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Kansas wheat farmer bridges gap in global wheat market
Kansas Ag Connection - 11/30/2023

Derek Sawyer, a Kansas Wheat Commissioner and farmer near McPherson, recently participated in U.S. Wheat Associates' (USW) crop quality seminars in South America. His experience underscores the evolving requirements of the global wheat market. Previously focusing primarily on yield and protein levels, Sawyer's perspective broadened significantly after the seminars.

These USW seminars, conducted annually in regions like South America, Central America/Caribbean, South Asia, the European Union, and North Asia, aim to foster a transparent dialogue between U.S. wheat producers and global customers.

This year, Sawyer represented the diverse classes of U.S. wheat in a series of intensive seminars across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. These seminars drew attendees responsible for over 90 percent of wheat purchases in these regions.

Sawyer's role was to offer a personal connection and insight into the farming practices in Kansas. His discussions ranged from sustainability and regenerative agriculture to the operational changes over his family's 70-year history in wheat farming. The emphasis was on building trust and personal relationships with international customers, a key factor Sawyer credits for the sustained preference for U.S. wheat.

The seminars provided a platform for U.S. farmers to understand the varied needs of their international customers, from quality specifics to sustainability narratives. For Sawyer, the experience was a revelation of the importance of his role as a farmer in the global wheat supply chain.

It highlighted the value of transparency and personal connections in maintaining and expanding U.S. wheat's market share globally.

For more information on USW's crop quality seminars and their impact on global wheat trade, interested parties can visit the US Wheat Associates website at and access the full 2023 USW Crop Quality Report.

This event illustrates the importance of direct farmer-to-buyer connections in the modern agricultural landscape, proving beneficial for both producers and consumers of wheat worldwide.

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