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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.

June 2022

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, 202

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.

March 2022

Week of March 28, 2022
The Cereal Variety Advisory Committee met to consider varietal release requests and receive updates on the barley and wheat breeding programs. With the upcoming League and Commission meetings, much of the week involved preparation of materials. The League meets on April 6th in Boardman, with a virtual connection available. Discussion and presenters include proactive legislative proposals for 202, review of the 2022 session, and discussion on the 2022 crop, inputs and disaster program status. ODA and FSA representatives will join the board and federal funding discussions. The League coordinated and submitted a coalition response letter to the Bureau of Land Management regarding proposed property acquisition and expansion of an environmental assessment. With federal funding appropriations requests due this week, the major ask centers on Pendleton station facilities. Finally, in addition to regular meetings, I attended the AgPAC yearly organizational meeting and the meeting for the AgPAC Education Services to discuss upcoming tours for legislative candidates in June.

Week of March 21, 2022
We welcomed in-person visitors from the U.S. Wheat Foreign offices for a USW Core Competencies training coordinated by Mark Fowler. The Oregon Wheat Commission joined our tri-state partners in hosting a dinner for their first evening, offering an opportunity for Commissioner engagement with technical and marketing staff from U.S. Wheat Associates. The event was followed by board meetings for the Wheat Marketing Center, which included election of Commissioner Padget as vice-chair. At the conclusion of the week, I hosted fellows for the Marshall Memorial fellowship program. It was nice to have intersection with a variety of international visitors this week. On the League side, we made progress with ODOT, drafted comments on a BLM proposal for land acquisition and met with Governor Brown. On the operational side, I worked on the Commission budget, confirmed the League audit, furthered our banking transition for the League and launched our new merchandise page at owgl.org/shop.

Week of March 14, 2022
As Oregon OSHA prepares to make heat and smoke rules permanent, the League submitted comments to the agency on areas of concerns and requests for revisions. I attended the Oregonians for Food and Shelter board meeting in Salem where we were able to congratulate Dr. Staci Simonich in-person on her full appointment as the OSU Dean of Ag Sciences and Director of the Oregon Ag Experiment Station. I delivered presentations at the North Willamette Valley annual wheat growers meeting and to the Oregon Bankers Association. We received confirmation that the PNW Herbicide Resistant Weeds Initiative was allocated $2M in federal funding. In addition to other regular meetings, I attended the update meeting with US Army Corps which indicates they still anticipated the reopening for The Dalles navigation locks to remain on schedule. Applications for the Oregon Wheat Commission Producer position 3 and Handler position 1 closed, with the League providing support letters for candidates.

Week of March 7, 2022

National Association of Wheat Growers annual meetings took place this week at Commodity Classic in New Orleans, LA. Main discussion and action items included passage of an increase in NAWG dues, election of officers and discussion of farm bill priorities which will be released in June following initial ag committee hearings on the Farm Bill. Oregon introduced resolutions for consideration, with two new resolutions incorporated into Domestic Trade and Policy. A week of global conflict continued to deliver tremendous volatility. On the local level, I worked with ODOT for a pathway to resolve issues impacting producers in the Athena/Helix area.

February 2022

Week of February 28, 2022

The week was dwarfed by the tragedies continuing to unfold in eastern Europe that will have long term impacts on a humanitarian level. For wheat markets, the global disruption led to excessive volatility and immense uncertainty on inputs. The 2022 legislative session adjourned at the end of the week on March 4th. Included in this week’s actions were passage of ag overtime, along with budget bills. The Commission hosted the annual Grower Workshop, with appreciation to our participants and site visit locations. I met with staff for the Office of the US Trade Representative to further conversations that began in DC in January. I posted the 2022 Preferred Varieties Brochure, which will also be in the April Oregon Wheat magazine. I attended the local leaders’ roundtable with Senator Merkley and met with the National Barley Improvement Council as they will host a virtual DC advocacy trip next week.


