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From the CEO, Amanda Hoey

The CEO’s Report is intended to provide a very quick overview of the CEO’s activities from the prior week. It is not intended to provide detail about individual meetings or events, just a summary of where we are spending time and resources on behalf of our growers. If you have questions or would like more information on any topic, please contact the OWGL office.

July 2024

Week of July 1, 2024
With the holiday, a shorter week in the office. I participated in the US Wheat Sanitary/Phytosanitary quarterly meeting where we were joined by APHIS representatives. I met with PNW Waterways Association on river system approaches and collaboration with the three PNW states. The League Executive Committee convened, approving a letter of support for Shaver Transportation’s grant application to design a hybrid tug. I coordinated on a large wheat sample needed for an expanding market, with appreciation to Mid-Columbia Producers for the cooperation. Finally, I continued meetings related to pathology programs, worked on convention items and moved the magazine on to the publisher for August.

June 2024

Week of June 24, 2024
Oregon officially kicked off harvest, which we celebrated while hosting a farm tour for the Korea Contracting for Wheat Value team. I presented on a panel at the Oregon Ag law conference and held a meeting for our OSU research partners in Portland to discuss continuity of core pathology work following Dr. Mundt’s retirement and before the new hire is on board. I participated in the stakeholder panel with candidates for the OSU Department Head for Crop and Soil Science. With the end of the fiscal year, the week involved a lot of administrative items. The Oregon Wheat PAC met for final distributions following the primary elections. I received the appointment from Governor Kotek as the convener for the North Central Regional Solutions Advisory Committee. Finally, as with all weeks: a few virtual regular meetings, plus attending the NAWG Board of Directors meeting.

Week of June 17, 2024
We welcomed Natalia Simpson to the League office this week as our new Administrative Assistant and Membership Coordinator. I attended the AGPAC Educational Services Tour, which featured a stop at C&L Farms with Past President Collin Crocker. I presented on a “Advancing Sustainable Agriculture and Resilient Food Systems” panel at the Eastern Oregon Economic Summit, discussing the importance of wheat in a global context. Immediately prior, I hosted a representative from one of our larger Japanese flour milling companies for a briefing on our operations and the status of the 2024 crop progress. I joined our state Commission executives for a discussion with a Global Strategist from Rabobank for an overview of the U.S. Wheat Situation and Outlook. League leadership met with the Governor’s Natural Resource Policy Advisor to discuss water policy. In other activities, I attended the Pacific Northwest Waterways briefing on river system issues, the U.S. Wheat states meeting for crop condition updates and the NAWG Operations and Planning meeting.

Week of June 10, 2024
The League board met to pass the FY 24-25 budget, tour President Bingaman’s farm in Imbler, discuss policy positions related to the 2025 state legislative session and renew our contract with Dalton Advocacy. The Commission hosted a technical baking team from Korea for a tour at Dierickx Farms. Leadership for the League joined OSU Dean Staci Simonich for a dinner following the board meeting. I attended the Pendleton Field Day and Wasco County crop tour and joined the Groundwater Quality Coalition meeting. We are excited to welcome Natalia Simpson to the League office as our Administrative Assistant/Membership coordinator. The remainder of the week was spent preparing for incoming trade teams and dealing with end of fiscal year items.

Week of June 3, 2024
With the League board meeting scheduled next week, I completed the board packet. Main items are the budget, review of Farm Bill status and overview on state legislative items. I met with the Governor’s Natural Resource Policy Advisor to discuss their approach to water policy. The League hosted the June Wheat Talk featuring Agwest Farm Credit talking about interest rates and the effects of inflation on farm operations. I participated in the weekly call with the states on crop conditions and harvest progress as other states move forward and conditions for Oregon continue to look favorable. I met with Wheat Marketing Center to review Crop Quality sampling improvements in advance of the 2024 harvest season, and attended the NAWG Budget and Environment and Research Committee meetings. We completed round 1 candidate interviews for the League Administrative Assistant/Membership Coordinator position, with round two interviews scheduled next week.

May 2024

Week of May 20-27, 2024
I joined the US Wheat World staff conference, a gathering that occurs every other year to cover topics of relevance to the industry. It was also an opportunity to honor retiring staff, including Jeff Coey (USW-Beijing/Hong Kong) and Roy Chung (USW-Singapore). The House Ag Committee marked up proposed Farm Bill language and the House Farm Bill was reported out of Committee by a vote of 33 to 21. I closed the first-round application window for the League Administrative Assistant position, with initial interviews to be conducted next week. The Commission’s lease is signed and complete for moving to the World Trade Center.

Week of May 13, 2024
Following the approval of the Commission budget at the May meeting, we are working through execution on contracts. I also worked on final elements for the Commission for the co-located space with U.S. Wheat Associates in Portland. I attended the Oregonians for Food and Shelter Board meeting for a discussion on pesticide issues/ regulations and the Keep Oregon Green Board meeting for a discussion on wildfire preparedness/ prevention. We continued work for upcoming incoming trade teams. We have had a strong response to the job opening, which will remain open until May 24 for the first-round consideration. Finally, we sent out the Farm Bill action alert in advance of activities next week.

Week of May 6, 2024
The Commission met this week, with approval of the FY 24-25 budget, election of new officers, audit acceptance, review of the variety app and approval of updated policies, among other items. The Oregon Wheat PAC also met to discuss contributions, with determination on initial allocations. This week also featured a USW-sponsored group from China analyzing options for increasing use of U.S. Wheat in products: from frozen dough to whole grain to pre-mix products. We hosted them for a tour at Behrman farms. I attended the monthly NAWG policy meeting, NAWG board meeting, and USW crop conditions meeting. I presented to the Salem Rotary, executed the auditor agreement for the League, and addressed facilities items.

April 2024

Week of April 29, 2024
The chairs for the House and Senate ag committees released their individual farm bill proposals this week, giving us an opportunity to comb through the summaries. We are continuing team season in full force as I met with a delegation of Japanese Flour Millers Association Executives to discuss the 2024 crop. The group represented roughly 80% of the flour milling capacity in Japan. We enjoyed a beautiful day out raising funds for the Foundation at the 27th annual golf scramble. With appreciation to Lucy and well-wishes as she moves on to her next adventures, we are working through the team transitions. I posted our job opening for the Administrative Assistant/Membership Coordinator role. I attended the OSU Columbia Basin Ag Research Center ribbon cutting and tour of the research plots. We conducted the final cereal grains candidate pathology interview this week and I attended the NAWG budget committee meeting. With the Commission meeting/ budget hearing next week, I finalized all materials for the meeting packets.

Week of April 22, 2024
Attended an FBI ag threats symposium to kick off the week. Engaged in an industry stakeholder panel for the the first two candidate interviews for the OSU cereal pathology position. Met with an Egyptian team hosted by US Wheat as they look at expanding purchases of spring wheat. Attended the NAWG monthly state staff call, which primarily focused on insights into the House Ag Committee’s planned markup of the Farm Bill. Conducted a board orientation with Josh Macnab in Sherman County. Met with Senator Merkley to discuss Farm Bill priorities, Columbia River System, trade and thank him for the introduction of the Oregon Bounty Research Act. I ended the week coordinating upcoming team visits and additional farm tours for May and June.

Week of April 15, 2024
Kicked off trade team season this week, with a Korean noodle technical team in Oregon. We ended the week for them with a farm tour to see North Valley League President TJ Bernards’ operations. Earlier in the week, I hosted my counterparts from the Idaho Wheat Commission and Washington Grain Commission in Portland for a planning session. I joined an Oregon state ag association executives roundtable which included representatives from DEQ to discuss rulemaking for the Climate Protection Program 2024. The League staff participated in a planning meeting for the upcoming 2024 tri-state convention, to be held in Coeur d’Alene. The League submitted comments to DLCD in relation to the eastern Oregon solar rulemaking process. We received the much-anticipated announcement of the $1 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation funding to provide for the purchase, shipment and distribution of U.S. wheat and other commodities for USAID international food assistance programming. Wheat makes up the largest portion of emergency food assistance managed by USAID’s Food for Peace office. We closed the sponsor and team registration for the May 1st Oregon Wheat Foundation Golf Scramble fundraiser. With a total of 30 teams, we will see a lot of friends out golfing with the 27th annual event! Thank you to our generous sponsors for this event.

Week of April 8, 2024

The Commission met this week to review the preliminary budget and assess procedures for crop quality sampling. The League and Commission joined in a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expressing appreciation for the work to complete lock maintenance on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. I visited the resilient dryland farming trials at the Pendleton station and responded to a wheat variety release proposal targeted to the Willamette Valley. In addition to regular weekly meetings, I joined the NAWG Operations and Planning meeting and a hard red winter crop sampling planning meeting. On the operational end, I began preparing the draft FY 24-25 League budget, worked on the Commission lease and transmitted the League support letter to Oregon Department of Agriculture for commissioner appointment consideration. With stripe rust identified in a susceptible variety at the plots in Pendleton, OSU sent a notice encouraging growers to scout their fields.

Week of April 1, 2024
The Executive Committee met this week, discussing 2025 convention plans, receiving an update on a regional issue, and recommending support letters for commission appointees. I conducted a new member board orientation, visiting Culver to see the expanding farm operations for Kyle and Jordan Bender. I completed the Commission meeting packet as the Commission will convene next week to meet with crop quality sampling cooperators and discuss a proposed FY 24-25 budget. I attended the USW quarterly Sanitary Phytosanitary meeting, which included an APHIS representative, and participated in the weekly US Wheat crop conditions call. I finalized the agenda for our upcoming May legislator tour as DAi begins outreach for attendees. It is modeled after an Idaho example and will be the first one hosted by the League. Other activities in the week were primarily operational in nature, including discussions on finalizing a lease proposal for the Commission.

March 2024

Week of March 25, 2024
This week I joined the USDA Korea Ag Trade Mission. U.S. Wheat Associates’ Korea office arranged a beneficial schedule of visits to our primary customers, with stops at end product manufacturers. The South Valley Wheat growers annual meeting took place, with Jason Flowers attending along with our regional leadership. The Wheat Marketing Center met, with Commissioner Padget attending as the Commission representative. I worked on items for the upcoming April Commission meeting, including finalization of the draft budget.

Week of March 18, 2024
The week was dominated by participation in in the North and South/Southeast Asia Unified Export Strategy meetings. It is a continuation from the prior week, with this week’s efforts focusing to the review of strategies for the Korea, China and Taiwan offices. The Commission received ODA approval for the contract agreement with the OSU Foundation to establish the cereal grains pathology endowment and we are working through the final execution. I communicated with federal partners regarding international food aid, proposed Bills and League positions. I attended regular meetings, including the Ag Execs meeting and Ag Education Services meeting. At the conclusion of the week, I departed for the Korea Ag Trade Mission.

