In This Issue:

  • NBGA Annual Winter Meeting Recap
  • Appropriations Requests for Fiscal Year 2021
  • NBGA Joins Coalition Letters Supporting Ag Research Service and Food Aid
  • President Hints at Possibility of Another Round of MFP Payments
  • USDA Announces Innovation Agenda and Ag Groups Unveil Farmers for Sustainable Future
  • Updates on NBGA President, Buzz Mattelin
  • Updates from NASS
  • Beer Institute Blog Features NBGA Director
  • CBS Features NBGA Grower
  • Market Development in Mexico
  • Craft Malt Conference in Colorado
  • Thank you to Lee Hall & Doyle Lentz
  • Upcoming Industry Events
NBGA Annual Winter Meeting Recap

In early February 2020, the NBGA Board of Directors met in Washington, DC for their annual winter meeting. The following speakers provided updates on policy, trade agreements, industry trends, and more.

Scott Heisel, AMBA
Dale Thorenson & Tom Hance, Gordley Associates
Jason Hafemeister, Deputy Undersecretary, USDA FAS
Ryan LeGrand, CEO, US Grains Council
Brad Karmen, Assistant Deputy Administrator, USDA FSA
Ambassador Greg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator, USTR
Jim McGreevy, President and CEO, Beer Institute
Chris Swersey, Supply Chain Specialist, Brewers Association
Keith Gray, Chief of Staff, USDA RMA
Lester Jones, Chief Economist, National Beer Wholesalers Association
Jerry Hagstrom, Executive Editor, Hagstrom Report

NBGA members also attended the annual "Barley, Brews, and Boots" reception on Capitol Hill. It was a great opportunity for members of Congress and their staff to get to know barley farmers and brewers.

Ambassador Greg Doud addresses the NBGA Board of Directors and explains process of negotiating the recent China trade agreement.
Washington Rep. Newhouse shares a beer with NBGA President, Buzz Mattelin at the annual "Barley, Brews, and Boots" reception.
Appropriations Requests for Fiscal Year 2021

NBGA, in coordination with AMBA, NBIC, and state staff, are submitting barley requests for FY 2021 appropriations to key congressional offices. NBGA priority requests include the Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative, Barley Pest Initiative, Small Grains Genomic Initiative and general agency funding for ARS, NASS, ERS, and NIFA-AFRI.
NBGA Joins Coalition Letters Supporting
Ag Research Service and Food Aid

NBGA is joining other agricultural groups in a letter to Appropriations Committee leaders supporting increased funding for ARS. The coalition letter urges Congress to provide $1.789 billion in top-line funding for ARS in FY 2021, which represents a $182.9 million increase over FY 2020. This total would provide an increase of $80 million or 5 percent to support all four national program areas and includes $102.6 million in funding dedicated to the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF).

NBGA is also one of over 60 groups on a letter supporting continued funding for U.S. food aid programs. The letter urges Congress to continue the vital role of food aid by providing robust appropriations in Fiscal Year 2021 for the P.L. 480 Title II Fodo for Peace, Food for Progress, and McGovern-Dole programs. 

President Hints at Possibility of Another Round of
Market Facilitation Program Payments

While USDA leadership has been signaling their hope that U.S. ag exports will return to normal levels in 2020 removing the need for more Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments, a tweet from the President suggests that Administration could provide another round of MFP. On February 21st, President Donald Trump tweeted, "If our formally targeted farmers need additional aid until such time as the trade deals with China, Mexico, Canada and others fully kick in, that aid will be provided by the federal government, paid for out of the massive tariff money coming into the USA!"

The MFP payments are not technically or directly paid for with tariff revenues. The money comes from the Commodity Credit Corporation, an entity within USDA with broad authority and a line of credit, which is replenished by Congress through the annual appropriations process.
USDA Announces Innovation Agenda and Ag Groups
Unveil Farmers for Sustainable Future

On February 20th, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the Agriculture Innovation Agenda (AIA). Secretary Perdue described the initiative as a department-wide effort to provide farmers with the tools they need to increase productivity 40% while reducing the industry's environmental footprint 50%, by 2050. The AIA is a department-wide effort to align USDA's resources, programs, and research to position American agriculture as a leader in the effort to meet the food, fiber, fuel, feed, and climate demands of the future.


