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C magazine

Nicole Berg balances farming and ag advocacy

Nicole Berg splits her time between her family’s Paterson, Wash., farm and advocation for agriculture throughout the U.S.
Cynthia Clanton
May 31, 2024

“We live and breathe agriculture,” says Nicole Berg, Washington farmer, industry leader and cooperative owner.

The fourth-generation farmer and former president of the National Association of Wheat Growers speaks up for agriculture in a big way, hitting the road to represent ag interests in state and federal policy discussions on topics ranging from the farm bill to pesticide regulations and taxation. She serves on the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation board and spent years as a conservation district leader.

Shaping policy is a group effort, Berg says. “No one person can do policy, but a team of agricultural people? We sure can.”

Berg and her father and two brothers run a farming operation that covers 9,000 acres of irrigated cropland, pulling water from the Columbia River six miles away, and 11,000 dryland acres. They grow primarily hard red winter wheat and soft white spring wheat, plus field and sweet corn, peas, green beans, alfalfa and grass seed. Berg Farms is a longtime member of CHS Primeland, based in Lewiston, Idaho.

“We grow more than 300 crops in the Pacific Northwest and most of the wheat grown in Washington is exported to the Asia Pacific, so we know it’s important to keep our minds open to the possibilities that could happen in agriculture,” says Berg.

“The average American is five generations removed from the farm, so there’s a lack of understanding about what farmers actually do,” she says, “and half of Congress has never voted on a farm bill.

“I tell younger folks we need their voices. I know it feels like there’s so much to do on the farm and they can’t get away, but we all have to prioritize telling agriculture’s story, so we’re not always playing defense. Getting more people involved will help us create a bigger offense.”

Check out the full Spring 2024 C magazine with this article and more.

Learn more about CHS advocacy work.

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