Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) is the recipient of the National Association of Wheat Growers’ (NAWG) 2010 Wheat Leader of the Year Award, the wheat industry's highest public service award. Murray was nominated by her home state’s grower association because of her history of providing leadership in the areas of agricultural research funding, her support for farm bill programs and trade agreements and her advocacy on behalf of funding to improve the Columbia and Snake River systems. 

 “I am pleased to be able to present this award to Sen. Murray,” says Jerry McReynolds, NAWG president and wheat producer from Woodston, KS. “We need champions in Congress like Sen. Murray to lead and help educate new Members who are coming in and may not know the value agriculture research and transportation infrastructure contribute to a successful farm economy.”

Murray’s nomination was approved by the NAWG Domestic and Trade Policy Committee and the NAWG Board of Directors. A member of Murray’s staff accepted her award on her behalf at an awards dinner held as part of last week’s Wheat Industry Winter Conference in Washington, D.C. “Sen. Murray has been a friend of Washington wheat for many years and we’re proud to see her efforts recognized nationally,” says Brett Blankenship, past president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers and a producer from Adams County, WA.

The Wheat Leader of the Year Award is given annually by NAWG to one Member of Congress based on his or her demonstrated commitment to the well-being and goals of the wheat industry. Previous Wheat Leaders include Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), 2009 and 2007; Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), 2008 and 2002; Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), 2006); Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), 2005); Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS), 2004; Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), 2003); Rep. Larry Combest (R-TX), 2001; Rep. George Nethercutt (R-WA), 2000; and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), 1999).

For more on NAWG awards, go to http://www.wheatworld.org