in Fargo, ND July 22 and end in Fargo July 25. The cost is $200.00 for WQC members, university and government employees. For all other the cost is $300.00.

In just three short days, the tours provide a good amount of fundamental wheat industry knowledge and are a good learning experience for new people in the industry. The tours are also a great mentoring opportunity since each car on the tour has a tour veteran that can help teach newcomers. Registration forms are on the WQC website, www.wheatqualitycouncil.org. Contact Ben Handcock, WQC, [email protected] or 605.224.5187 for more information.

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