Week of 11/24/19
The Thanksgiving week was a short one for me as I took a long weekend off. Most of my time went into administrative tasks and some prep work for the upcoming NAWG Strategic Planning meeting. We were able to finish our negotiations with our new CEO candidate and started some of the “next steps” to develop the employment agreement. We will take care of some final administrative details in early December, including final confirmations with OWC and OWGL, and should be ready to release the information in the next couple of weeks.
Week of 11/17/19
After being on the road for the better part of three weeks, it was good to be in the office for a day. The piles on my desk provided some nice shade when the afternoon sun came through my window. Most of the day went to follow-up work from the Tri-State Convention, emails and administrative details.
I did an extended interview on OR Wheat and the PNW wheat industry with a reporter from the Japan Times on Tuesday morning, participated in a conference call with other PNW wheat organizations on the Snake River dams, and then headed for Pendleton. I worked out of the League office on Wednesday and part of Thursday, except when I went out to CBARC for a meeting of their Liaison Committee.
The CEO search process continued to progress during the week. As we were leaving the Tri-State Convention last week, we heard from one of our “finalists” that he had decided to withdraw from further consideration. This was disappointing, but it happens during search processes. The Negotiating Committee moved forward and developed a proposal to present to our other final candidate. Wally Powell, Alan von Borstel and I met with that person to present our proposal. We had a good and wide-ranging discussion about the offer, but didn’t reach a final agreement.
The week ended with what I think was a very good meeting between a few of our grower leaders and Rep. Karin Power, one of the key leaders for the Cap and Trade legislative proposal. It was an excellent opportunity to share how HB 2020 would impact our growers and our industry specifically and rural OR generally. We got good insights into some of the work being done to develop options to HB 2020. Everything is a work-in-progress, no agreements were reached, and no concessions were made, but we still gained from the effort and at least will be able to communicate better with Rep. Power going forward.
Week of 11/10/19
The Tri-State convention week opened with the Veteran’s Day holiday. We worked that day to make sure we were ready for the convention, but we still took time to be thankful for the service and sacrifice of our veteran’s, both past and present.
The first part of the week was spent on a combination of tasks for the convention and CEO search process. I finished up my presentations and materials for the Commission, Board and annual grower meetings to be held in Spokane and contacted our various speakers to make sure all logistics were covered and we were clear on their presentations.
The Convention started on Wednesday and, I’m happy to say, everything went according to plan. We had good attendance and participation and interesting speakers and topics, with the event wrapping up on Saturday morning. We had good presentations from RMA, FSA, and NRCS on changes to Farm bill programs, a state legislative update from Amanda Dalton, a report from NAWG staff on the status of national issues, a very good interactive session with Senators Bentz and Hansell on what to do with the Cap and Trade legislation going forward, and a variety of informative breakout sessions.
My thanks to all the staff (especially Sally and Shanna), growers, spouses, and speakers who were so helpful in making the convention a success and to everyone who was so kind to Lori and I during my “retirement” program at the Gala Banquet.
Week of 11/3/19
The start of the week found me in Santa Fe, with many of our League and Commission leaders for the NAWG/USW Fall Conference. The conference provided a chance to get updates on a variety of issues including farm bill implementation, trade policy, markets, pesticides, and climate change. Mixed in with the Conference sessions, I finished up my work on editing articles for the December magazine and took care of several reports/presentations needed for our meetings during the Tri-State Grain Growers Convention.
As soon as I got back from Santa Fe, I headed east for the Morrow-Gilliam Growers meeting to provide a legislative report and an update on OWGL activities. The week wrapped up with an Oregonians for Food and Shelter Board of Directors meeting and more work for the Tri-State Convention.