Texan elected to national wheat post

David Cleavinger, a Texas wheat farmer from Wildorado, was elected secretary/treasurer of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). Cleavinger was elected during the North American Grain Congress in Reno, Nev., recently.

NAWG is a nonprofit partnership of U.S. wheat growers formed in 1950 to solve common problems and make decisions for the future of American wheat producers.

Cleavinger has been an advocate for agricultural policy at the state and federal level for more than 15 years. He served as chairman of the Texas Wheat Board Producers Board in 2000 and served on the NAWG Domestic Policy Committee during negotiations of the current farm bill. In 1996, he traveled with a U.S. delegation to Europe and the Middle East to promote U.S. wheat products to foreign buyers.

“With new farm bill negotiations around the corner, I feel this is the time for me to step up and serve the wheat farmers of Texas. As secretary of the National Association of Wheat Growers, I will make sure the voice of the Texas wheat farmer is heard on Capitol Hill,” Cleavinger said.

Cleavinger is a fifth-generation Texas farmer/rancher operating his 4,500-acre irrigated family farm and ranch in Deaf Smith County. Along with stocker, grower cattle operations, his crop production has included wheat, corn, cotton, grain sorghum, seed milo, black-eyed peas, soybeans and sugar beets. In 1979, he earned an agriculture business and economics degree at West Texas State University.

He has traveled throughout Texas, allowing him to experience various agricultural enterprises and local economies with the second class of the Texas Agriculture Lifetime Leadership (TALL) program beginning in 1992. During the two year study program, he traveled to Mexico, California, Washington, D.C., and Argentina.

Cleavinger has worked with the Texas Land Grant Universities and served on the Texas Small Grains Advisory Committee that works with Texas A&M University to develop new research and technology for small grains.

Cleavinger currently serves on the Texas Rural Communities Inc. (TRC) Board and chairs the TRC Loan Committee. Cleavinger is a former member of the Wildorado I.S.D. School Board and is an active member of Trinity Baptist Church in Amarillo.

Cleavinger has been married to his wife, Jackie, for 26 years. They have two children, a daughter, Kelly, who is a student at Midwestern State University and a son, Kent, who is pursuing a degree in agriculture at West Texas A&M University.

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