Week of March 11, 2024
I spent the week participating in the North and South/Southeast Asia Unified Export Strategy (UES) meetings. The UES is an extensive planning process that identifies opportunities for export growth, addresses threats, develops strategies for export potential and reports on metrics from prior years strategies. This week included review for the Japan and South/SE Asia UES. I also participated in a virtual meeting with U.S. Wheat on the crop quality sampling process. We secured a date for the inaugural Oregon Wheat legislative tour in May. While I was out at the UES meetings, the League hosted the March Wheat Talk featuring NRCS and Wallowa County held its annual member meeting, in coordination with the Wallowa County Grain Growers.

Week of March 4, 2024
The Oregon Legislature adjourned the 2024 short session on Thursday, two days earlier than expected. The League Executive Committee met to review financials, discuss the status of the state legislative session, consider a support request for the Klamath Water Users Association and discuss tri-state grain convention. I attended the joint Sherman/Wasco County League member meeting and met with U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Portland staff to discuss the general outline of anticipated trade and technical teams scheduled to be in Oregon this year. I began preparing for crop quality work for 2024, meeting with USW on policies and with Plains Grains Institute and Wheat Marketing Center on budget proposals. On the operations side, the Commission’s audit is moving quickly, with the on-site portion completed this week.

February 2024

Week of February 26, 2024

A busy week as we divided responsibilities to cover coinciding events for the Commission and League.

The Commission hosted the annual growers workshop in Portland. I joined for the first portion of the day to provide an overview of the Commission and League, before departing for the National Association of Wheat Growers annual meeting in Houston- held in conjunction with Commodity Classic. In addition to NAWG Board activities which included passing annual resolutions and priorities for the association, the week included a celebration of outgoing NAWG President Brent Cheyne, honoring national wheat yield contest winners and engaging in panels on the Farm Bill and agency issues. On the state side, the legislature passed the second chamber work session deadline this week, turning another corner as we near the end of session. In addition, I met with US Wheat Associates staff regarding an update to the ‘state resource guide’ used in our work with the foreign offices and trade teams. I met with the U.S. DOT Volpe Center and USDA as they work on an update to their report on the Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture. On the administrative end, I executed the agreement for Commission auditing services and met with them virtually this week.

Week of February 19, 2024

County meeting season continued with the Union/Baker wheat producers meeting this week. The State Legislative Session turned the corner, marking the passage of the halfway point. Among other actions, the ‘canola bill’ (HB 4059 extending the 500-acre limit in the Willamette Valley) passed on party lines out of the House. I attended the Oregon Farm Services Agency State Committee meeting and presented the League’s Farm Bill priorities. The final 2024 Preferred Variety Brochure is published and posted on our website. I have signed an updated Letter of intent with OSU Foundation on the Cereal Grains Pathology Endowment, following a tremendous commitment from Dean Simonich for matching funds.

Week of February 12, 2024

The Commission met for the annual research review, conducting the initial assessment for consideration in funding projects for the next fiscal year. The full meeting included an update on the river system and trade. Among other items, actions included approval on the cereal grains pathology endowment agreement, approval of CBARC funding reallocation to support rehabilitation of the greenhouse in Pendleton, and authorization to enter into an agreement with an audit firm. We also enjoyed a tour of the renovated and expanded cereal quality lab. As is tradition, this week the League hosted Oregon Wheat Day at the State Capitol on Oregon’s Birthday, meeting with leadership during week two of the state legislative session. Among other items, we joined a coalition support letter for the Elk Damage Pilot Program bill. The remainder of the week was spent on operational items, including a meeting with the state’s Department of Administrative Services.

Week of February 5, 2024

Start of the state legislative session, with our lobby team actively working on priority bills at a fast clip. The Foundation Board met, providing approval of the FY 24/25 budget, discussing fundraising activities. and approving award for the full 12 available scholarships this year. The League officers met, with approval on a support letter for a producer issue in Umatilla County and pursuing clarification on an item with RMA. We hosted the Morrow County wheat growers member meeting, I attended an ag reception with Oregon State University and I participated in the advisory meeting for the wheat microbiome project. NAWG held committee meetings this week to review expiring resolutions in advance of the annual meeting. I submitted a comment letter to EPA on their request for comments on the use and usage of treated seed. Organizational items included preparation for upcoming Commission meetings, review on facilities and conducting a staff evaluation.

January 2024

Week of January 29, 2024

The 2024 legislative session begins next week, and our lobby team has been hard at work. We have the initial bill tracker, listing priority issues for the League. Given the short session timeline, everything will move quickly. I attended the PNW Wheat Quality Council meeting, which included a review of experimental lines, evaluation of quality by domestic and international cooperators, overview of the updated Preferred Varieties brochure and discussion on upcoming issues for breeding programs. I prepared a letter to the record from the League for the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the Columbia-Snake River dams. With the Foundation Board meeting scheduled for next week, I finalized the budget and meeting packet. In addition to administrative business, topics include the Golf Scramble and the scholarship awards which had deadline for submission this week.

Week of January 22, 2024

We had a successful week in Washington D.C. for visits to the Hill to discuss Farm bill priorities and the importance of the Columbia Snake River system. Prior to meeting with our Oregon delegation, we had a briefing from Senate Ag Committee Chair Senator Stabenow and Ranking Member Senator Boozman, offering insight on the Farm Bill progress. The week also included a series of meetings with U.S. Wheat Associates and National Association of Wheat Growers. In addition to committee and board business, NAWG and USW held plenary sessions that featured discussion with USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Alexis Taylor and USTR Ambassador Doug McKalip. In other activities this week, the League joined a letter of support to reaffirm and clarify provisions in FIFRA related to pesticide labeling and packaging.

Week of January 15, 2024

The League Board met to discuss positions on issues in advance of the short session which begins February 5. The Executive Committee authorized submission of letters to OSU regarding the statewide programs and to EPA on treated seed regulations. I attended the monthly Pacific NW Waterways Association meeting, with discussion focused on the status of the Columbia-Snake River System. I attended a meeting with U.S. Wheat on their anticipated application to the Regional Ag Promotion Program (RAPP) Funds. Along with a group of stakeholders, I met with Dean Simonich as part of the Crop and Soil Science Department Search Committee. I worked with the University and OSU Foundation on a final updated endowment agreement/ statement of intent for the cereal grains pathology position which will go to the Commission in February. To the Oregon Board of Ag, I submitted a letter from League outlining our legislative priorities and crop conditions. The Commission met briefly this week as well, approving travel for the US-South Korea Agribusiness trade mission.

Week of January 8, 2024

January State Legislative days centered this week, with committee hearings framing the 2024 session which begins February 5. We welcomed Mia Pedersen to the Oregon Wheat Grower’s League as our new Director of Communications and she joined me for a meeting to review the status of the Columbia Snake River System operations, following the filing of the agreement between the U.S. Government and the Six Sovereigns. I joined a small group of ag CEOs for a meeting with Provost Feser in Corvallis to discuss funding allocation for the statewide programs. We also discussed the Cereal Grains Pathology Endowment as I work with OSU Foundation on the proposed agreement. I attended the Oregonians for Food/Shelter board meeting, NAWG monthly state staff call, and met with HAREC researchers on their pre-proposal research concepts. Finally, I was pleased to talk with growers during the annual Umatilla County Wheat Growers meeting in Pendleton where we also presented the 2023 Oregon Wheat awards to Chris Williams and Kathleen Cathey.

December 2023

Week of December 25, 2023

This week of the year tends to offer time for more in-office administrative work, so mostly included a focus on budgets for various entities and paperwork. I continued to meet with researchers in review of their pre-proposal submissions, responded to media inquiries, worked on communications activities and submitted an application over for a member to serve on a DLCD rulemaking committee. Wishing all a happy and prosperous new year!

Week of December 18, 2023

Kicked the week off with the annual meeting for the North Valley wheat producers, hearing from Columbia Grain, Oregon State University and Soil/Water Conservation District representatives. I met with OSU Extension and Outreach to discuss concerns regarding allocation of resources from the last legislative session and the needs of the wheat industry. I attended the NAWG state staff meeting to discuss federal advocacy and comment letters, met with the Port of Portland regarding the status of container shipping and corresponded with the Commission’s DOJ counsel on assessment payers. I ended the week with reviews on our Commission research pre-proposals.

Week of December 11, 2023
One of the many favorites is getting out to visit researchers and technical service providers and this week the League staff traveled to Pullman, WA to meet with the Western Wheat Quality Lab. It was an opportunity to see the lab’s capacity, discuss what is involved in the discussion of wheat quality and value, and talk about changes at the lab. I also had the chance to meet with some of our OSU researchers in Pendleton for updates on projects funded in the current Commission research cycle. As we face upcoming challenges, significant action was taken this week by the U.S. Government on the filing of a settlement agreement with the Court on the Columbia-Snake river system: a settlement negotiated without ag and many other community stakeholders.

Week of December 4, 2023

I joined U.S. Wheat Associates for policy discussions in Europe related to food aid and trade. With meetings in Italy, Belgium and France, we covered the current regulatory environments in the EU and impact to trade for the US, opportunities to expand resources for US commodities in international food aid programs and common trade barriers.

November 2023

Week of November 27, 2023
This week I joined US Wheat Associates, National Association of Wheat Growers and the North American Millers’ Association for meetings with lawmakers and staff on Capitol Hill to discuss the American Farmers Feed the World Act. We received good news from OSU on the upcoming release of the Provost Faculty Endowment match and began working on a proposed agreement to bring to the Commission for our $250,000 allocation.

Week of November 20, 2023
The offices are closed Thursday and Friday this week for the holiday as we spend time with family and friends. During the short week, we completed the final League audit, with no changes in figures and delivery of the highest opinion on our financial reports. Much of the week was spent wrapping up items from convention and while we are pending the final accounting, I am excited that the auction drew a record amount of funds to support scholarships. Notably, this week EPA issued an update on the proposed Vulnerable Species Pilot, noting that they plan to make revisions to the framework in response to comment and will provide additional details by fall of 2024.

Week of November 13, 2023
Convention week, in a little different fashion than I had anticipated. Thank to all who ensured it went smoothly. Big step this week on the federal end was the congressional approval of a continuing resolution which includes a one-year extension of the 2018 farm bill. Ag committees have committed to working on the farm bill and our associations continue to push for completion of a new farm bill. The League signed a letter coordinated by Oregonians for Food and Shelter, transmitting concerns regarding Oregon's Pesticide Stewardship Partnership program. The League signed a letter with over 100 other ag groups to Secretary Vilsack regarding the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) 2022 program. I worked with the League auditor and attended the regular meeting of the NW RiverPartners.

Week of November 6, 2023
This week was dominated by the SE Asia Crop quality seminars, as I presented to our markets in Thailand and Indonesia, along with a virtual presentation to customers in the Philippines. The seminars offer us an opportunity to share information on the 2023 soft white wheat crop performance and support buyers in their decisions to increase purchases of USW. Our NAWG League representative and USW Commission representatives convened in Cincinnati for the annual fall meeting. The remainder of the week focused on preparations for convention and we look forward to seeing our producers next week in Coeur d’Alene! Note: With the veteran’s holiday, the League and Commission offices are closed on Friday, November 10. I am thankful for those who have served our country.

