Wheat industry leaders concluded a Wheat Summit in Kansas City, Mo., last week, agreeing to focus on four areas: technology and research; domestic competitiveness, primarily for growing acres; domestic farm policy; and export markets.
“The reason we came together today is that we have recognized that there is a great concern in the wheat industry about the economic future and viability of the production of wheat in this country,” said Dale Schuler, NAWG president and a wheat farmer from Carter, Mont., at a press conference immediately following the Summit.
North American Millers’ Association Chairman Guy Shoemaker stressed the importance of having representatives of the entire wheat industry in a room discussing these issues.
“At one place and one time the industry came together and developed a common understanding of four issues,” Shoemaker said. “It’s a matter of making the whole supply chain healthy so we can grow together.”
The Summit included representatives of every part of the “wheat chain,” from producers to processors, transportation interests to grocery stores.
In the coming weeks, information and conclusions from the Summit will be compiled, and the sponsoring organizations will meet with those who attended the Summit to formulate a strategic plan for moving forward.
The Wheat Summit was planned by NAWG and the North American Millers’ Association and was the follow-up to a paper released in June outlining some of the problems facing the American wheat industry. That paper was jointly authored by the National Association of Wheat Growers, the North American Millers’ Association, U.S. Wheat Associates and the Wheat Export Trade Education Committee.