Washington, D.C. (September 20, 2023) – U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) today thank Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Sen. Pete Rickets (R-NE) for the 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, all 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.
“It is exciting to see the Senate join the House in supporting the role of US 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 Marshall, and Senator Rickets for championing this important bill.”
“The American Farmers Feed the World Act empowers American wheat farmers to share our harvest and contribute to the global battle against hunger,” stated Brent Cheyne, President of the National Association of Wheat Growers and a wheat farmer from Oregon. “Wheat, a vital staple grain accounting for approximately 20 percent of global calorie consumption, receives its highest quality from U.S. wheat farmers, making it an essential resource in nourishing the world. We’ve observed a shift away from utilizing American commodities in food aid programs over the years, which has resulted in diminished transparency, accountability, and bipartisan backing. 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. It underscores our dedication to providing food assistance to vulnerable populations while prioritizing our farmers ahead of foreign agricultural competitors.”
“Montana Grain Growers Association (MGGA) is thrilled to see Senator Tester support this bill to ensure that American farmers continue to play a vital role in the Food for Peace program,” said Nathan Keane, NAWG board member and President of MGGA. “As a Montana wheat farmer, we believe in the power of our wheat to feed more hungry people worldwide, and this legislation supports that mission without additional taxpayer cost.”
“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 USW Board Member Brian Linin, a Goodland, Kansas, wheat farmer who also serves 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.”
USW Board Member and Montana wheat farmer Denise Conover said using U.S. wheat to feed those in need across the world is a story that resonates strongly with every farmer.
“As a Montana wheat farmer, I am incredibly proud of the role my farm plays in supporting international food aid programs,” said Conover. “I am pleased to see Senator Tester leading this important bill to ensure that American farmers continue to play this vital role in the Food for Peace program, feeding more Montana wheat to more hungry people at no additional taxpayer cost.”
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.