October 2023

Week of October 30, 2023
This week kicks off the crop quality seminars as I travel to SE Asia to deliver the 2023 soft white summary.We officially welcomed our new League staff member, Lucy Kenagy! I updated the Oregon Wheat scholarship application form and we have opened it for applications through Feb 1st. I reviewed a germplasm release proposal for the spring planted, two-row genotypes Woody-1 and Woody-2 which demonstrate a novel source of stem and stripe rust resistance. The League team met with our tri-state partners as we near convention and spent much of the week in preparation. The Commission staff met on a ‘value of PNW soft white wheat brochure’ led by WA Grain commission to be released in the new year.I attended the Oregonians for Food and Shelter annual meeting, gala and board meeting and met with our ag partners to discuss issues related to the statewide funding. I attended the NAWG ERC meeting discussion on foreign land ownership and an AgPAC meeting. Finally, the nominating committee met this week, proposing a slate of officers for approval at the membership meeting.

Week of October 23, 2023
The Commission hosted a trade team from COFCO International/ COFCO Grain Holdings this week. We had engaging conversations on the value of PNW soft white wheat and the innovation of Oregon's wheat producers to continue to meet market needs. I attended a kickoff meeting for the wheat microbiome – mediated genetic resistance project which intends to identify the genetic mechanisms underlying resistance and integrate those into PNW wheat production. The origination of the project had funding through the Commission and this iteration received a large amount of new funds through the National Science Foundation. I participated in the CBARC Pendleton station meeting to discuss revisions to the Bylaws and particpated in a meeting to review the final materials on the SWW class for the crop quality seminars. In addition, I attended the semi-annual Wheat Marketing Center board meeting and a variety of NAWG meetings including the Budget Committee, State Executives and Farm Bill Informational meetings. I prepared the League annual report, which will be presented at our annual meeting, and met with our bank representative regarding the upcoming shift in Commission banking partners and efforts to assure it is a seamless process. We were pleased to see the formal announcement on the Regional Ag Promotion Program (RAPP) funds to support trade promotion and the additional food assistance resources.

Week of October 16, 2023
I am pleased to announce that we have hired Lucy Kenagy as the new Oregon Wheat Growers League Administrative Assistant / Membership Coordinator, effective October 31st. The League signed a joint ag letter in response to EPA’s proposed ESA herbicide strategy. I prepared for one of the last incoming trade teams of the year, a Chinese trading group who will join us next week. I joined Chair Tuckness for a meeting in preparation for his travel to South America and attended a prep meeting for the upcoming North Asia Crop Quality Seminar. With member benefit renewal season, I notified current LifeFlight benefit members of their renewal options and it is available to any current members to join our group plan. On the communications end, I worked with McFarland Productions on finalizing the 2023 stewardship videos (five shorts and one long version). We look forward to rolling them out starting in November.

Week of October 9, 2023
This week, the Commission was pleased to share the final soft white 2023 crop quality publication produced through the Wheat Marketing Center, in partnership with the tri-state Commissions and US Wheat Associates. We sent a letter of appreciation to OSU following the good news that the Cereal Pathology position at Corvallis is moving forward through priority staffing selection. On the League end, I made an offer to a candidate for the League Administrative Assistant/Membership Coordinator position and spent a good portion of the week in preparation for convention. I participated in a preparation meeting for the upcoming SE Asia crop quality seminar and attended the NAWG Domestic Trade and Policy Committee meeting.

Week of October 2, 2023

With the additional funding provided to the statewide programs through the legislature this year, I attended a meeting with ag groups and Oregon State University for an update on their plans. I participated in the quarterly US Wheat Sanitary/Phytosanitary meeting, with discussion on the European Union glyphosate renewal process, the implications of the Canadian thistle seed barrier resolution with Vietnam and other topics. As the League has highlighted that it is a “No” on IP3 as the initiative petition would eliminate our ability to control rodents and manage a safe food supply, I attended a meeting to discuss the current status. The League signed a letter expressing concerns with the EPA’s approach to the Endangered Species Act and the implications for communities, environments and wheat producers. I attended the NAWG Domestic Trade and Policy meeting to discuss Farm Bill status following the lapse on September 30, the removal of the Speaker of the House and the continuing resolution. While there is still a concerted effort to move something before end of the year, there are many issues required to accomplish before that can move. We are fully into the tri-state convention preparations and this week involved a great deal of the logistic arrangements. Finally, on the administrative end, I reviewed applications submitted for the League Administrative Assistant/ Membership Coordinator position and set initial interviews for candidates next week. We had a successful completion for the League on-site audit as well.

September 2023

Week of September 25, 2023
Over 110 entities signed to the letter opposing cuts to the commodities programs in international food aid, including the Oregon Wheat League. On the state side, our lobby team was active with September interim committee days. The Foundation Board met, voting to increase individual scholarship amounts. The Oregon WheatPAC met to review allocations for 2023, approving distributions. I attended the NAWG state staff meeting, with discussions on the Farm Bill, discussion on how to approach the proposed EPA herbicide strategy and the status of Emergency Relief Program. I met with representatives from Oregon Department of Ag and USDA Farm Services Agency with other ag stakeholders to discuss long term needs in the Farm Bill and short term needs in disaster supports. Finally, with the League’s on-site audit scheduled for next week, the week was heavy on the administrative end, in preparation and coordination for the League office.

Week of September 18, 2023
Joint and separate meetings of the League Board and Commission featured a discussion with RMA on protein as a quality factor, federal updates from NAWG, a discussion on the status on biotech in wheat with US Wheat and administrative actions. The League meeting included approval of draft 2024 policies to present for the League membership consideration. On the trade side, I met with a representative from Nippn at the Portland office and hosted a SE Asia trade team for farm visits in Wasco County. I joined Oregonians for Food and Shelter board meeting and met with staff to discuss the implications of EPA’s draft ESA herbicide strategy. I attended the OBI Tax and Policy committee meeting with guest Senator Meek, and met with new field staff for Senator Wyden. I finalized and sent packets for next week’s Foundation Board meeting and Oregon WheatPAC meeting. Activities are accelerating for Convention, so I finalized some logistical items and sent approvals for the young farmer scholarships. I responded to media inquiries and administrative items filled the remainder of the week.

Week of September 11, 2023

Spent time around the state this week with trade teams, Pendleton Roundup and meetings while portions of our leadership traveled to Washington DC for the NAWG Farm Bill Fly-in. I met with Governor Kotek during a visit to a Sherman County wheat farm where she participated in seeding operations. Earlier in the week, I met with a representative from her office to discuss ag disaster aid and the 2023 Oregon wheat crop. On the trade side, I hosted a group of mid-level managers from Japan and joined Senator Hansell for a visit with a Chinese political delegation. With Roundup activities, I joined the Eastern Oregon Womens Coalition luncheon, as well as a dinner with President Murthy and growers active in the research stations. League staff supported Farmers Ending Hunger with the Buck Hunger Day. I picked up wheat from Mid Columbia Producers which was donated for compilation on new U.S. Wheat sample cards and joined the NAWG Special Climate and Sustainability Committee meeting, which included RMA for a discussion on wheat as a cover crop. As this week was Cassandra’s last day in the office, I posted the Administrative Assistant/Membership Coordinator job opening which is now online at On the administrative end, I executed the League audit agreement and completed administrative items related to FY year end filing, processing membership and working through the items for staffing changes with required account changes. Rounding out the week, we received the final Crop Quality weekly report from Wheat Marketing Center which reflects higher protein and lower test weights for soft white wheat.

August 2023

Week of August 28, 2023
This week featured the North Asia Marketing conference, with opportunities to connect with the heads of our major flour millers from Japan, Korea and Taiwan. All three are key markets for Oregon Wheat. We received our contract amendment for the NRCS-funded portion of our League Program Director position. The federal government extended the stay in litigation on the Columbia-Snake River System operations for another 60 days. The League added to the ‘No on IP3’ coalition letter with other Oregon ag groups. This is the initiative that would criminalize the injury or killing of animals, including farming, ranching, hunting, fishing, trapping, pest control, research, or teaching. I attended a meeting coordinated by Oregonians for Food and Shelter on the Proposed Interim Decision for rodenticide registrations and the proposed additional mitigation measures. Administrative items took up the balance, with preparations for upcoming board meetings and banking transitions.

Week of August 21, 2023
I hosted the Nisshin team for their annual PNW tour to conduct a crop quality assessment before departing for the North Asia Marketing Conference. Trade activities dominated the week. On the administrative end, I sent a confirmation letter to secure the League auditor, provided notice to Quadient on the intent to not renew the lease on equipment as we have a much more efficient and economical option available and completed extension of the Rushlight agreement for communications support through the end of the year.

Week of August 14, 2023
Trade team activity continued as we hosted the Zenfunkyo team (cooperative of flour millers) from Japan at the Commission office this week. I attended a celebration for Food Aid in Longview, WA which included representatives from origination to final shipment. Following the event, I had a live interview for RFDTV to provide comments on the importance of wheat in food aid programs. I met with CBARC Director in Pendleton for an update on station operations and remotely attended portions of the Oregon Department of Ag (ODA) Board meeting. Subsequently, the League submitted a letter to ODA outlining Oregon Wheat priorities for consideration in the Resilient Food Systems Initiative Grant program. In other activities, I attended a meeting for updates on river system operations, conducted the initial orientation with our newest Commissioner Rob Rye and conducted an annual staff evaluation.

Week of August 7, 2023

It was a full week with two overlapping teams in the state. We hosted individuals from the Japan Ministry of Ag, Forestry and Fisheries for a tour of Mid-Columbia Producers’ facility in The Dalles and a visit to Commissioner Brewer’s farm. We then hosted a farm tour for participants in the Korea Contracting for Wheat Value course and engaged with them throughout the week in Portland. I attended the NAWG policy meeting for discussion on the outlook and timing of Farm Bill activities. I met with our lobby team, attended the ag executives monthly meeting and attended the regular ag lobby meeting. The League provided a letter of support for the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program mega grant application that will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation this month.

July 2023

Week of July 31, 2023
I spent most of the week with Commissioner Tuckness the Latin America Buyers Conference, delivering a presentation on the status of PNW wheat transportation logistics. Before departing for the Conference this week, I met a bakery team from Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore for a discussion on the investment to consistent high quality soft white wheat for export the Commission. The League submitted comments and signed a national coalition letter expressing concerns with EPA’s draft plan for vulnerable species. It includes a pilot area in the Willamette Valley which would restrict use of pesticides.

