Sep 24, 2023

Wheat Scoop: Wheat industry applauds American Farmers Feed the World Act

Posted Sep 24, 2023 4:00 PM

The Kansas Association of Wheat Growers joins U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) in thanking Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) for introduction of the American Farmers Feed the World Act of 2023 in the U.S. Senate. The bi-partisan legislation would restore the original intent of the Food for Peace program without spending additional Farm Bill resources, while also safeguarding the interests of hard-working American farmers in providing food to those in need around the world.

USW and NAWG have joined the broader agriculture industry in backing the legislation, seeing it as an effort to use U.S.-grown commodities to fight global hunger rather than spending American taxpayers’ dollars to purchase food from competitors of the U.S. wheat industry.

“The Kansas Association of Wheat Growers applauds the support of Senator Marshall on the American Farmers Feed the World Act of 2023,” said Justin Gilpin, CEO of Kansas Wheat. “The Food for Peace program has a storied history in Kansas, sparked by a Kansas farmer who suggested U.S. farmers could share their harvest with global neighbors. Wheat food aid donations now average around 30 million bushels per year. Keeping the food in food aid remains an important aspect of these programs that are designed to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need around the world.”

“Wheat farmers in Kansas and all across the country have a long history supporting international food aid going back to the origins of Food for Peace,” said Brian Linin, a Goodland, Kansas, wheat farmer who serves on the Kansas Wheat Commission and U.S. Wheat Associates boards and on the USW/NAWG Food Aid Working Group Committee. “Our nation, and those in need, benefit most directly and transparently from receiving American commodities instead of cash and vouchers.”

“It is exciting to see the Senate join the House in supporting the role of U.S. farmers in the Farm Bill’s international food aid programs,” said USW Director of Trade policy Peter Laudeman. “The American Farmers Feed the World Act of 2023 offers an important rebalancing to ensure that Food for Peace remains focused on effectively delivering as much American-grown food to as many people in need as possible. We certainly want to offer a huge thank you to Senator Braun, Senator Tester, Senator Marshall and Senator Rickets for championing this important bill.”

The American Farmers Feed the World Act of 2023 was introduced in the U.S. House on June 22. USW and NAWG have worked with a coalition of other agriculture groups to advance this legislation through the upcoming new Farm Bill.

“As Congress considers reauthorizing the Farm Bill later this year, this legislation provides an opportunity to revitalize the role of American agriculture in addressing global hunger,” said Brent Cheyne, President of the National Association of Wheat Growers and a wheat farmer from Oregon. “It underscores our dedication to providing food assistance to vulnerable populations while prioritizing our farmers ahead of foreign agricultural competitors.”