Week of February 21, 2022
The Commission held two full days of meetings this week, deliberating on research proposals, discussing personnel and facilities needs with Oregon State University and addressing commission business. Beyond regular business, action included approval of sponsorship for a US Wheat technical training, adoption of a permanent administrative rule change and approval of travel for the USW World staff conference. I attended the US Wheat South Asia market overview, an update meeting on The Dalles Navigation Locks update meeting, the USDA Ag Outlook forum, a Council on Environmental Quality listening session regarding the Columbia/Snake River System needs, and regular NAWG and legislative meetings. We ended week four of the short legislative session with the final deadline for policy bills to move out of their second policy committee. This week, HB 4002 (ag overtime) passed out of the Joint Committee on Farmworker Overtime with the -A12 amendment. It moves to the House and Senate floor for votes next week. HB 4141 (Renewable Diesel) was changed to a study bill, passing the committee unanimously with the -9 amendment. Finally, this week included a well-attended Union/Baker county grower meeting hosted by Wade Bingaman. Partnered with the seed growers, it held informative research updates, market status discussion with United Grain and the League provided a status review.

Week of February 14, 2022
Week three of the short legislative session included major bill deadlines and actions on priority bills being tracked by the League. Ag overtime remained a high priority as HB4002A passed out of House Business/Labor. A hearing on the diesel bill generated a significant amount of testimony and expectation is that the committee will adopt an amendment next week to require a study on cost and availability. The Commission meets next week for the Wheat Industry Advisory Council, Research Review and Regular meeting. Director Taylor appointed Dave Prybylowski as the new public member commissioner and we will welcome him next week. I attended the NAWG Domestic Trade and Policy Committee meeting for discussion on expiring resolutions and a NAWG committee meeting discussing cover crops and the role of wheat. I reviewed the final draft of the Preferred Varieties Brochure, in coordination with our OSU team. Staff is finalizing the arrangements for the grower workshop in March, which is currently full.

Week of February 7, 2022
The second week of session included hearings on key bills for the League, including ag overtime, with excellent testimony provided by ag producers and a strong showing for the written record. Signed on to a coalition opposition letter submitted in advance of a key diesel bill hearing. With a Monday deadline for bills to move out of policy committees, things moved fast. We hosted a very timely “Wheat Day at the Virtual Capitol” to talk with leaders in the House and Senate. In addition, the Oregon Foundation Board met to approve a budget, allocate additional statewide scholarship options, and prepare for the golf scramble fundraiser (set your calendars for May 11, 2022!). We held League Executive Committee and Board meetings. Finally, this week was the deadline for our research proposals which the Commission will review February 21st. In other activities, I participated in the PNW Variety testing database meeting, meetings regarding the river system and NAWG committee meetings.

January 2022

Week of January 31, 2022
The 2022 session of the Oregon Legislature began on Tuesday, and I presented the League legislative priorities to the Oregon Board of Ag. Activities accelerate next week, given the deadline on Monday for bills to be posted for work session. The Foundation closed its scholarship application window, with 24 submissions received. Both Foundation Board and League packets went out for their meetings next week (2/8 and 2/11 respectively). For the Commisison, I participated in the U.S. Wheat Food Aid Working Group meetings and furthered discussion with a USTR representative. I visited the Starvation Farms research plots with Dr. Christina Hagerty to discuss the Green Bridge project with Past President Clint Carlson and see the Resilient Dryland Farming cover crop activities. Finally, in addition to regular meetings, I attended the NAWG Domestic Trade and Policy Committee discussion on Surface Transportation board activities and review of committee policy resolutions in preparation for commodity classic.

Week of January 24, 2022
This week we saw the release of bill information for the 2022 session. Roughly 250 bills posted on Tuesday, of which we are actively working with roughly 10% that have potential impact to wheat growers. We sent an action alert on one of the major topics: proposed ag overtime. On the Commission side, I participated in the Falling Numbers workshop and PNW Wheat Quality Council meeting in which potential new releases are analyzed for their quality characteristics. The Executive Committee met with a full agenda that included a presentation from the Oregon Ag Heritage, discussion on upcoming short session activities, approval of appointments to the cereal advisory committee, objectives for the work with NRCS and preparation for the NAWG annual meeting. As we near the deadlines for full research proposals, I held discussions with researchers in preparation for the February Commission meeting. In other activities, I attended the Oregon Freight Advisory Council meeting on Connect Oregon grant applications, ag lobby meetings, OBI Tax and Fiscal Policy meeting, and Oregonians for Food and Shelter board meeting.