Week of July 24, 2023
Seeing a good portion of the state this week through trade teams and our Oregon Wheat Stewards series. We hosted the SE Asia contracting for wheat value team at JTB Farms. Representatives from Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand were able to experience harvest in action. I then continued in a whirlwind of farm visits for filming the Oregon Wheat Stewards series which included visits to farms in Athena, Amity, The Dalles, Lexington and Monroe this week. We worked through the official crop quality sampling, with the first report publishing this week from Wheat Marketing Center. On the federal legislative end, the League joined with over 100 organizations opposing amendments seeking to either zero out or cut PL480/McGovern Dole and we had a representative in DC for the NAWG Farm Bill fly-in. I ended the week with a SE Asia trade team for a visit to Padget Farms and a tour of Mid Columbia Producers facilities in The Dalles.

Week of July 17, 2023
I packed in visits and meetings during a condensed week given time out of the office for harvest, meeting with a procurement representative for one of our purchasers at the Commission office. The League signed onto the “Farm Bill for America’s Families’ coalition which is advocating for timely renewal of the Farm Bill. I communicated with elevators and growers on the status of the crop and quality, attended the USW crop quality meeting and met with Wheat Marketing Center for crop quality testing preparation. In addition to other meetings, I attended a Pacific NW Waterways Association meeting for a discussion on the Columbia River Treaty, Columbia/Snake River operations mediation and studies conducted on behalf of PNWA.

Week of July 10, 2023
I joined the US Wheat Associates summer meeting in Minneapolis at the beginning of the week and ended the week back in Oregon with a tour of wheat facilities for an ag alumni group. Work continued on support for items in the Farm Bill, including meetings with staff for our delegates on the American Farmers Feed the World Act. I attended the Oregonians for Food and Shelter board meeting, which included a review of the state legislative session, regulatory updates and the status for the ODA Director hiring. Throughout the week I conducted media calls and sent the customer facing newsletter, which is now twice per month with harvest underway. We have had a great response to the call for harvest photos: Keep them coming! The Commission letter to the Department of Botany/Plant Pathology went out which reinforces our support for the replacement of the position held by Chris Mundt following his retirement.

Week of July 3, 2023

Happy Independence Day! It was a short week with the holiday, but we had a successful visit with the Korea Crop survey team over the weekend. The official transition takes place with the turn of the fiscal year as we welcome Rob Rye to the Commission and express appreciation to Jordan Van Zante for his service as an export handler member. This week I attended the NAWG Special Climate and Sustainability Committee meeting, conducted an evaluation, extended the League’s contract for bookkeeping services and coordinated for the upcoming US Wheat summer meeting. Staff worked to complete items for crop quality sampling as we expect those first samples this month.

June 2023

Week of June 26, 2023
The week kicked off by hosting a tour of the Kalama export facility and Wheat Marketing Center for representatives from Oregon Department of Ag and Oregon State University. It bookended with hosting a Korean Crop survey team, composed mainly of young purchasers, for a visit to the Commission and a weekend farm tour. During the middle, I joined an ag dinner with Senator Wyden and staff in Pendleton to discuss issues on the Farm Bill, trade and the importance of the Columbia-Snake River System. The League hosted staff for Senator Merkley for a tour of the CBARC facilities in Pendleton. On the administrative end, the conclusion of the fiscal year provided plenty of final actions on inventory and financials. In other activities, I participated in the ODA Commodity Commission Oversight Program Manager interview panel again this week. As well, I participated in a final prep meeting for crop quality sampling with Wheat Marketing Center, attended the weekly US Wheat crop conditions meeting and participated in a coordination meeting with speakers for the upcoming Latin America Buyers Conference. With harvest officially underway in parts of the state, our customer-facing newsletter moves to twice per month. Please share your harvest photos!

Week of June 19, 2023
Frenzied activity this week as both the Senate and House worked towards passage of bills ahead of the pending constitutional adjournment. Federally, we saw introduction of a couple of key bills related to Farm Bill reauthorization supported by the League: the American Farmers Feed the World Act of 2023 and the Agricultural Labeling Uniformity Act. Continuing market development, we had the opportunity to host a trade team from the Philippines; the top buyer of soft white winter from the PNW in the most recently ended market year. In addition to those activities, we are approaching the end of the fiscal year and completed execution on all Commission contracts. I participated in the panel for the ODA Commodity Commission Oversight Program Manager interviews, which will continue next week.

Week of June 12, 2023
The League Board of Directors met this week, with adoption of the FY 23-24 budget and discussion on crop conditions, state legislative status and Farm Bill. In the state legislature, Senate Republicans returned to the Senate floor, providing quorum to the Senate for the first time in over 40-days. Trade and technical team activities continued this week as we hosted a Korean bakery team for a farm visit to Thomas Dierickx’s farm. The team presented their final results from their technical training at Wheat Marketing Center, identifying possibilities for the new use of US wheat classes. In other activities this week, I attended the Pendleton field days, the NAWG Domestic Trade and Policy meeting and regular weekly meetings. With the approach of the end of the fiscal year, administrative functions are taking up a share of time.

Week of June 5, 2023

We continued engagement with trade teams this week, featuring a visit from representatives of Taiwanese Flour Millers. They have been consistent purchasers of PNW soft white wheat. The compiled 2023 variety survey is published, with an overview available on our website. Upcoming is the League Board meeting, so I finalized all board materials, including the proposed budget. We had a range of crop views this week, from North Valley to North Central, and I attended the first half of the Wasco County crop tour, which focused on the variety trials. I participated in the NAWG Board meeting, with a former House ag chair as keynote speaker discussing the status of the Farm Bill. The League signed on supporting marker legislation to support FIFRA pesticide label consistency. We also have support for marker legislation on MAP/FMD and food aid. On the state legislative side, we passed the one-month mark for the Senate Republican walkout this week, yet committee activities continued. Among League actions this week, we signed a coalition letter in opposition to SB 140 with the -3 amendment. On the operational side, I completed an employee annual evaluation, provided our crop conditions update and participated in regular weekly meetings.

May 2023

Week of May 29, 2023
A momentous week with Oregon Wheat leaders speaking at the Farm Bill listening session and formal announcement of the OSU wheat breeder hiring. As the walkout in the Oregon State Senate continues, budgets for state agencies continued to move through committees. I met with young leaders from the Republic of Korea who were participating in the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program, attended a virtual crop update for Japan and coordinated logistics for upcoming trade teams. I presented an industry update for Oregon Wheat to the Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants. On the research side, I had the opportunity to meet with national leaders from the USDA-Agricultural Research Services in Pendleton to discuss hiring and facility needs, along with ongoing research priorities. Finally, thanks to the generosity of our wheat producers and the Oregon Wheat Foundation, we were able to issue a check to Farmers Ending Hunger for purchase of pancake mix for food banks.

Week of May 22, 2023
The start of field day/crop tour season with the Hylsop field day event this week offered an opportunity to catch up with OSU researchers on topics from wheat breeding to the cereal quality lab. Grower reports on pests and disease led to notice going out with the reminder to continue to scout fields. League staff worked with NRCS regarding an expired bulletin related to avoidance of buckwheat in cover crops and the need for reissuance, with positive results indicating that the national office is reviewing. I participated in the USW weekly crop conditions call, NAWG Operations and Planning meeting, NAWG Budget committee meeting and regular weekly meetings. On the State legislative end, our lobby team continued to work bills and work on budget issues for programs impacting wheat producers. I appreciated the opportunity this week to interface with the Korean Noodle team at the Wheat Marketing Center who were assessing opportunities for blending USW flour for use in instant noodles. The Commission concluded the week for the team with a visit to North Valley OWGL President TJ Bernard’s farm, showing the expanse of farming operations and the dedicated hours to get a quality product.

Week of May 15, 2023
The Commission met this week, adopting the FY 23-24 budget and increasing the budgeted allocation for the cereal grains endowment option. In addition to other business in their regular meeting, the Commission approved upcoming travel, elected officers and reviewed marketing materials. With increasing reports on disease and pest pressures, notices to growers are going out to monitor fields. The Senate Republican walkout has continued, denying the necessary quorum to continue the business of the Senate and Legislature while the State Revenue forecast released this week provided an estimate for more revenue, with the Office of Economic Analysis projecting an additional $1.96 billion in state revenue. I participated in an Agripulse webinar discussing the Farm Bill trajectory and implications from the latest figures released by the Congressional Budget Office. Commissioner Padget was in attendance as the U.S. Wheat Associates Seoul, South Korea, office commemorated its 50th year of service in May. In administrative items, Commission staff sent out contracts and research task orders for review and distributed the variety survey. I finalized our NRCS proposed amendment for the League and met on data needs for the wheat Lifecycle Analysis project.

Week of May 8, 2023
This week we were joined by Representative Chavez DeRemer for the May Wheat Talk to discuss the status of the Farm Bill. It was a timely discussion and was followed by a NAWG policy call. The League signed on to a support letter seeking to increase the authorization for the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative. I finalized the Commission packet for the meeting and budget hearing next week and reviewed submitted research reports. At the end of the week, I participated in the Pendleton station liaison committee meeting, which included research updates on the RDFA and carbon center projects, along with discussions on personnel and facility needs. I joined the USW state executives in the weekly crop conditions update call ahead of the WASDE report which includes the first new crop production projections of the year. The remainder of the week involved operational items, including work on elements of the NRCS extension agreement, completion of a staff evaluation and participation in the ag association executives meeting, in addition to regular meetings.

Week of May 1, 2023

The first trade team for the season was a highlight of the week, with the Japanese Flour Millers Association visiting Oregon. I had an opportunity to participate in a Farm Bill roundtable with Representative Salinas in Salem, which offered opportunity for robust conversation on crop insurance and conservation program topics. It overlapped with the Golf Scramble and the League team did a great job hosting a successful event. The State Legislature passed the second chamber posting deadline, following an ‘intense’ week of politics with contentious debates, procedural arguments, a lawsuit, a motion to remove the Senate President from his role, denial of quorum that has shut down Senate business for the time being and the resignation of the Secretary of State. Where we have focused is in communications on the continued importance of issues specific to Oregon wheat, including funding for OSU statewides, with much appreciation to the OWGL Executive Committee members for getting communications out this week. Much of the rest of the week settled in on conversations on research topics, preparation for upcoming crop quality sampling and administrative items.

April 2023

Week of April 24, 2023
The state legislature continued its work in preparation for the 2nd chamber deadline next week. As part of the League’s main priorities, I testified in support of the OSU statewides program (ag research stations, extension) before the Joint Committee On Ways and Means Subcommittee On Education. On the federal side, I received confirmation from USDA Ag Research Service in relation to budgetary items with the Pendleton station that assures no loss in FTE. NAWG President Brent Cheyne testified in front of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities, Risk Management, and Credit as part of the “Producer Perspectives on the 2023 Farm Bill” panel. The League submitted response on the draft Global Warming Commission Natural and Working Lands Proposal Practices and Metrics, outlining our concerns and the need to account for practices used by wheat producers. I did not have as much time on the road this week, which was welcomed to allow completion of administrative items, but I was out in Pendleton to present at the PNGFA Country Elevators annual meeting. I attended the regular NAWG state staff meeting, with discussion on the reference price and an update on the Lifecycle Analysis project. The full League staff participated in a tri-state convention planning meeting to discuss keynote speaker options and the structure of the event in November. Our first crop progress email report went out this week. They will continue monthly until harvest when the frequency will increase. The Foundation board met to pass bylaw amendments. We are completing the final preparation for next week’s Oregon Wheat Foundation Golf Scramble and look forward to seeing our golfers!

