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Wyoming Wheat Growers Review 2013

Samuel Johnson said, “Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own.”

As of yet, we still have no Farm Bill. It at least went into conference, where they will hash out all the differences, and hopefully they can come up with a bill that everyone can live with.

The Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which has always been a part of the Farm Bill, is probably the biggest hold up. The Senate version of the Farm Bill cuts SNAP by a far smaller amount than the House version.

Our Congressional delegation continues to be a strong voice for Wyoming agriculture. They understand the important role agriculture plays in Wyoming and our nation.

Crop insurance is still the number one priority, in cooperation with the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). We all know how important crop insurance is to each of our own farming operations. It provides a safety net so necessary to an industry that is affected by so many unknowns. 

There is still a lot of pressure to tie crop insurance to conservation compliance. NAWG continues to provide a united front in opposition to linking compliance with crop insurance. 

Our Wyoming delegation continues to stand in opposition to this as well.

The WWG board has been active this year, as well. Board members include myself, Vice President Tyler Anderson of Pine Bluffs, Recording Secretary Russell Beavers of Burns, Past President John Watson of Wheatland and Directors Theron Anderson of Albin, Derek Jackson of Torrington, Stephen Johnson of LaGrange and Casey Madsen of Pine Bluffs. 

We have travelled to Washington, D.C. to meet with the Wyoming delegation, attended the Commodity Classic to continue building the bridges and developing relationships with other commodity organizations to create a more unified presence for agriculture.

The Board also attended the NAWG fall meeting jointly with U.S. Wheat, updated resolutions and set new policy in Portland, Ore. These meetings are necessary to keep Wyoming’s voice strong. 

Additionally, the Board participated in numerous conference calls relating to the Farm Bill and other industry issues and developed annual meeting agenda and programs. 

Wheat is an important commodity for the U.S.

Wheat is the primary grain used in U.S. grain products. Approximately three-quarters of all U.S. grain products are made from wheat flour, according to the USDA. Wheat is grown in 42 states in the United States.

More food are made with wheat than any other cereal grain. USDA also says that U.S. farmers grow nearly 2.4 billion bushels of wheat on 63 million acres of land.

In the United States, one acre of wheat yields an average of 37.1 bushels of wheat. One bushel of wheat contains approximately 1 million individual kernels.

One bushel of wheat weight approximately 60 pounds and yields about 42 pounds of white flour or 60 pounds of whole wheat flour. That same bushel of wheat yields 42 commercial loaves of white bread, each weighing about 1.5 pounds. Each loaf requires about 16 ounces of flour to make. A bushel of wheat also makes about 90 one-pound loaves of whole wheat bread.

In the U.S. agriculture industry in general, 2.2 million farms dot America’s rural landscape. About 97 percent of U.S. farms are operated by families – whether that be indivdiduals, family partnerships or family corporations.

Farm and ranch families comprise just two percent of the U.S. population, but more than 21 million Americans, or 15 percent of the U.S. workforce, produce, process and sell the nation’s food and fiber.

In producing 262 percent more food with two percent fewer inputs, farmers and ranchers receive only 16 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away form home. The rest goes for costs beyond the farm gate.

Americans enjoy a food supply that is abundant and affordable overall and among the world’s safest, thanks in large part to the efficiency and productivity of America’s farm and ranch families.

Visit the Wyoming Wheat Growers Association online at wyomingwheat.com.