Week of January 17, 2022
Sherman and Wasco County League Presidents hosted their annual member meeting this week, with congratulations to Thad Eakin and Josh Duling on re-election to the board. I continued market follow-up for the Commission, attended the annual meeting for Wheat Foods Council and prepared for the League Executive Committee meeting next week. League activity focused into ag overtime issues. OWGL signed on to a letter of support for OSU Statewides (extension, research) to restore funding in the 2022 legislative session. In other activities, I participated in the status briefing on the planned five-week Navigation Lock Gate repair work at The Dalles Lock and Dam. The Dalles nav locks will be closed February 13-March 19, which is three additional weeks from the typical annual closure for maintenance.Finally, I submitted comments to DEQ on their proposed updates to the Air Quality General Permit Rules for grain elevators.

Week of January 10, 2022

The League and Commission traveled to Washington DC for USW/NAWG winter meetings and Hill visits. US Wheat meetings included updates on the trade and markets situation, discussion with USDA APHIS and election of officers. For Hill visits, the League held a mix of in-person and virtual meetings with Representatives Blumenauer, Schrader and Bentz and Senators Wyden and Merkley to discuss Farm Bill priorities, trade impacts, Columbia Snake River system and research needs. The NAWG Board meeting featured USDA Undersecretary Robert Bonnie and EPA Senior Advisor for Ag, Rod Snyder. The Foundation hosted a well-attended Wheat 106 event that provided educational and networking opportunities. Coinciding with the trip were January State legislative days in preparation for the 2022 session. Also this week, House and Senate business and labor committees discussed an anticipated ag overtime bill for the 2022 session. Finally, I met with Tianjin province representatives this week.


Week of January 3, 2022

This week involved preliminary research proposal conversations, in preparation for researchers’ full proposal development for the Oregon Wheat Commission meeting in February. Oregon January legislative days take place next week and ag overtime discussions have been a prominent focus for us. This week, President Maney and I met with NRCS staff in the next steps for the position at the League. Commissioner Powell and I had an opportunity to have preliminary conversation with the University on the wheat breeder position. Erin and Deacon Heideman hosted the Morrow/Gilliam County meetings, with a great line-up of speakers. I participated in a meeting with ODA as they prepare for the roll out of the disaster program approved in the 2021 December special session. The League will be in Washington DC for NAWG/USW winter meetings, so much of the week revolved around those final arrangements.

December 2021

Weeks of December 20 and 27, 2021
The League Executive Committee met to discuss the status of ag overtime with Dalton Advocacy and we continue to be actively engaged on the topic as it will be a primary legislative consideration in 2022. This week, DEQ sent a public comment request for the proposed amended general air quality permits, including specific permit conditions covering grain elevators, seed cleaning and prepared feeds. I reviewed the modifications and reached out to relevant permit holders on the proposed changes. Comments are due by January 21, 2022. The Commission is engaging in the research review process, with all pre-proposals now fully reviewed and anticipation of full proposal solicitation in January. The League scheduled Hill visits for January in Washington DC. We have the Grower Workshop 50% filled so are well underway. As we end the year, I prepared items for the Foundation, with much appreciation to those making generous end-of-year contributions to our scholarship program and Bushels for Betsy.

Week of December 13, 2021
One (day) and done on a December special session that allocated approximately $400M in funding for housing, drought relief and other projects. It was a big policy week as well, with the final rules adopted by DEQ for the Climate Protection Program and the ag overtime workgroup halted. With additional county meetings getting set for the new year, the League will share projected implications of these and other policy items. I attended the Cereal Advisory Committee meeting and a number of meetings discussing the status of navigational capacities and the Columbia Snake River systems. I attended the monthly NAWG state staff meeting, with discussion on Build Back Better, WOTUS, Dicamba, Quality Loss and Commodity Classic. I met with US Wheat staff on a number of upcoming projects in the new year.