Week of April 17, 2023
Preparations for Crop Quality (CQ) sampling took place this week, including meetings with the testing entities on potential improvements in advance of harvest. The CQ reports are a key part of market development work in providing information to customers on wheat quality and performance. I met with USW staff regarding Hill visits and the trade title of the Farm Bill and international food aid related aspects, reviewing the detailed proposals and results from over 50 Hill visits conducted. I attended the Pacific NW Waterways Association meeting on the status of mediation related to Columbia-Snake River system. On the state end, among the bills up this week before the state legislature, I provided testimony in support of SB 498 (Farm Estate Tax Exclusion). We sent an action alert to Malhuer County members on the upcoming Ways and Means meeting in Ontario, requesting support to share testimony on the importance of funding for the OSU statewides (research and extension). On the operational end, I finalized the proposed Foundation Bylaw amendments, which were submitted through legal review, and pushed out our remaining open position for the League. For the annual Foundation golf scramble, we have closed the team registration and are currently at 100 players and a full event!

Week of April 10, 2023
We hosted the April Commission meeting, which included a review of the Wheat Marketing Center budget request, discussion on endowments, approval for the draft budget release and other regular business. The meeting included a walk-through of the crop quality sampling process. The Association ag executives met with Governor Kotek. It was our first opportunity to meet with her face-face as Governor and discuss issues related to the Oregon Director of Ag selection process, funding for natural resource agencies and ag priorities. I joined the first crop update call of the year which offer an opportunity to discuss conditions around the U.S. Exceptional drought in other areas of the country will make for a challenging year. On the state Legislative end, I met with our lobby team regarding priorities and budget items to regroup following the last deadline.

Week of April 3, 2023

This week included a significant legislative deadline, as we passed the first Chamber deadline period in which all policy bills had to move out of their originating policy committee. The League board meeting was held the following day, offering an opportunity to hear status updates on key issues from our lobbyist. The League hosted the first Oregon Wheat Talk of the year to hear the latest updates on NRCS funding. I spoke at the Federal Mediation Listening Session - part of the White House Council on Environmental Quality discussion on the Columbia Snake River System which includes proposals for breaching the Lower Snake River Dams. Comments were directed at the importance of retaining navigation capacities. The League issued a brief statement with concerns on the process following the meeting. In preparation for the upcoming Commission meeting, I finalized the budget draft and met with researchers in follow-up from the February review. I met with the firm conducting the recruitment for the next Director of Ag to provide input on the characteristics of the next Director important to our industry and their anticipated timeline for the process. In addition to other meetings, I attended the Commodity Commission Oversight Advisory Committee meeting. Finally, the League office got a fresh coat of paint as the board conference room gets a refresh- happy spring!

March 2023

Week of March 27, 2023
The week was heavy on preparations for upcoming board meetings and activities related to the legislative session as we near a significant deadline. OWGL members can access the full weekly legislative report at President Crocker and I met with Washington and Idaho association leaders to discuss the long-term future for tri-state grain convention and hosting responsibilities/ locations for 2024-2026. I provided the final update on the state resource guide for trade teams, coordinated the trade team gifts for this year and worked with a Japanese company in relation to crop update inquiries. We have a significant number of teams scheduled to visit this year, with the first at the beginning of May. I participated in the NAWG Special Climate & Sustainability Committee meeting and NAWG monthly state staff meeting and responded to reporter inquiries on a variety of issues.

Week of March 20, 2023
Happy official start of spring! This week included the Wheat Marketing Center board meeting and activities to ensure USDA-ARS resources are protected. The League bill tracker narrowed slightly following last week’s deadline, but there is still a significant amount on the docket. This week the League signed onto letters to support restoring wildlife services funding in ODFW budget, opposing SB 525 (prior to amendment), opposing HB 3464 and supporting OSU statewides. I attended the Ag Education Services reception at the Capitol which provided an opportunity to connect on issues across the ag sector. We released our survey to assess conservation program use/barriers and request producers take it to help establish our baseline report. The Foundation auction committee met this week to set 2023 goals and divide tasks for improvements.

Week of March 13, 2023

On the state legislative end, a key deadline was reached this week in which bills had to be scheduled for work session (with some exceptions) so a small portion of the 2,886 bills introduced died. Among other letters and actions (see the full League legislative report), the League signed a coalition support letter for the Oregon Department of Agriculture Budget, which had hearings this week, and signed a coalition support letter for the Task Force on the Economic Competitiveness of Oregon Agriculture. Activities around the river system increased in preparation for upcoming meetings. I attended the Commodity Commission Advisory Oversight meeting. Applications for the three open Oregon Wheat Commission positions were received by the initial deadline but ODA has extended the deadline to March 24 for all commission openings. I developed the draft of the Foundation’s new website and focused on administrative items this week, including budget preparation. I attended the Oregonians for Food and Shelter Board meeting which included legislative updates on issues related to pesticide and stewardship.

Week of March 6, 2023

Portions of the League team traveled to Orlando for Commodity Classic/NAWG annual meeting. Congratulations to Brent Cheyne, elected 2023 NAWG President! The annual meeting included adoption of resolutions and discussions on Farm Bill priorities. It also included a reception for the winners of the 2022 National Wheat Yield contest, with three Oregon growers recognized. I attended the Wallowa County Grain Growers meeting for local growers virtually to provide a brief overview from the League. Jason attended the Resilient Dryland Farming site tour and presented to the Morrow County Grain Growers Board. OWGL Secretary/Treasurer Erin Heideman presented to the Pendleton Roundup Republican Women’s Club. On the federal end, the League signed onto a farm bill budget letter with more than 250 other national, regional and local organizations to express our strong support for providing the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and House Committee on Agriculture with sufficient budgetary resources to write a new bipartisan, multi-year, comprehensive, and meaningful piece of legislation. On the state legislative end, with the 1st Chamber Posting Work Session deadline next week, agendas are very full. Read the legislative report for details on League actions on bills.

February 2023

Week of February 27, 2023
The Oregon Wheat Commission hosted the annual Grower Workshop, providing participants a chance to see the stages of wheat as it moves from the farm to the end user. With the US Senate deadline for ‘Congressionally Directed spending requests’ hitting this week, we made it under the wire for the submission of the Pendleton station projects. State legislative activities continue quickly with the first Chamber Work Session posting deadline being only two weeks away. In other activities this week, I participated in the CBARC strategic planning meeting and attended the Wheat Breeding Innovation Committee meeting.

Week of February 20, 2023
The state’s quarterly revenue forecast released this week shows stronger than expected economic output since the last forecast. Tax revenues are projected to come in $487 million higher than was projected back in December. The Commission conducted its annual research review this week, with a recommendation of roughly $855K in projects to be considered in the upcoming budget cycle. The research review included a tour of the OSU facilities: cereal quality lab, barley and wheat greenhouses and pathology labs. It was followed by a February Commission meeting featuring trade policy updates from US Wheat, discussion on OSU positions, an annual evaluation for my position, and other business of the Commission. The legislature hit a key deadline this week for legislators to introduce new legislation passed and we saw the bill post for our cereal grains endowment match concept. I encourage League members to read the weekly Legislative reports from DAi for full updates on session status.

Week of February 13, 2023
A successful Wheat Day at the Capitol and well-attended County meetings for Union/Baker and South Valley marked a good outreach week for Oregon Wheat. I finalized the materials for the upcoming Commission meeting and annual research review. The pace continues at a quick clip for week five of state legislative session. I attended the public hearing on HB 3158 (proposed tax on tires, diesel, etc) and we had great member response to the written testimony from our members to oppose the bill from the action alert. The League had joined coalition letters on a number of bills that were up for hearings this week: Indirect Source, Predator control and others. I attended the NAWG Domestic Trade and Policy meeting to review expiring resolutions in advance of Commodity Classic where they will be considered for adoption. Among regular meetings, I attended the PNWA member meeting to discuss the status of river system issues and met with State Commission wheat Executives to discuss wheat quality dashboards.

Week of February 6, 2023

The Foundation board held its semi-annual meeting, reviewing the results from the auction, authorizing twelve scholarships to high school students, and releasing the registration and sponsor options for the golf scramble on May 3. We completed final preparations for Wheat Day at the Capitol scheduled next week. This week marked the deadline for full research proposal submissions to be considered by the Commission at the February meeting. Morrow/Gilliam counties and Wasco/Sherman counties held their joint meetings this week, with excellent turnout. We met with staff for Senator Merkley to talk further on Farm Bill priorities. With week four of legislative session with committees in full swing and additional bill introduction that brings the total to just under 2300. We submitted written testimony in support of HB 2624 (increasing total amount exempt from estate tax) and signed onto several coalition letters including SB199: Relating to predator control), HB 2396 (Indirect source) and HB 2647 (algal blooms).

January 2023

Week of January 31, 2023
The joint US Wheat/NAWG Winter meeting and League Mission to DC took place in DC this week. We had a productive week of Hill visits expressing League priorities, the need for timely reauthorization of the Farm Bill and seeking support for specific Farm Bill considerations. On the state side, Governor Kotek released her first recommended budget and we entered week three of state session, which included the introduction of 2023-2025 budget bills. This week also marked the deadline for the Foundation’s scholarship applications. Candidates for the wheat breeder interviewed this week in Corvallis, visited the Sherman Station and delivered a seminar in Pendleton. Due to the team being in DC, I watched the recorded sessions of the presentations in Pendleton after they were delivered. In operational items, ODA released all Commodity Commission openings this week. The application is posted to our website. It was a busy week as we also prepare for the upcoming Wheat Day at the Oregon Capitol.

Week of January 23, 2023
Week two of legislative session and over 2,000 bills introduced to-date, with the League active in testimony on bills of interest. I testified in support of SB 498 which would allow exclusion from taxable estate for value of interest in farm, forestry, or fishing business. I attended the OBI tax meeting and the League signed on to a couple of coalition letters. I attended the PNW Wheat Quality Council meeting, which included analysis of a number of OSU lines, vibrant discussion on the challenges with equipment and the future of quality testing. I voted approval for release of the “Successor” barley variety from Dr. Pat Hayes. We saw appointment of another Oregon representative to House Ag: Representative Andrea Salinas (D) who joins Representative Chavez-DeRemer (R) on the Committee. With the Joint USW/NAWG meeting and League mission to DC next week, League staff has been focused on final preparations. Finally, I worked on materials for the Foundation Board meeting, with completion of their draft budget.

