Harvesting New Technology
U.S. Wheat Industry Recognizes Nethercutt as “Wheat Leader of the Year”
By Tracy Sayler
Washington State Congressman George Nethercutt Jr. was recognized with the U.S. wheat industry’s highest legislative honor – the 2000 Wheat Leader of the Year award – at the 2001 Wheat Industry Conference
held earlier this year in New Orleans.
The award is given annually to one member of Congress by the NAWG, USW, and WETEC.
Since Nethercutt was first elected to Washington’s 5th Congressional District in 1994, he has been a strong advocate for U.S. agricultural trade, as well as regulatory and tax relief for farmers. In the
last Congress, he spearheaded sanctions relief legislation that eliminated all unilateral food and medicine sanctions on Libya, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Cuba. The legislation also established a review process
for future unilateral sanctions, requiring the President to consult with Congress and request passage of a joint resolution before new food and medicine sanctions can be imposed.
Oklahoma wheat producer Terry Detrick, immediate past president of the
NAWG (left) and Minnesota wheat producer Bruce Hamnes (right), chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates, with Washington State Congressman George Nethercutt Jr., who was honored during the recent Wheat Industry
Conference as the 2000 Wheat Leader of the Year.
The U.S. wheat industry has long opposed using food as a weapon—imposing trade sanctions unilaterally against other countries, prompting them merely to buy grain elsewhere, and hurting only U.S.
farmers by destroying export markets. Since the U.S. exports over half the wheat it produces annually, overseas export markets are essential.
Minnesota wheat producer Bruce Hamnes, chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates, says that Nethercutt “beat back trade policy that placed the burden of achieving the nation’s foreign policy goals on the backs of
“Congressman Nethercutt has proven himself a champion of the wheat industry above and beyond the call of duty,” says Oklahoma wheat producer Terry Detrick, immediate past president of the NAWG.
In accepting the honor, Nethercutt says that while he is pleased with improvements made in U.S. sanctions policy, unfinished business remains.
For example, he would like to see the USDA become more aggressive in pursuing grain export sales, and work more cohesively with other federal departments to make the grain export approval process more efficient.
“Our farmers won’t be profitable if we don’t have markets to sell into,” he says.
NAWG Recognizes Excellence in Extension, Research
During the recent Wheat Industry Conference, Dr. Russ Karow, Oregon
State University extension cereals specialist and Ben Simko, an extension agent in Malheur County, Oregon, were recognized as the 2000 recipients of the Excellence in Extension Awards, sponsored by Aventis
CropScience and co-sponsored by the National Association of Wheat Growers Foundation and the Wheat Industry Resource Committee (WIRC).
Also, the NAWG Foundation and Aventis CropScience along with the WIRC awarded the first-ever Excellence in Research Award. The award winner, Dr. Jorge Dubcovsky, was honored for his work as a wheat
geneticist at the University of California-Davis. His accomplishments include identifying genes that confer resistance to leaf rust and stripe rust and incorporating those traits into commercial varieties.
Dave Downing, representing Aventis CropScience, says the awards have been presented annually since 1990 to Extension professionals at both the
state and county levels who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to Extension and research programs that benefit wheat growers and the wheat industry.