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NAMA News March 15, 2012

TOP STORY – NAMA members urge Congress to continue long-term investment in wheat research

Inside this Issue


NAMA members urge Congress to continue long-term investment in wheat research

NAMA members Rick Siemer, Siemer Milling Company; Glen Weaver, ConAgra Mills and NAMA Director of Government Relations, Sherri Lehman joined the grain chain on visits to Capitol Hill to advocate for continued long-term investment in wheat research. Millers, researchers, growers and bakers asked Congress to:

      • Support the President’s ag research budget request.
      • Reauthorize the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative.
      • Authorize the creation of a Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to generate new sources of funding for food and agriculture research.

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. Funding of both public and private wheat research is essential 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 October 2011 Dr. Roger Beachy, president emeritus, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center spoke at the NAMA Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs. CO. Dr. Beachy talked about the opportunities and challenges in agriculture in the U.S. and globally and how research can help. During his presentation, Dr. Beachy told millers “public/private collaborations are the new model for funding research.”

NAMA supports public/private research collaborations. In 2009 NAMA oat milling member companies pledged $500,000 over three years to the North American Collaborative Oat Research Enterprise (NA-CORE). The project has provided oat breeders with a quick, accurate means of identifying valued traits in elite commercial cultivars and germplasm sources.

NAMA oat millers have also unanimously agreed to support a proposal to evaluate oat breeding lines for Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus tolerance.

Go to https://www.namamillers.org/pdf/WheatResearchBrief.pdf for details about who is doing wheat research, where and why.

1United Nations Population Report

2USDA Annual Crop Report


Plans to send North Korea food aid suspended

Recent developments regarding North Korea’s plans to launch a satellite using a ballistic missile have caused the U.S. to suspend plans to deliver 240,000 metric tons of food aid to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). When President Obama was in South Korea he indicated that if DPRK moved forward with plans for a missile launch, U.S. plans to provide food aid to DPRK would be in jeopardy. A State Department spokesperson said “We don’t link food to the nuclear issue, but we do have to have confidence in the commitments the government is making to us with regard to the monitoring situation, before we can go forward.”

NAMA members continue to stand ready to provide highly nutritious food aid products to DPRK. The food aid products NAMA members produce include wheat flour, corn soy blend, bulgur wheat and soy fortified bulgur, corn meal and soy fortified corn meal, wheat soy blend and sorghum grits. All are enriched and fortified with vitamins and minerals to make them the most nutritionally valuable items in the U.S. food aid commodity list. Nations around the world use these commodities to provide highly nutritional food assistance in emergencies, development assistance programs, and chronic disease intervention.


NAMA sending two missions to Africa to promote food aid products

This week NAMA is sending the first of two missions to Africa to highlight the benefits of NAMA member food aid products in U.S. food aid programs. The first trip will observe new supply chains for emergency food products being used in Sub-Saharan Africa. Eric Rasgorshek, Bunge Milling, Inc., a member of the NAMA International Trade Committee (ITC), will accompany Paul Green, NAMA International Trade Consultant to Niger and Burkina Faso, two landlocked countries suffering from severe water shortages.

The second mission is to African port warehouse facilities and food industry plants. Jack Cwach, ADM Milling Company and vice chairman of the ITC is leading the mission. Rod Geiger, Bartlett Milling Company; Bill Gross, Bunge, Milling, Inc. and Mr. Green are accompanying Mr. Cwach on the mission. The purpose of this trip is to explore the prospect of using new technology to ship milled products in semi-bulk form, using ocean containers.

NAMA is a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) cooperator. The two trips are through the foreign market development program of FAS. FAS works to improve foreign market access for U.S. products, build new markets, improve the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global marketplace, and provide food aid and technical assistance to foreign countries.


FTC backs off food advertising restrictions harmful to grain consumption

On March 5, 2012 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Jon Leibowitz testified before the House Subcommittee on Financial Services that the interagency working group (IWG) proposal to restrict food marketed to children and teens was not a top priority for the FTC. NAMA has strongly opposed an IWG proposal that was not based on the dietary guidelines and would have prevented companies from promoting or advertising very basic and important grain products in children’s diets.

In May 2011, NAMA president Mary Waters testified at a public meeting before IWG opposing the plan. “Grain-based products are some of the most affordable means for achieving appropriate nutrient intake levels, making them especially critical for disadvantaged populations,” stated Ms. Waters.

IWG was created by Congress and is comprised of the FTC, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It was charged with conducting a study on the impact of food marketed to children and teens and reporting the findings to Congress. Without completing the study, the IWG proposed restrictions of food marketed to children aged 2-17.


New NAMA Board representation for ADM and Miller Milling

NAMA welcomes the return of Mark Kolkhorst, ADM Milling Company to the NAMA Board of Directors. Mr. Kolkhorst is replacing Kris Lutt. Both gentlemen have assumed new roles at ADM. Mr. Kolkhorst will also represent ADM on the NAMA Executive Committee.

NAMA extends a warm welcome to Randy Marten, Miller Milling Company to the NAMA Board of Directors. Mr. Marten is replacing John Miller, who is retiring.


NAMA soft wheat crop panel forecasts a drop in the soft wheat crop

The NAMA 2012 Soft Wheat Crop Panel forecasted a soft red winter wheat crop of 423,107 million bushels, down 8% from last year, and a soft white winter wheat crop of 220,964 million bushels, down 9%.


