Oklahoma Wheat Commissioner Michael Peters Joins US Wheat Trade Delegation to Northern Africa and EuropeMon, 07 Mar 2016 21:12:25 CST
Every year, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) sponsors opportunities for farmer directors on the USW board or state wheat commission staff to travel to overseas markets for U.S. wheat. The intense, regional "board team" visits help participants observe the day-to-day work of USW's overseas offices and connect them to their customers and industry stakeholders.
"Board teams help build personal connections between our overseas customers and U.S. wheat farmers," says USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Vince Peterson. "U.S. wheat is the world's most reliable source of high quality wheat, and part of that reputation comes from the people who grow it. We consistently hear how much the customer appreciates getting to know the farmer."
This year, USW Program Manager Erica Oakley will lead a North Africa and European Board Team to Morocco, Italy and Israel in early March. The team includes Michael Peters, a wheat farmer from Okarche, OK, and the secretary/treasurer of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission; Michael Edgar, a Desert Durum® farmer and merchandiser from Yuma, AZ, and a current USW director representing the Arizona Grain Research and Promotion Council and Ken Davis, a wheat farmer from Grandview, TX, and a current USW director representing the Texas Wheat Producers Board.
The team will first meet at the USW Headquarters Office in Arlington, VA, and with USDA Foreign Agricultural Service officials as orientation before traveling overseas. Over three days in Morocco, the team will meet with government contacts, tour a couscous plant and two durum mills, and meet with the Moroccan Miller's Federation and the Moroccan Importers Federation. The team will then travel to Italy, accompanied by Regional Director Ian Flagg and Marketing Specialist Rutger Koekoek from the USW Rotterdam Office on tours of multiple pasta plants and semolina mills. In Israel, on the last leg of the trip, the team and Koekoek will visit the Port of Haifa, two mills and a bakery.
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