Oklahoma's Terry Detrick was elected National Association of wheat Growers (NAWG) president, at the 2000 wheat Industry Conference and Exposition, in Las Vegas.

Accepting a one-year term, after an unopposed election, Detrick replaces Oregon wheat farmer Jim Stonebrink. This is the first time in 19 years an Oklahoman has been president of the volunteer membership lobbying organization of wheat farmers.

An Ames, OK, wheat farmer and vice president of Oklahoma Farmers Union, Detrick believes his national post also can be good for Oklahoma agriculture.

"My increased access to some of the major players in farm politics, in Washington DC, will allow me opportunities to represent agriculture in Oklahoma and across the nation," Detrick said. "Many of these heavy-hitters think mostly of Northern states with larger yields, more crop diversification and different input costs, while we, in the South, have different criteria and are on a different timetable."

According to Detrick, within the first few hours after his election, he was contacted by representatives from Canada, France and the Sudan.

As spokesperson for wheat producers in the 25 states NAWG represents, Detrick said he will be working to enhance the profitability of the struggling production agriculture industry. Other NAWG priorities are sanction reforms and other trade issues, as well as establishing a counter-cyclical farm safety net, which would assist producers more when prices are low and would let the market provide an adequate income when prices are high, while maintaining flexibility.

"It will be a truly demanding challenge, but my hope is that I can advance my learning and experience to better enable me to play a part in strengthening the economic plight of agriculture producers not just for today, but for generations to come," he said. "Future support is dependent on a better understanding by consumers of the importance of food production for this country and the world benefiting generations to come."

Prior to the election, Detrick served as chairman of NAWG's Long-Range Planning Committee for three years, as secretary and treasurer for one year and as national vice president in 1999.

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