The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) represents wheat growers from 21 states across the country. Headquartered in Washington D.C., NAWG engages with policymakers and the Administration to make sure the Association’s priorities are in the forefront of those who can improve the livelihoods of wheat producers. At the heart of the organization is a team of officers that work around to clock to be the face of NAWG while continuing to maintain their farms.
The National Association of Wheat growers met in Anaheim, California February 27 through March 1 for the 2018 annual Commodity Classic trade show. During Commodity Classic, NAWG held a Board meeting in which a new group of officers were elected to continue to serve the mission and purpose of NAWG.
Outgoing President, Gordon Stoner, handed over his office to fifth generation farmer Jimmie Musick. Jimmie is from Sentinel, Oklahoma where he runs his Farms and Cattle Company with his wife Judy, son Tracy and wife Ronda, and grandsons Colt and Larame. Musick manages a feeder cattle operation, grows alfalfa, wheat, corn, milo and cotton.
Jimmie has held leadership positions with the Oklahoma Young Farmers Education Association, the Stockholders Advisory Committee of the U.S. AgBank, and the National Wheat Foundation Board. Jimmie was a former Board of Director at the Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma for 30 years and is currently Chairman of the Washita County Excise Board. “I’m honored to serve this organization as President,” Musick said. “I have a deep connection to this organization and it has grown in my service over the years. I look forward to a strong year for wheat growers as we look forward to a Farm Bill and hopefully some beneficial trade deals from the administration.”
Former Secretary Ben Scholz will now serve as the Vice President of NAWG. Scholz began a career in farming and ranching in partnership with his father, which continues today with his wife as partner in B Scholz Farms. In 1999, he diversified interest by becoming President and CEO of Producers Compress, Inc., a business offering warehouse space for lease and cotton storage.
Ben sits on the Board and has been named ‘farmer of the year’ by Collin County Soil and Water Conservation District. In 2012, Scholz was named ‘Alumni Ambassador’ by the Agricultural Department of Texas A&M-Commerce University, the highest award an academic department can bestow upon a graduate. The same evening he was given the award, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (TX-11) was also being recognized. Further, he has been given the ‘Brother of the Century Award’ from the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. Lastly, Ben is currently a Chairman on the Texas Wheat Producers Board.
Cass City, Michigan wheat farmer Dave Milligan will now serve as NAWG’s new Treasurer. Milligan played an important role on the committee of wheat farmers who drafted guidelines and worked to gain passage of the wheat check-off. He has also been Chairman of the Board since its inception.
Milligan represents Michigan on NAWG’s Domestic and Trade Policy Committee, Budget Committee, Operations Committee, and Nominating Committee. Milligan also serves on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Wheat Committee and formerly served as the chair of the American Dry Bean Board.
Nicole Berg, fourth generation wheat farmer from Paterson, Washington, became the newest face in NAWG leadership being elected as Secretary. Since Washington wheat grower Judy Olson (1994), Berg will be the second woman to be elected as an executive officer. Berg currently serves as president of the Washington Wheat Growers Association, who she has been involved with for more than 15 years.
Berg holds a degree in agricultural communications from Washington State University. Before returning to the farm, she worked in the wine industry. Today, Berg grows dry-land and irrigated wheat, blue grass seed, corn and alfalfa alongside her two brothers in Paterson, Washington.
The NAWG officer team proves to be a diverse group of leadership, representing areas across the nation where wheat is grown. During the exciting future that lies ahead for this commodity, these individuals will proudly represent wheat growers by channeling their voices to advocate for opportunities through research, innovation, education and stewardship.