Lansing, Mich. (March 19, 2021) – Dave Milligan, a Cass City, Mich., wheat farmer was re-elected to serve as president of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) for the 2021-2022 year. When first elected in March 2020, Milligan became Michigan’s first-ever NAWG president.
“It’s an honor to continue serving as NAWG’s President, especially as we’ve got a lot of important issues and opportunities for wheat farmers with the new Congress and new Administration,” said Milligan, who was also the Michigan Wheat Program’s original chairman, a position he filled for all 9 years he was on the board. As NAWG president, he is also currently serving as an advisory member on the Michigan board.
Milligan brings considerable ag leadership to the NAWG board. He previously served as chairman of the National Dry Bean Board and has been involved in Farm Bureau’s commodity committees both on the state and national levels. Milligan has also served on most every NAWG committee over his seven years of involvement, learning the organization from the ground up.
Given the impacts of the pandemic on travel, meetings and relationship building, the NAWG board elected the same slate of officers into the coming year to keep the momentum of the organization and to take advantage of early opportunities with the new Congress and Administration.
“Dave did an excellent job as chairman of the Michigan Wheat Program for nine years,” said Bill Hunt, Davison wheat producer and current president of the Michigan Wheat Program board of directors. “We are very proud to have him representing our state and our nation’s wheat farmers. He is a great asset to have for our board, so we asked him to stay on in an advisory capacity.
“It’s a real win for Michigan to have the direct link to the national organization. While we don’t lobby like NAWG, we are very involved in research and there is national research funding that comes back to our state, which is vital for us,” Hunt said.
Milligan’s work not only focuses on policy, but also research, as well as the new focus on climate.
“Following several important policy wins in 2020, we’ve now set our priorities for the upcoming year with a focus on defending critical farm support programs, maintaining and growing our markets, and engaging in climate and sustainability policy in a constructive manner to represent wheat growers’ interests, among other issues,” Milligan said.
Milligan will provide leadership as NAWG’s efforts return to engaging with members of Congress and the Administration to address wheat priorities. As part of this effort, NAWG has held a “virtual Hill week” to allow its farmer members to discuss policy and issues with their Congressional delegations, as well as the US House and Senate Agriculture Committees. Also representing Michigan wheat producers in “Hill week” this year were Michigan Wheat vice chairman Brent Wagner of Grawn and board member Sally McConnachie of Deckerville.
NAWG is the primary wheat policy advocate in Washington, DC, and works with a team of 20 state wheat grower organizations to ensure a better future for American wheat growers, the industry and the general public. From their offices on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, members of Congress, Congressional staff members, Administration officials and the public.
The Michigan Wheat Program is funded by nearly 8,000 farmers who grow wheat in 50 of Michigan’s 83 counties. The Michigan Wheat Program board seeks to promote the state’s wheat industry by funding and supporting the strategic priorities of wheat farmers working with input suppliers, seed producers, millers, end users and consumers. Research on wheat production practices and grower education are a continued focus for the organization.