Week of December 6, 2021
We were pleased to receive the formal notice of appointment of Eric Orem to the Board of Ag, replacing the position previously held by Tyson Raymond, and continuing the wheat representation on the Board. This week marked the deadline for research pre-proposal submissions to the Commission, with all expected submissions received and under review. The League Executive team met with Congressman Bentz to discuss farm input cost concerns, Farm Bill priorities and the importance of preserving navigation capacities. We are working on setting up further Hill visits in DC for January. I attended the Commodity Commissions Oversight Committee meeting, PNWA Lower Columbia meeting and CSRS briefing, at the invitation of Idaho Grain Producers Association. I also attended the OBI Tax and Fiscal Policy Meeting in which Representative Nancy Nathanson provided a preview of her thoughts on tax issues for the 2022 Session. Dalton Advocacy continued to represent us at the ag overtime table. The ag overtime impact study was presented this week to the members of that group. December special session is scheduled to begin next week and includes drought discussion, in addition to the primary topic of renter assistance.

November

Week of November 29, 2021
Convention activities dominated the week as we gathered in Spokane, WA for the Tri-State Grain Convention. Highlights included passing of resolutions at the annual meeting, election of officers, discussion with agencies, recognizing our annual awardees, legislative updates, raising funds for the Foundation and networking with our producer members. I followed up with the board’s approval of a collaborative partnership with NRCS for a position at the League. On the legislative side, we received disconcerting news of a petition filed with the Oregon Court of Appeals challenging the validity of state regulations related to ag overtime exemptions. The League is working with our coalition in review. For the Commission, I met with researchers on pre-proposal outlines and with ODA Director Taylor on the status of items related to the Board of Ag. I sent the League’s State commitment for continued full membership in NAWG next year and reviewed the USW proposed budget with the proposed Commission allocation. Finally, we were please to launch the full version of the Oregon Wheat Stewards series at Convention this week.
Week of November 22, 2021
The offices were closed Thursday/Friday as we gave thanks and celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday. We completed the League Board, League Executive Committee and Commission packet mailings for meetings that will take place next week in conjunction with the convention. I met with university partners on the status of the wheat breeding program and to receive updates on research station facilities budgets. The ag coalition met to review the initial impact report from the ag overtime survey. The work was funded in part by OWGL. With Tri-State convention taking place next week, most of the focus was on final preparations and I look forward to seeing many of our producers in Spokane!
Week of November 15, 2021
This week included a dual-purpose visit to Klamath Falls for a conversation with the Klamath Basic research station and a meeting of the Klamath County League members. On the markets side, we welcomed the announcement from the Vietnam government eliminating the three percent tariff on U.S. wheat imports, effective December 30, 2021. As well, I attended the Association of Latin America Industrial Millers meeting, offering key insights to the status of markets. On the advocacy side, League President Carlson delivered his testimony as part of November legislative session days to the House Agriculture and Land Use Committee. The League also signed on to a letter to the Biden Administration highlighting the importance of the river system for agriculture and the critical importance of retaining the ability to barge agricultural commodities. As we further outreach to external audiences about the importance of wheat, we began releasing our Oregon Wheat stewards video shorts, with the full-length version to be launched at convention. In other activities, I participated in an interview with public radio, attended the regular PNWA and NW River Partners monthly meetings, and a participated in a meeting with EPA and Army Corps officials on the release of the proposed changes Waters of the US. Finally, I participated in the final two interviews for the USDA-ARS Pendleton Research Leader and the evaluation panel.
Week of November 8, 2021
The US Wheat Associates and National Association of Wheat Growers boards met this week in Kansas City, Missouri. Highlights of the meeting included remarks from USDA Foreign Ag Service Administrator Daniel Whitley, an update on the world wheat situation, a presentation on India’s wheat production, the status of WTO negotiations, and preparations for Farm Bill negotiations. The meeting also included remarks from Esther George, President of the Federal Reserve of Kansas City, on the trajectory for the economy, as well as discussion with RMA Acting Administrator, Richard Flournoy. The League Executive Committee met with USDA RMA Kansas City staff wheat policy experts to discuss the League’s comments on the Small Grains provisions and issues impacting wheat crop quality. Updates were completed for the Commission office, providing better wifi connectivity in the conference room, enhancing our ability to support group meetings. The first workgroup meeting for ag overtime was this week, with DAi serving on the workgroup.. Finally, I attended the regular ag lobby meeting this week and we prepared for the November legislative days, which will include President Carlson at the House Ag and Land Use hearing.
Week of November 1, 2021
We had a few releases this week, including opening the Foundation scholarships, Commission annual research pre-proposals and the Commission Public Member position. We continued preparations for Tri-State Convention, with additional agency commitments to speak at the board/annual meeting from NRCS, FSA and ODA. On the legislative side, Dalton Advocacy secured an important seat in conversations related to ag overtime. I attended the Oregonians for Food and Shelter Board meeting, met with USDA agency staff, participated in the NW River Partners annual meeting and attended the monthly Pacific Northwest Waterways Association update. I conducted staff evaluations. I participated in the interview panel and stakeholder discussion for the first candidate interview for the USDA-ARS research leader position. Finally, I reviewed updated video drafts for the short and full-length versions of our stewardship project from McFarland Productions.