Week of January 16, 2023
The 82nd Oregon Legislative Assembly convened for the 2023 Legislative Session on Tuesday with committee hearings taking place throughout the week. The first meeting of the House Ag, Land Use, Natural Resource and Water Committee included an introduction of LC 2364 (HB 3098): the proactive bill on a farmworker pesticide outreach program coordinated by Oregonians for Food and Shelter (OFS), which the League is supporting. Another roughly 80 bills posted this week, with more to come before the bill deadline of February 21. The League Executive Committee and Board met, with a focus on preparation for Wheat Day at the Capitol and discussion on state legislative bills, including proactive ones through the League. The Executive Committee made committee appointments and discussed tri-state convention hosting. In additional to regular meetings, I attended the OFS board meeting, the Pacific Northwest Waterways monthly member meeting and prepared for the Food Aid Working Group meeting with USW staff. I met with my counterparts in Washington and Idaho to discuss a soft white dashboard proposal and common research objectives. The schedule for DC hill visits is shaping up, with additional appointments settled this week. Finally, the League accountant and I met with a firm specializing in nonprofit accounting to discuss operational activities for the Foundation.

Week of January 9, 2023
A jump in projected Oregon winter wheat plantings for the year is reflected in the USDA report out this week, along with an expected increase in Oregon on-farm and off-farm wheat stocks. With the initial set of roughly 1,800 bills posted, I met with Dalton Advocacy to begin review on our bill tracker. The League provided support for a proactive bill coordinated with Oregonians for Food and Shelter to address pesticide education through the Pesticide Analytical and Response Center. I traveled the length of the state this week from the west coast to the eastern border, enjoying time with growers in Ontario for the well-attended Malhuer County meeting. In addition to other regular meetings for the week, I joined a meeting with the OSU Deans for the College of Ag Science and Extension to discuss budget proposals, a town hall and local leaders meeting with Senator Merkley to discuss the status of the Sherman FSA building, US Ag Export Council staff, the NAWG state staff meeting, and the first Oregon FSA stakeholder call. Finally, I met with US Wheat staff to debrief the 2022 trade / technical team visits and expectations for this upcoming year 2023 trade teams and meeting packets were sent out for the League Board meeting next week.

Weeks of December 26, 2022 and January 2, 2023

Happy new year! I was out for a portion of the two weeks with holidays and time off. With the upcoming legislative session, mission to DC and board meetings, most of the weeks involved preparation activities. I attended the quarterly USW SPS committee meeting to discuss pesticide registration changes, spore testing and sanitary/phytosanitary issues. I continued meetings with researchers as final proposals are due to the Commission in February. League staff conducted a walk through of the Pendleton facilities in preparation for Oregon hosting of Tri-state Grain Convention.Postcards are out for scheduled County meetings. Next up is Malheur County on January 12th at 6 pm at Fiesta Guadalajara in Ontario. I sent reminders out on Foundation scholarship transcripts for the 2022 awardees. Deadline for the 2023 scholarship applications is February 1st.

December 2022

Week of December 19, 2022
League advocacy for federal funding came through this week with Senators Merkley and Wyden announcing $700,000 is included in the FY23 federal funding bill for the Pendleton USDA-ARS station facilities. The League submitted comments to USDA NRCS on the implementation of funding through the Inflation Reduction Act. Our comments focused on the need for local processing, incorporating eligibility for practices commonly used in wheat operations, providing opportunity for new enhancements, addressing staff training and reducing reporting burdens. With $19 billion in funding, the framework for how the resource is deployed will have significant impact.

With the pre-proposal research solicitation deadline passing last week, I conducted review of the submissions this week. With a slate of upcoming County meetings, mailers went out this week for notice. The PNW grower organization staff met for a debrief on the Tri-state Grain Convention and to make plans for the 2023 convention in Idaho and 2024 convention in Pendleton. This week provided more in-office time and fewer meetings/travel, allowing completion of a variety of end-of-year administrative items.

Week of December 12, 2022
The week began with the Oregon Business Leadership Summit, gathering with legislative and business leaders across the state. It ended with the deadline for research pre-proposal submissions, with several new proposals for consideration. In between, Commissioners Brewer and Prybylowski attended the IGP Institute course in Kansas, getting a brief but in-depth review of milling processes. I attended the OBI Tax/Fiscal policy meeting featuring Representative Nathanson (Chair of the House Revenue Committee) and Representative Bynum (Chair of the House Economic Development and Small Business Committee), offering a high-level overview of what they are expecting during the 2023 session. In other activities, I attended the Ag lobby meeting, PNWA monthly member meeting and the NAWG Domestic Trade and Policy meeting which was primarily hosted to discuss congressional awards.

Week of December 5, 2022

Our lobby team was very active with Interim Committee Days this week. Staff participated in a stakeholder meeting to provide input to Governor-Elect Kotek’s transition team members developing recommendations on Natural Resources agency budgets. This week included a Pendleton Station Research Liaison committee meeting, with updates from OSU and USDA-ARS. I updated the League website, including our ag employer page, in preparation for the changes employers need to be watching in the new year. Staff began reviewing research pre-proposals and voted for approval on a new Barley variety release (Lontra). I attended a PNWA River Values Campaign update meeting on navigation issues. Notably this week, the House passed the Water Resources Development Act for Fiscal Year 2023. The final bill maintains navigational access to the Lower Snake River Dams.

November 2022

Week of November 28, 2022
The Tri-State Grain Convention offered a chance to renew connections, expand knowledge on issues impacting wheat producers across the nation and raise funds for the Oregon Wheat Foundation. It was a busy week of governing body meetings. The League Board met, approving renewal of full NAWG dues, discussing plans for Wheat Day at the Capital events (Feb 13-14) and receiving updates from FSA, NRCS and RMA agency leaders. The League held its annual member meeting, with action to adopt 2023 resolutions and elect leadership. The membership heard from Senator Hansell and our state lobbyists, with an overview of the likely issues we will face in 2023. As Oregon Interim Committee legislative days are next week, we are shaping up for the 2023 session very quickly. The Commission met to approve funding, discuss research priorities and receive updates on the wheat breeder selection. At the annual Gala, we recognized our 2023 Oregon Wheat awardees. I met with my PNW Commission counterparts to discuss areas for enhanced collaboration. Jason and I attended the NAWG Special Climate and Sustainability Committee meeting, which focused on developing comments for the USDA open comment period on NRCS funding through the Inflation Reduction Act. Commissioner Tuckness traveled to Peru for the Latin America Millers Association meeting. Finally, the House and Senate acted this week to pass legislation to avert a potential rail strike.

Week of November 21, 2022
In preparation for upcoming meetings at convention, I finalized the packets for the Commission, League Board and Executive Committee meetings this week and they were sent to all governing members. I met with individuals and ag partners regarding issues on conversion of ag lands for large renewable projects and Groundwater Management areas. With convention taking place next week, most of the focus has been on last minute preparations. I wish all of our wheat producers a happy Thanksgiving. The League and Commission offices will be closed for the holiday.

Week of November 14, 2022
I traveled to Washington, DC this week to participate in a NAWG/USW Food Aid Fly-in as chair of the Food Aid Working Group. We celebrated the millionth ton of US wheat shipped for international food aid and held conversations centered on the upcoming farm bill. US Wheat Associates simultaneously conducted Crop Quality Seminars and I presented the soft white supply update for the Southeast Asia Crop Quality seminars for their visits to Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila. Commissioner Padget was in-person for the Manila segment, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the US Wheat office in Manila: an event which was financially supported by the Oregon Wheat Commission. Our representatives for the wheat breeder search process reported good progress, we are seeing resolution nearing on a long-standing assessment item, and we are finalizing all the last details on convention. Finally, this week has been all about convention preparation and the final details.

Week of November 7, 2022

I attended the joint US Wheat Associates and National Association of Wheat Growers meeting this week which covered topics from markets to conservation program funding. USW State Commission Executives met for our annual gathering, following the joint meeting. The Commission received an ‘off cycle’ weeds research proposal which will be considered at the November Commission meeting. We are into the final tri-state grain convention preparations, with additional sponsors secured. Our registration numbers are looking very strong, with a robust program. On the operation side, I followed up with Washington Oilseeds on an outstanding assessment issue. Payments have been processed this week to affected canola growers from their commission. Preliminary election results, which will shape the policy agenda on both the federal and state levels, were posted and League members can see the election night summary from Dalton Advocacy on our website.

October 2022

Week of October 31, 2022
The process to select a new OSU wheat breeder is well underway with the selection committee meeting this week to discuss the initial candidate pool. We have two representatives on the committee: Dana Tuckness and Wally Powell. The League signed on to two letters this week: the first urging Congress to reaffirm the EPA’s status as the primary authority for making pesticide findings and decisions and the second to urge swift action to avert a rail strike or lockout. I attended the Oregonians for Food and Shelter (OFS) board meeting, annual conference and Fields to Forest gala. The OFS coalition provides outreach and expertise on responsible use and access to pesticides, fertilizer, and biotechnology. I met with Federal Grains Inspection Service local and national grain center representatives at the Commission office, with an individual from their Board of Appeals and Review in town. I delivered a presentation to the Soil and Water Conservation Society in Oregon and to the Umatilla County Growers annual meeting coordinated by County President Emery Gentry. Finally, welcome to Jason Flowers who started this week as the League Program Director.

Week of October 24, 2022
The semi-annual Wheat Marketing Center: (WMC) Board meeting took place this week, with discussion on upcoming equipment needs, successful personnel transitions and crop quality sampling. WMC Director Mike Moran noted that FGIS, which had previously opened up the grain standards for comment, made no change on the standards in relation to hard white. I attended the USW sanitary phytosanitary committee meeting for updates on issues of concern with our markets and studies underway to continue to assure opportunities for growth of US wheat markets. USW and NAWG staff jointly hosted an update on the status of the Wheat Lifecycle Assessment work, reviewing the history, need and timeline. Commission staff met with our Idaho counterparts regarding research objectives. With the tri-state grain convention around the corner, the League awarded two Young Farmer scholarships: to Matt Orem and Shane Miles. We have finalized the logistics for the ‘Oregon Day’ at convention, with Darren Padget as the Gala speaker. For the annual meeting, we will be joined by our NAWG and Dalton lobby teams, as well as individuals from the state House and Senate. For the board meeting, we will be joined by FSA State Director, NRCS State Conservationist and RMA regional Director.

Week of October 17, 2022
The final soft white crop quality report, which is supported by the Commission, published this week and reflects an excellent year for the Pacific Northwest. Overall, the week was heavy on the communications side, with media interviews, hosting a Korean media team, filming for the second stage of the Oregon Wheat Stewards series, and getting out for additional County president farm visits. The League nominating committee met, with a slate for the annual meeting to include Erin Heideman for Secretary/Treasurer. With convention around the corner, each week is actively working on arrangements. In addition to regular meetings, I attended the Keep Oregon Green Board meeting as I serve on the board for the croplands interest area. The group is best known for the “Smokey Bear” communication work, but is involved in all aspects of fire mitigation and prevention activities. Finally, I completed administrative items for new staff onboarding and finalized our healthcare plan selection for 2023.

