Some very important meetings that affect wheat farmers are going to be starting Friday in Washington D.C. Some members of the U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers will be in town early for hill visits, but it's more than that. U.S. Wheat Associates Communications Director Steve Mercer explains who will be at the table, and why it's so important.
"Two joint committees between NAWG and U.S. Wheat will be meeting," Mercer said. "One is international trade and the other is biotechnology. Before splitting up for separate meetings there is a joint session between the two that will cover issues and opportunities that are common to both organizations. So it's a really important meeting, kicking off with the Hill visits, I think it's a really critical time to get our voice heard there."
During those visits to legislators on Capitol Hill Mercer says one of the hot button issues will be the farm bill. He says that 50-50 is the most optimistic estimate he has heard of as to whether or not a farm bill will be written this year because of the election and a lot of other issues on the docket.
Mercer says they think this will be a very interesting year and several issues will be discussed with Congress.
"Trade policy is important," Mercer said. "We are encouraging the government to accelerate negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership, the next free trade agreement that is being negotiated. It is very important for wheat growers as we have a very large market in Asia. Also growing markets in Indonesia and others so it is an important time and it is going to be an interesting year here."