NAMA president recognizes outgoing Division Chairmen at the 2012 Division Meetings

NAMA President Mary Waters recognized the three outgoing Division Chairmen at the 2012 Division Meetings. During a general assembly of the membership, Ms. Waters thanked Soft Wheat Chairman Tom Rogers, Wilkins Rogers Mills; Corn Division Chairman Bob Giguere, Iowa Corn Processors, and Oat Division Chairman Mark Ramsland, General Mills, Inc. for their leadership and service to the association. Division chairs serve the association by presiding over Division meetings, providing input on meeting speakers/topics, and bringing to the table issues of concern for the Division.


NAMA seats new Division chairs

Three new NAMA Division chairs were seated at the March 2012 NAMA Division Meetings in Naples, FL. Bill Keynes, Keynes Bros., is the new Soft Wheat Division Chairman. George Allard, Bunge Milling, Inc. is the new Corn Division Chairman. And Cullen Harder, Grain Millers, Inc. is the new Oat Division Chairman. They will serve one two-year term, beginning at the conclusion of the March 2012 Division Meetings and ending at the conclusion of the March 2014 Division Meetings.


NAMA members meet Fran Churchill, NAMA Instructor of Milling

NAMA members attending the March 2012 Division Meetings in Naples, FL were invited to meet Fran Churchill, the new NAMA-funded Instructor of Milling at Kansas State University (KSU), during an early morning coffee prior to the beginning of the NAMA Technical Committee Meeting. Ms. Churchill told members of the Technical Committee that she sees her new position as a unique opportunity to use the experiences she has attained from the milling industry in her Milling Science I class.

NAMA’s funding of this position represents an important investment in the knowledge and skills important to the milling industry.


NAMA Board members invited to attend Leadership Meeting

Members of the NAMA Board of Directors have been invited to participate in the annual spring Leadership Meeting to be held May 9-10 in Washington, DC. The meeting is an opportunity for NAMA Board members to advocate on behalf of NAMA and to network with fellow Board members.

Issues include:

      • Funding levels for federal research programs
      • New food safety fees
      • Whole and enriched grains in National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs
      • EPA proposal to phase out sulfuryl fluoride
      • The Farm Bill impact on the Conservation Reserve Program

Board members interested in participating should contact Terri Long, NAMA Director of Communications and Meetings, 202.484.2200, ext. 11 or [email protected] before April 4.


Registration is open for the Corn Dry Milling Conference

The 53rd Annual Corn Dry Milling Conference is scheduled for May 16-17 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 16 at the Mark Twain hotel in Peoria, IL. NAMA members meet at the hotel on May 16 immediately before the banquet. Presentations are made the following day from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM at the NCUAR, also in Peoria.

For questions about registering for the conference, please contact Terri Long, NAMA Director of Communications and Meetings, 202.484.2200, ext. 11 or [email protected] before April 18.


NAMA President visits member mills in Ohio

While in Ohio for the Soft Wheat Quality Lab Stakeholder Meeting at Ohio State University, NAMA President Mary Waters visited member mills located in Logan, Fostoria, Bucyrus and Columbus, Ohio. Ms. Waters met with:

      • Don and Ford Mennel, The Mennel Milling Company
      • Bill and Charlie Keynes and David Remley, Keynes Bros. Inc.
      • Rich Baillie, ConAgra Foods

 

“The visits were a good opportunity to observe the operations of member facilities and to discuss industry issues of importance to the members,” stated Waters.


Oregon State’s Agricultural Dean chosen to head NIFA

Sonny Ramaswamy, dean of Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has been selected by the Obama Administration to direct the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, an arm of the USDA that provides research grants and supports agricultural education and extension programs through land grant universities. Trained as an entomologist, Ramaswamy was born in India and came to the U.S. as a college student. During his tenure, OSU’s agricultural research programs grew to almost $60 million in grants and contracts, and private support for the agricultural college grew to $77 million. Ramaswamy will step into his new position later this spring.


Glencore to acquire Viterra

On March 20, Glencore International announced a definitive agreement to acquire Viterra, Inc. Viterra is a NAMA oat milling member company. Glencore reported Agrium and Richardson International have agreed to acquire the majority of Viterra’s Canadian assets and certain other assets. Richardson will acquire the Can-Oat Milling business with oat processing plants in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Martensville, Saskatchewan, and Barrhead, Alberta, and 21st Century Grain Processing, which has an oat processing plant in South Sioux City, Nebraska and a wheat mill in Dawn, Texas.

The acquisition comes at the same time the milling industry is looking ahead toward a re-structured, volunteer Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) and as the industry grapples with differing regulations between Canada and the U.S. on issues like food safety and DON, making it difficult at times to trade across the border. In July 2012 the CWB will no longer and the Canadian wheat market will be freely open for the first time since 1935. Harmonizing regulations between the U.S. and Canada will become even more important in an open Canadian wheat market. The issue was a topic of discussion at NAMA’s Division Meeting held this month in Naples, Florida.


NAMA members at Milner Milling/PFM promoted

Milner Milling/PFM (Pendleton Flour Mills) announced organizational changes, effective January 1, 2013. Charles B. Stout will be promoted from president to chairman of the board and CEO. Peter Frederick will assume the position as president. Mr. Stout is a long-time member of the NAMA Board of Directors and is currently a member of the NAMA Executive Committee and Meetings Committee. Mr. Frederick has been a regular attendee of the NAMA annual Soft Wheat Division Meeting.

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