Week of October 10, 2022
We completed round two interviews for the Program Director position at the League. I am pleased to note that Jason Flowers accepted our offer of employment, with his first day scheduled November 4th. The final ‘official’ trade team visit took place this week, with a Japanese Flour Miller mid-level managers group. Much of this week involved preparations for upcoming meetings, including convention and crop quality seminars. In other activities, I participated in the NAWG policy call, with discussions on the wheat Lifecycle Analysis project, Farm Bill conversations, rail status, WOTUS and federal conservation program funding.

Week of October 3, 2022

I was out of the office for most of the week. With the time in the office, the League signed on to a letter opposing efforts to ban petroleum diesel in Portland. The League also submitted a letter to BLM in response to the Lower John Day Basin Land Acquisition Programmatic Environmental Assessment. On the Commission side, I met with the new Assistant Professor in Weed Science at OSU campus and the Commission distributed the solicitation for research pre-proposals, with a deadline of 12/16/22 for response.

September 2022

Week of September 26, 2022
We continued market engagement this week, meeting with representatives from Sumitomo, a Japanese company, and engaging with participants in the SE Asia Contracting for Wheat Value course. We led participants on a farm tour in the Willamette Valley to cap off their experience in Oregon. I participated in the NAWG monthly state staff policy meeting this week, with discussion on EPA’s response to treated seed petition, the status of transportation issues and USDA FSA county committees. With the end of the federal fiscal year, passage of a continuing resolution keeps the government in operations and funded until December 16th, as both the Senate and House adjourn until after the November midterm elections. On the operational side, the Commission sent reminder letters to feed lots regarding obligations for collecting and remitting assessments for wheat and barley. For the League, this week included initial interviews for candidates for the Program Director position. We are keeping the Policy Associate position open at this time for additional candidate submissions. I joined the Oregon Business and Industry Manufacturing Committee meeting to discuss policies and narratives shaping the 2023 session. Dalton Advocacy was working on February’s Wheat Day at the Capitol logistics, including options with OBI’s space in Salem. Finally, we are gearing up for the Tri-State Grain Convention and appreciate the response on donation of auction items to support the Foundation. We are working with our awardees and speakers and will have a great event again this year!

Week of September 19, 2022
Two teams joined Oregon Wheat this week: a Southeast Asia Biscuit/Cake team and a Taiwan Goodwill mission. Both had the opportunity to participate in farm tours and meet with producers to talk about the 2022 crop and planting for 2023. With the importance of these customer engagements, we were pleased to have the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports Act introduced in the US Senate this week. The legislation proposes to double funding for MAP and FMD. On the legislative front, the lobby team was busy with the September legislative days as committees convened virtually. We also met with the Deans for the College of Ag Science, Extension and Forestry to discuss the University’s legislative proposals and provide feedback. Federal and state legislative issues were highlighted in the League Board and Executive Committee meetings this week as we prepared for 2023 sessions, approved draft policies to present to the membership and prepared for Convention. The Foundation board met following the League.

Week of September 12, 2022
OSU released the Wheat Breeding and Genetics position, with a closing date of October 17th. The Biden Administration struck a tentative deal to avert a railway strike, which union members must still ratify via vote. There will be no strikes during that time and shipments of anhydrous ammonia, which had been halted by the railroads on Monday as a precautionary measure, has resumed. We raised funds to support Farmers Ending Hunger at the Pendleton Roundup. Meeting packets for the League and Foundation Board meetings went out. I attended a US Wheat Long Range Planning Committee meeting, PNWA monthly member meeting, USW crop conditions call and Oregonians for Food and Shelter board meeting. Legislative committees will convene next week to conduct informational hearings in advance of the 2023 session. I attended the ag lobby meeting this week for discussion in advance of session. On the markets side, I met with a Philippines policy team and South Asia Bakery team in Portland.

Week of September 5, 2022

This week the Commission met for a brief September meeting with decisions including an allocation of funds for the Manila 60th Anniversary event and the South Asia Buyers conference. I attended a portion of the Dryland Extension post-harvest meeting virtually, with reports from researchers and extension agents. I attended a Pacific NW Waterways River Values meeting to discuss the status of communications efforts and activities for the Columbia-Snake river system, attended the US Wheat crop conditions meeting and participated in the NAWG policy monthly meeting, among others. The remaining variety trial data is published and the crop quality results for this year continue to reflect an excellent crop.

August 2022

Week of August 29, 2022
After most of the month travelling, I had the opportunity to spend a portion of the week in the office to work on administrative items. The week still included travel, though, in preparation for upcoming trade teams. We hosted the second visit to the CBARC-Pendleton station with local staff for the Office of Congressman Cliff Bentz and state Representative Bobby Levy. We met with Wheat Marketing Center to review crop quality sampling procedures and I participated in NAWG committee discussions on an upcoming wheat lifecycle assessment project.

Week of August 22, 2022
I spent the entirety of this week at the US Wheat Associates World staff meeting, with Commissioners Padget, Tuckness and Hansell. It provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the key factors in each region for wheat purchasing decisions, the strategies that have been most effective for various offices, and major changes in markets. The Lower Snake River Dams Report from the consultant for WA Governor Inslee and Senator Murray was released this week, along with their recommendations. The study and recommendations reflect the difficulty in replacing the system, and the need to provide mitigation prior to breaching, but also includes statements on continued discussions to pursue. I am very excited with the posting of our two positions at the League: Program Director and Policy and Communications Associate. I attended the NAWG virtual board meeting, with approval for budget modifications and a limited membership request from Minnesota. Dalton Advocacy coordinated a webinar with the Oregon Employment Department to discuss Oregon’s new Paid Family and Medical Leave Program, which takes effect January 1, 2023. It was also our ‘Wheat Talk’ for the month so will be available on our website.

Week of August 15, 2022
With the Senate on August recess, we had an opportunity to host a League sponsored visit at CBARC Pendleton. We also hosted the annual Nisshin crop survey team this week, with a visit to elevator operators and Padget farms. I attended the Inland Waterways Users Board reception which met in Walla Walla this week. We saw partial progress for the ODOT road length restriction issues affecting the Athena/Helix area. Crop quality reports continue to reflect an exceptionally strong year for Oregon Wheat.

Week of August 8, 2022
I enjoyed time with two trade teams this week: one from Vietnam hosted by IGP Institute and one from Japan, hosted by US Wheat Associates, which included representatives for the Japanese Flour Millers Association and MAFF. We took the communications show on the road, getting Dylan Frederick with Wayfinder Communications out for visits to Gentry, Maney, Duling and Eakin farms. The second crop quality report out this week reflects continued strength of the 2022 Oregon wheat crop and initial variety trial data is available here. The Inflation Reduction Act passed the House - having previously passed the Senate- and is expected to receive the President’s signature. I am pleased to welcome Sam Birikorang, who has been hired as the new Research Lead at USDA-ARS Pendleton. In other activities, I participated in the Ag and Timber lobby meetings, USW Crop conditions meeting, and the monthly NAWG policy call. Notably, the Emergency Relief Program fund distribution exceeds $32M for Oregon wheat producers. The OWGL-NRCS contract is now full executed, so I am looking forward to hiring for that technical position. In a tragic turn of events, the Pendleton Flour Mill facility was engulfed by fire on Wednesday, which will have long lasting implications for the community.

Week of August 1, 2022

We received our first crop quality report this week, reflecting the expected improvements in comparison to last year, even with the limited sampling thus far. Similar to last week, I spent a portion of the week out of the office in the field for some vacation days. In the office, I met with representatives of CZL, Ltd and prepared for the trade team visits next week with Vietnam and Japan. I also met with USW staff to discuss the food aid working group, voted on approval of release of ‘Millie’ an OSU Hard White Wheat, and finalized ‘August’ recess visits with federal staffers. I signed a six-month extension to the agreement with Wayfinder Communications for communications support and met with McFarland Productions to talk through opportunities for the 2022/23 filming schedule for the continuation of the Oregon Wheat Stewards project.The signed OWGL contract was returned to NRCS this week and we are waiting on their countersignature to proceed. This will allow us to host a technical position at the League. In contributions, the Oregon Wheat PAC has carefully considered options for the investments for dollars this year, making final allocations this week to Senate races. Finally, the on-site portion for the League audit was completed this week, with no issues identified. Notable other items: we saw an early return to service for the John Day Navigation Lock and the OSU Wheat breeding position advertisement is taking final shape. Commissioner Dana Tuckness and Walter Powell serve on that committee as our industry representatives.

July 2022

Week of July 25, 2022
I took time off work this week to get out into the harvest field. While in the office, I had a chance to meet with individuals from USDA Foreign Agricultural Service to discuss USDA wheat data compilation, country-specific reports and crop progress. We had positive momentum in the League efforts seeking funding for facilities at the Pendleton research station, with Senators Merkley and Wyden announcing inclusion of $700K in FY23 Senate appropriations bills. I attended the Army Corps stakeholder meeting for an update on the status of the John Day Navlock and the timeline for anticipated full return to service. I participated in the weekly update call with the US Wheat states, attended the NAWG state staff monthly policy meeting, prepared for upcoming trade visits and worked through League contracting items to extend our communications agreement and the NRCS agreement. End of year financials went out for the Foundation, and we were able to process a Bushels for Betsy contribution to Farmers Ending Hunger.

Week of July 18, 2022
The majority of the week was spent on the road with our Korean trade team. I worked with Dr. Hagerty on a grower outreach document in relation to disease pressures caused by our nice rainy spring. The League joined the Agricultural Transportation Work Group in cosigning a letter to Chairman DeFazio in support of the Freight Rail Shipping Fair Market Act. The Oregon Wheat PAC met to discuss contributions for upcoming races. Harvest is moving forward in more parts of the state, with the continuation of reports on quality reflecting very low protein and high test weight.

Week of July 11, 2022
With harvest underway in parts of the state and trade teams visiting, it is feeling like summer. This week included a Japanese trade team visit to discuss the 2022 crop, with a focus on club wheat. We also had a visit with a South Africa Soft White team at Wheat Marketing Center. At the end of the week, I joined Idaho for the Middle East North Africa Young Millers Trade team, which included a visit to the Western Wheat Quality Lab in Pullman. In addition to trade teams, I presented on a panel for the Ag in the NW conference, met with the new Executive Director of the Ag Research Foundation, coordinated with ODA on a September Taiwan goodwill mission and submitted the League response on the Inslee-Murray consultant draft report on the Lower Snake River dams. On the operation side, we held a pre-audit meeting with our League auditor, I signed the agreement with Cockburn and McClintock to continue accounting services for another year and conducted the annual evaluation for a Commission staff member. As part of our regular Wheat Talk series, we co-hosted the “Role of Food Aid in Markets” virtual event, in coordination with the Idaho Wheat Commission. I met with ODOT and Senator Hansell to further discuss opportunities to address challenges with road length restrictions. Finally, I attended a wheat marketing update webinar hosted by North Dakota wheat and participated in the NAWG monthly policy meeting, discussing NAWG operations, rail issues, responses to Snake River dam reports, ERP funds, and the Farm Bill.

