"Our philosophy is simple: keep the food in food aid."
That's what Cary Wickstrom, former president of the U.S. Wheat Associates and member of the USW Board of Directors and USW Food Aid Working Group, told the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Specialty Crops, Rural Development and Foreign Agriculture.
Wickstrom and other wheat growers have good reason to support current U.S. food aid policy.
"Wheat represents an average of 40 percent to 50 percent of all U.S. food aid tonnage," he says.
Contrary to recent criticism that direct food aid is inefficient, Wickstrom says, the U.S. bulk grain system makes it possible to tender for and deliver grain to its destination in as few as 45 days.
Wickstrom says the wheat industry supports continuing U.S. in-kind food aid donations and opposes cash donations for local/regional food aid purchases.