US Wheat Associates Core Competency Training Brings Global Staff Together

Posted March 31, 2022

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) technical staff from offices across the globe came to the United States to learn about current research, market development and technical aspects of the U.S. wheat industry, as a part of their Core Competency Training.

This group had representatives from U.S. Wheat Associates offices in Mexico, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe, as well as staff members from the U.S. east and west coast locations. The tour began March 21, in Portland, Oregon, where they toured the Wheat Marketing Center. The Wheat Marketing Center (WMC) provides technical training and grower workshops, innovative research, product development and crop quality testing services. WMC focuses on promoting U.S. wheat by demonstrating its quality and functionality in Asian noodles, crackers and biscuits, tortillas and flatbread and other baked products. At the WMC, participants explored the quality testing and product development of soft white winter wheat — the wheat going into Asian noodles, tortillas and crackers.

Next stops on the tour included Fargo, North Dakota, where they visited the Northern Crops Institute to learn about hard red spring wheat, and Manhattan, Kansas, where they became emersed in the research being done on hard red winter wheat. They discussed topics that reflected a common goal and mission — getting high quality, high yielding wheat varieties into the hands of the farmers and ultimately to millers, bakers and consumers. The tour concluded on March 30.

“This has been good for the technical staff,” said Miguel Galdos, Regional Director of the USW South American Region office in Santiago, Chile. “It is a refresher for our internal contacts to help our customers be able to know that U.S. wheat is the most reliable choice and has a type of wheat for all uses.”

Having the international staff come to the United States to visit allowed them to get a frame of reference for how the United States serves the world demand for wheat. This is particularly vital now, as the turmoil in Ukraine and Russia persists, causing disturbances in world wheat supplies, especially for those countries that rely heavily on the Black Sea region for their wheat supplies.  

“We are excited to start seeing our overseas partners again, said Justin Gilpin, Kansas Wheat CEO. “We look forward to continued collaboration on how best to market United States wheat around the world.”

U.S. Wheat Associates is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry. USW promotes the reliability, quality and value of all six U.S. wheat classes to wheat buyers, millers, bakers, food processors and government officials in more than 100 countries around the world. Its mission is to “Develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.” Funding is made possible through checkoff dollars, goods and services from 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share grants from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.