Wheat Growers Anticipate
by Matthew Weaver
U.S. wheat farmers maintain a competitive edge on the global market through high-quality crops
and because of the efficiency of the transportation infrastructure.
Congress must move forward on several bills critical to wheat farmers before the general election later this year, the head of the National Association of Wheat Growers says.
Association CEO Chandler Goule said Washington, D.C., is about to enter the period when members of Congress in the House and Senate will start offering legislation to force members of the other party to make difficult votes in an effort to better position their favored congressional and presidential candidates.
"This is very typical for an election year, but unfortunately we’ve got some major pieces of legislation floating around out there," Goule said.
U.S. wheat farmers maintain a competitive edge on the global market through high-quality crops and because of the efficiency of the transportation infrastructure.
"Although they don’t grow a lot of wheat, if Brazil’s infrastructure ever caught up with us, our farmers across multiple commodities would be in serious trouble," Goule said. "Our infrastructure continues to crumble, and it’s time for Congress to sit down and do a comprehensive, large-scale investment."
Goule hopes those three bills can get through Congress in a "bipartisan" format.
The period after an election is usually one of major turnover as members of Congress arrive or exit, he said.
"Really, we’ve just got a few months to make progress," Goule said.
Goule expects candidates to reach out to farmers in the coming months, particularly in agricultural states considered political toss-ups, such as Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
"Farmers and ranchers in rural America are going to play a key part in this election, because that’s who elected the current president," Goule said. "That is definitely a viable group people are aiming at."
NAWG is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse presidential candidates.
Goule recommends farmers consider their own businesses and priorities when looking at the candidates.
NAWG’s political action committee, WheatPAC, raised a record $38,000 during a fundraiser at the Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas, Goule said. Funding comes from the PAC auction and individual contributions from farmers.
The organization will support wheat-friendly congressional candidates, Goule said, usually after the primary elections.
"We want to make sure we place that money with the appropriate candidate who’s got the best chance of moving forward that’s going to support the policies of the wheat growers," he said.
Energy Intensities of Freight: Barge, Truck and Railroad US DOE, Center for Transportation Analysis, Transportation Energy Data Book
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