October

Week of October 25, 2021
This week the League finalized the submission of its comments to DEQ on the Climate Protection Program rulemaking. I participated in the Wheat Marketing Center meeting, which included a brief tour of facility project work underway. We were saddened to learn of the passing of Craig Morris, a leader in our industry as the Director of the USDA ARS Western Wheat Quality Laboratory in Pullman. I began outreach to potential interested candidates for the upcoming vacancy on the Commission for a public member as Travis Jones has accepted a new position. The League sent invitations for the November Klamath County member meeting and notices to schools on the opening of the Foundation scholarship. Convention early bird registration deadline was this week. Congratulations to Andre Rauch, recipient of an Oregon Wheat Young Farmer scholarship to attend convention. I attended the NAWG Budget meeting. NAWG provided updates that the EPA and the Army Corps are extending the deadline for proposals on the WOTUS regional roundtables. NAWG filed comments on the biological evaluation of several neonicotinoids. I signed letters of support for grant applications for wheat and partner projects and finalized all the materials for the December magazine.
Week of October 18, 2021
The Foundation Board met to discuss fall business, elect officers, prepare for the tri-state convention auction fundraiser and approve the Future Leader of Ag (FLAG) program allocation for the wheat industry winter meetings / hill lobby visits. There were several announcements related to the Columbia-Snake River system this week. A partial short-term settlement was announced related to how to run the river in the near term (2022/23) that ensures navigation can continue. Senator Murray and WA Governor Inslee issued a joint statement on “Establishing a Joint Federal-State Process on Snake River Salmon Recovery.” We are reviewing the statement to provide response. In all efforts, we are seeking transparency and involvement of ag stakeholders. I attended the Keep Oregon Green Board meeting, NW River Partners meeting. I attended the OBI tax and fiscal policy meeting with guest speaker Representative Dan Rayfield (one of the three tri-chairs of the Joint Ways & Means Committee). League staff continued work for the upcoming convention. Early bird deadline is October 29th! Scholarship applications for young farmer and volunteer closed this week and we confirmed a new sponsor.
Week of October 11, 2021
This week was an education in fertilizer: where exactly our anhydrous comes from, what impacts production levels and why some of our growers are experiencing curtailments (in addition to escalating costs). League staff continued preparation for Tri-state convention and sent the Foundation Board packet for the meeting scheduled next week. We received the final PNW soft white crop quality report and I joined the Soft White/Club Class call in preparation for the US Wheat Crop Quality filming. I attended the monthly NAWG policy call, Nisshin virtual HRW/HRS crop update and met with partners on issues affecting the Columbia Snake river systems. Finally, I reviewed candidates for the Pendleton Station Research leader position and met with the evaluation panel.
Week of October 4, 2021
The Commission hosted the U.S. state wheat executives this week for a tour of the Columbia Export Terminal, a visit to the Wheat Marketing Center and a discussion on research, markets, internal operations and transportation issues. The League nominating committee met to develop a slate of officers to present at the annual meeting. We received additional rough cuts from our production company on the Oregon Wheat Stewards project and are looking forward to releases in advance of the convention. League staff furthered prepared for the Tri-State Grain Convention in Spokane, including securing Senator Hansell as a speaker at the Oregon Gala. I attended the Milling U.S. Hard Wheat South & Southeast Asia Virtual Update. Commission staff finalized the research pre-proposal solicitation forms, which will be distributed in November. I reviewed sections of the PNW Soft White Quality report, conducted media interviews and attended regular meetings.