The same week, twenty-one farm and ranch groups, including NBGA, unveiled the Farmers for a Sustainable Future, a coalition focuses on environmental and economic sustainability. This coalition seeks to serve as a resource for policymakers as they consider climate policies and to share with elected officials, media and the public U.S. agriculture's commitment to sustainability and the incredible strides already made to reduce agriculture's environmental footprint.


Updates on NBGA President,
 Buzz Mattelin

Buzz was named Ag Leader of the Year at MSU's Ag Appreciation Weekend and named Lt. Gov running mate for MT Gubernatorial candidate Whitney Williams.

Update from NASS

NASS is currently collecting data for its March Agricultural Survey. A quarterly survey, this first one of the year asks about acres planted, planting intentions, and the amount of grain and oilseed stored. Data collection ends on March 18. Survey results will be published in the Prospective Plantings and quarterly Grain Stocks reports on March 31, 2020.

These data are used by federal and state agencies, commodity markets, agricultural traders, agribusinesses, researchers, economists, extension agents, media, and many others to administer farm programs, identify and analyze emerging issues and trends, establish futures and commodity prices, and so much more.

Stay connected on Twitter @usda_nass for the latest information!
Beer Institute Blog Features NBGA Director

NBGA board member Chris Engelstad of Fertile, MN collaborated with the Beer Institute on their latest blog post.

CBS Features NBGA Grower

NBGA Past President Doyle Lentz was featured on an episode of CBS This Morning . Doyle showed his operation and explained the rising costs of beer.

Market Development in Mexico

NBGA vice president Greg Kessel traveled to Mexico during the week of February 24 th, 2020 to meet with brewing companies in an effort to expand market opportunities for U. S. barley in Mexico. The trip was a collaboration between U. S. Grains Council in Mexico and the North Dakota Barley Council. Other participants were North Dakota Barley Council director Gary Beck, administrator Steve Edwardson, and USGC Mexico representatives Javier Chavez and Heidi Bringenberg.

“We met with Modelo, Constellation, Heineken, and Sierra Madre brewing companies”, said Kessel. “Constellation has implemented a barley procurement program in the northern plains of the United States. Heineken is in the early stages of developing a similar program. Sierra Madre is the largest craft brewer in Mexico and provided an overview of growth potential in this market. It is important that we visit with these companies on a regular basis to learn what is happening in their markets, and to keep them informed about the importance of working with U. S. Grains Council and its member organizations on market development. NBGA and USGC play a vital role in policy development and market development respectively, both of which provide opportunities for U. S. barley producers.”

The group also met with the Orestes Vasquez (director of the agricultural trade office at the U. S. Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico). “Mr. Vasquez provided us with an informative overview of economic and market conditions in Mexican agriculture, and the importance of the recent completion of the USMCA in facilitating trade”, said Kessel. “This information will be beneficial to NBGA and USGC in monitoring policy and trade issues that impact our relationships in Mexico.”
Craft Malt Conference in Colorado

NBGA vice president Greg Kessel, along with Dale Thorenson, attended the Craft Maltsters Conference in Colorado in February 2020. “Craft malting is an emerging niche market which presents opportunities for barley producers to have additional market outlets to supply the growing craft brewing industry”, said Kessel. “We need to continue to promote NBGA to the craft malting and craft brewing industry to expand awareness of U. S. barley supply and utilization. This is critical in helping our growers compete in the global market.”

Thank you to Lee Hall and Doyle Lentz for your dedication and service to NBGA!

Upcoming Industry Events

March 2020: National Barley Improvement Committee, Washington, DC 3/8-3/11

April 2020: World Beer Cup, San Antonio, TX 4/17-4/19; Craft Brewers
Conference, San Antonio, TX 4/19-4/22

May 2020:

June 2020: Idaho Barley Commission Annual Budget Meeting, Soda Springs, ID
6/11-6/12; NBGA Summer Meeting, St. Louis, MO 6/15-6/18

July 2020: International Barley Genetics Symposium, Riga, Latvia, 7/5-7/9

August 2020: MBAA and ASBC World Brewing Congress, Minneapolis, MN 8/1-8/4

September 2020: Great American Beer Festival, Denver, CO 9/24-9/26


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