Week of July 4, 2022

It was a shorter week with the holiday to celebrate Independence Day before preparing to move into harvest for 2022. Please share your updates with us, and if using social media, tag #wheatharvest22 and #oregonwheat. We keep adding more to the list for trade and technical team visits to the state, including one for Taiwan in September. Staff continued work this week on the myriad of logistics required to support team visits scheduled for July-October. We confirmed Crop Quality sampling targets with the Wheat Marketing Center. The sampling process results in critical information for us and our customers on the performance of the 2022 Oregon wheat crop. President Maney and I participated in a roundtable with Congressman Bentz, organized by one of our OWGL members. The meeting provided an opportunity to share Farm Bill priorities. I attended Senator Wyden’s virtual Town Halls this week, discussing the impact of trade and Farm Bill concerns as related to trade. Note: A dedicated page is now up on our website for Farm Bill issues. I participated in the quarterly US Wheat Sanitary Phytosanitary quarterly meeting. Finally, in addition to operational activities for the organizations, I finalized the League comments on the Inslee/Murray draft report regarding the Lower Snake River dams.

June 2022

Week of June 27, 2022
With the end of the fiscal year, a great deal of organizational activity took place this week for end of year financial activities. The Oregon Wheat PAC met to consider allocations for funds as recommended by our lobby team. The Commission met briefly to consider and approve a waiver for assessment penalty fees. I joined the Korea bakery team at the Wheat Marketing Center, and it is great to see the return of both technical and trade teams to Oregon. I met with researchers on status of expectations for disease pressures coming into this crop year with the spring weather, participated in the US Wheat Crop Conditions call and US Wheat Transportation Working group meeting, and met with our Communications firm to review status of activities and discuss upcoming opportunities for the next contract.

Week of June 20, 2022
The NAWG board met virtually for the summer board meeting to finalize farm bill priorities and adopt a budget. The top priorities reflect Oregon’s priorities as well, so I am pleased with the final result. In other advocacy work, I met with ODOT staff to discuss the results of a test run on OR 334/335 which has seen restrictions for deliveries of crop inputs; attended a regional update meeting to discuss litigation issues, studies and impacts along the river system; and participated in a tax and fiscal policy meeting on 2023 legislative priorities. I spent most of the week on the road, including to participate the Western Wheat Workers meeting and engage with members of the Oregon China Council. On the research end, I met with commissioners participating in the search committee for the Oregon wheat breeding position to discuss parameters, met with Dr Pat Hayes on the barley program and received the report on the results from the seed quality assurance program. Administratively, I addressed assessments being withheld in another state and worked on fiscal year end items.

Week of June 13, 2022
The League Board met this week, with a full agenda that included legislative activities, adoption of the budget and updates from NAWG. In conjunction with the meeting, we hosted the Oregon Wheat Talk with Renee Stapleton, OR-OSHA acting administrator, to discuss the upcoming Heat and Smoke rule implementation. I attended the Pendleton and Sherman Field Days, which had robust participation and delivered important information from our OSU and USDA researchers. I also attended the NAWG Environment and Research committee meeting, Tri-state convention planning meeting, USW crop conditions call, and the PNW Waterways association meeting. I met briefly with the Korean Noodle team visiting Portland for technical training. In operational activities, I signed the NAWG agreement, SAIF agreement and the audit engagement letter, as well as updated the internal system controls description for the auditor.

Week of June 6, 2022

This week we hosted the U.S. Wheat summer meeting as the gavel formally passed from Darren Padget to Rhonda Larson (Minnesota). The USW board meeting featured presentations on the impact of trade work and the Unified Export Strategy successes, the impact of MAP/FMD funding and the impact of the war in Ukraine, among other items. The Commission met to approve travel for a commissioner to attend the Latin America Industrial Millers Association meeting. Crop tours took place in Gilliam, Sherman and Wasco counties. The consultants for Washington Governor Inslee and Senator Murray released their draft Lower Snake River Dams Benefit Replacement Report, with public comments open through July 11. The League board packet went out for the meeting next week. In addition to regular meetings, I attended the Food Aid consultative group meeting which included discussions on key humanitarian issues, logistics/supply chain issues, technical food updates, commodity updates, and a presentation from the Famine Early Warning System, USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, and USDA.

May 2022

Week of May 30, 2022
This was a short week with the holiday, but it was packed with the June Legislative Days, trade updates and preparations for the US Wheat summer meeting and League board meeting. I attended the USW virtual crop update for Taiwan, participated in the US Wheat Communications group meeting, crop conditions update meeting and NAWG Environment and Research committee meeting. I conducted a staff annual evaluation and signed contracts for the upcoming FY. I communicated with a variety of agencies on issues, and we received confirmation of Commissioner appointments to begin July 1.

Week of May 23, 2022
As we continue a hybrid approach in trade servicing, I had the opportunity to present the soft white wheat report for the US Wheat Associates Japan crop update which had over 150 registered accounts. Field days kicked off this week, with the Hyslop event, and we had an opportunity to further discuss the wheat breeding position with OSU. In addition to regular weekly meetings, I attended the NAWG Domestic Trade and Policy Committee workgroup meeting and presented on the ag panel to the PNW Economic Regional Council. We also met with the Wheat Marketing Center staff to discuss crop quality sampling procedures in advance of this harvest season.

Week of May 16, 2022
This week included several trade related activities, with participation in Oregon’s Celebrate Trade event, visits with individuals from a variety of consular offices and participation in the US Wheat Virtual Crop update for China. I attended a portion of the Washington Grain Commission meeting, featuring a former USTR Ag Trade representative. The League signed onto an industry support letter for the nomination of Alexis Taylor to serve as the USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs and signed onto a letter in relation to the Columbia River Basin and Water Resource Development Act. I presented to the Oregon State Bar ag law section’s annual Continuing Legal Education on Emerging Ag issues. I attended the Keep Oregon Green Board meeting, PNWA monthly member meeting and the Oregonians for Food and Shelter Board meeting. The League was pleased with the announcement on the release of the Emergency Relief Program funds.

Week of May 9, 2022
The Commission met this week, approving a budget for FY 22-23, adopting an operational plan, and electing officers. The League Board reviewed responses from RMA, requesting RMA make no changes to the harvest price discovery period. The Foundation held their annual golf scramble fundraiser, with 22 teams participating. We put out a press release applauding the announcement of Alexis Taylor’s nomination to USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. On the state level, the formalization of permanent heat and smoke rules this week will have ripple effects to our industry and DAi is working on coordinating OR-OSHA for an upcoming Wheat Talk to discuss the ramifications. I attended the monthly NAWG state staff policy call with discussion on the Ukraine supplemental that passed the House, the announcements from USDA this week, the Surface Transportation Board hearing outcomes, WOTUS roundtables and pesticides. I participated in the weekly US Wheat crop conditions meeting, met with agencies and responded to media inquiries.

Week of May 2, 2022

The League Board of Directors met with USDA-RMA Spokane staff this week to discuss the harvest price discovery period, requesting further information before a decision. The board briefly reviewed Climate Smart Ag proposals seeking support and discussed the upcoming session. Packets for the upcoming Oregon Wheat Commission meeting, which primarily focuses on budget adoption, also went out this week. I participated in our weekly USW crop updates. As crop conditions improve for the soft white wheat crop overall, much of the US continues to struggle. Our communications team was out for field work with an international film segment. I followed up on agency issues with ODOT. Next week is the 25th annual Oregon Wheat Foundation golf scramble fundraiser and we look forward to seeing all our teams out for a day in Pendleton!

April 2022

Week of April 25, 2022
USDA made a significant announcement this week regarding drawdown of the Bill Emerson Humanitarian trust fund to purchase domestic wheat, along with other commodities, to help feed people in countries experiencing food insecurity. That amount will be paired with funds through the Commodity Credit Corporation to cover transportation costs. This week included a significant amount of time on the road for meetings, including to present an update on the work of the Commission at the PNWGFA country elevators annual meeting. On the markets front, I attended the USW South/Southeast Asia regional crop update, with more than 160 participants, and prepared for incoming trade teams this summer. I prepared for a League meeting next week with RMA and met with incoming leadership in partner entities, including the Wheat Marketing Center and USDA FSA. Along with other ag stakeholders, I met with staff for the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board regarding programs around drought, ag heritage, water acquisitions and fire recovery. Finally, I attended a meeting hosted by Oregon Department of Ag to preview their state agency budget requests and legislative concepts, participated in the NAWG state staff meeting and USW food aid working group meeting.

Week of April 18, 2022
Happy Earth Day! This week included a wrap-up of research progress reports (available on the Commission website) as we gear up to hear live presentations at May and June field days. I participated in a US Wheat Sanitary/Phytosanitary working group and the weekly crop conditions update meeting. Conditions continue to deteriorate in several states. Overall, USDA NASS rated 30% of the winter wheat as good/excellent, 33% fair, and 37% poor/very poor. I prepared for the May commission meeting, reviewed Climate Smart Ag proposals from partner entities, responded to media contacts and met with USDA RMA regarding the dates used for the harvest price discovery window. I participated in a town hall with Senator Wyden, discussing research needs, Farm Bill, trade and resources for long term sustainability. The League joined a variety of partners in a letter opposing continued efforts at Lower Snake River dam breaching.

Week of April 11, 2022
This week the Commission met to analyze a FY 22-23 budget proposal, consider long-term funding needs in relation to assessments revenue, receive updates on trade activities, discuss the wheat breeder position with OSU, review the Wheat Marketing Center funding proposal and meet with new WMC director. Governor Brown signed the ag overtime bill, ending the long -standing agricultural exemption from overtime laws. USDA announced the long-awaited Oregon FSA State Executive Director appointment, with Gail Greenman taking on the role. I participated in the US Wheat State Executives meeting gathering, monthly NAWG policy update meeting and a variety of research-related meetings. I discussed upcoming trade team visits with US Wheat staff, continued engaging with OSU on the wheat breeder position and worked on appropriation request follow-up. The Commission received annual research reports for Commission funded projects.

Week of April 4, 2022

The League board met this week, with highlights including updates on federal and state disaster programs, a presentation on fertilizer market conditions, 2022 crop conditions round-up and state legislative session highlights. The board approved continuation of full state membership in NAWG at the increased dues rate. With the Commission meeting scheduled for next week, we finalized all materials for distribution with main topics to cover the proposed budget, requests from Wheat Marketing Center and assessments. I participated in a USDA ARS listening session for the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Research Program as they are beginning their five-year program cycle and taking input on research priorities. In addition to other activities, I met with ODA soil health staff on their proposed response to the Climate Smart Ag Commodities program and attended a NAWG Environment and Research committee meeting with the NRCS National Agronomist.

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