September

Week of September 27, 2021
This week I had the opportunity to present an update at the fall Valley Wheat extension meeting to over 150 attendees, along with from Nicole Anderson with OSU extension and Ryan Graebner. We welcomed Gerald Maib to the office, with his official first day on Friday. I attended the Pendleton Station Liaison meeting, with an update on the soil health carbon center program objectives and the facilities proposal. DEQ extended their comment period on climate protection policy rulemaking to 10/25, following requests and advocacy from the League and ag/business groups. I attended the NAWG state staff meeting, NAWG Environment and Research committee meeting and other regular meetings.

Week of September 20, 2021
The Commission and League met individually and in joint sessions this week, hearing updates from Wheat Marketing Center, US Wheat Associates, ARS and OSU researchers, Dalton Advocacy, NAWG, and Oregonians for Food and Shelter. In addition to the regular business of the Commission, the meeting included robust discussion on revenue and expenditure expectations given the 2021 crop year outcomes and authorization to file temporary rules/begin the process to provide notice of proposed rulemaking. The League Board approved 2022 policies to be presented to the membership for adoption, appointed Mike Schrock as interim South Willamette Valley President and approved the annual report among other business. I finalized our candidate offer, with Gerald Maib starting at the League on October 1st as the Director of Communications. I attended the NAWG Domestic Trade and Policy meeting which focused on preparations for policy positions for the upcoming Farm Bill negotiations. I attended the Sherman Station liaison meeting with discussion from OSU on facilities funding for the Pendleton station. The League sent out key action alerts this week for Cap/Reduce and Smoke/Heat Listening Sessions. The League joined with other organizations to request a 21-day extension of the public comment period for the Cap/Reduce program. Legislative Days cancelled for September as the legislature worked through redistricting conversations which extend into next week.

Week of September 13, 2021
I finalized all materials for the League, Commission and joint board meetings next week.The League will review proposed 2022 policy resolutions, the Commission will consider rulemaking and the joint meeting includes discussion on crop quality, trade/markets updates, legislative highlights and research positions. The Oregon Wheat PAC Board of trustees met and approved candidate contributions, discussed the special session for redistricting scheduled for next week and received highlights from the legislative session from Dalton Advocacy. As is typical, the week included a number of meetings including NAWG Sustainability and Climate Committee, PNWA Columbia Snake River System campaign update, Ag lobby, Oregonians for Food and Shelter board meeting, FGIS Portland and Kansas City representatives meeting, ag overtime meeting, NAWG special operations committee, discussion with Governor’s office on drought issues, ODA rules training and Oregon Business/Industry tax/fiscal policy meeting. With the closure of our open position for first round consideration, we conducted the first round of interviews. On the legislative advocacy side, we distributed the NAWG advocacy campaign to protect family farms in the reconciliation process and drafted talking points on the cap/reduce rulemaking. On the fun side: OWGL joined the Farmers Ending Hunger booth at the Roundup on Wednesday for the “Buck Hunger” day. In coordination with that event, this week 100% net proceeds of Oregon Wheat merchandise sales were dedicated to Bushels for Betsy/Farmers Ending Hunger.

Week of September 6, 2021
The final 2021 crop quality report completed this week, reflecting overall higher protein, lower moisture and lighter test weights than 2020. The full report can be accessed here. We closed the Director of Communications position for first round consideration and will begin interviews next week. The first rough cut for the Oregon Wheat stewards project was delivered this week from our contractor, with anticipation for release of materials leading up to Convention. The state began public meetings regarding redistricting, a process which will have long term political implications. I attended the NAWG monthly policy call, with an action item coming out next week on tax policy. Finally, I attended the Lower Columbia River infrastructure needs meeting with the Army Corps announcing the official extended outage dates for 2022 for the Bonneville/Dalles/John Day. The extended closure will begin on February 13, 2022 at 6 am and end at 11:59 pm on March 19, 2022.

August

Week of August 30, 2021
I attended a meeting at The Dalles Dam with the Army Corps, PNWA, congressional staff and river users to discuss preparation for an extended outage in February/March. The longer maintenance closure is expected to last five weeks for repairs on the downstream miter gate. I met with Kemen Noodle Company as part of a visit coordinated with US Wheat Associates. The League signed onto a coalition letter in response to OR-OSHA heat rules, hosted a PNW caucus meeting to discuss tri-state approach on legislative actions and submitted comments on WOTUS to the federal register. On the operational side, the League received another clean audit report! The Commission and League offices will be closed next week on Monday, September 7th in observance of labor day.

Week of August 23, 2021
The Oregon Wheat Commission met this week to address changes in the variety trials at the Klamath station. I joined US Wheat Associates for a trade team meeting. RMA provided FAQs on harvest price concerns, which are available on our website under latest news. I joined an ag group meeting with Congressman Schrader to share the impacts of the drought on the wheat crop. The League submitted comments on the small grains provisions and joined NW River Partners in outreach on the Columbia-Snake River system. We received the welcome news that Vietnam will reduce or eliminate import tariffs on several U.S. commodities, including wheat.

Week of August 16, 2021
This week I presented the soft white update for the South Asia Crop update to more than 170 participants. We hosted an in-person trade engagement: the first in more than a year, with visits to MCGG, United Grain, MCP, Temco, WMC, USW, Padget Ranches and a dinner with League/Commission representatives. We set a Commission meeting for next week to discuss the Klamath Falls changes as it related to the variety trials program. Crop Quality testing is in week five, with 74% of Oregon samples received and processed. I met with the State Association executives for Idaho and Washington to discuss the status of QLA, price considerations, Farm Bill priorities, and the Snake River dams.

Week of August 9, 2021
The League had a successful week with the on-site audit completion and planning for the upcoming tri-state convention. On the market side, most of the week involved preparation for key activities next week with the South Asia crop update webinar and the visit with a trade team. I attended a town hall for Representative Bentz, discussed price and grower issues with agency staff, and attended NAWG meetings with updates on the movement of the infrastructure package, WOTUS, ag appropriations, crop protection tools, farm bill issues and carbon markets. I communicated with Dr. Hayes on approval for a barley trial revision for off-season seed increase of the most promising of the Beyond-resistant spring barleys for dryland areas.

Week of August 2, 2021

This week the Senate Appropriations Committee advanced an ag appropriations bill which, in addition to disaster resource and funding for national and ongoing priorities, includes proposed funding allocations for Oregon wheat projects including the continuation of Resilient Dryland Farming Initiative, Soil Health/Carbon Center and the PNW Herbicide Resistant Weeds Initiative. Next up is reconciliation between the Senate and House versions. I attended the Taiwan virtual crop update and participated in a number of drought meetings, with updates on Secretary Vilsack’s visit to Oregon and the status of WHIP+ reauthorization. I addressed operational items, including release of the Director of Communications job announcement and final preparation for the League audit next week. We distributed the Fusarium Head Blight controls document and information on the temporary Smoke Rules released by OR-OSHA.

July

Week of July 26, 2021

This week included the three-day USW China contracting for wheat value workshop. We expressed appreciation to the full Oregon federal delegation for signing on to a letter to Secretary Vilsack outlining the impacts from natural disasters and requests for engagement on support for losses. Twenty two of Oregon’s counties have Governor declared drought declarations for 2021, including all of the primary wheat producing counties. I joined an OBI meeting with Representative Nathanson looking forward on tax/fiscal policy for the next legislative sessions. I addressed administrative items related to upcoming League staff transition, the League audit, and updated state requirements for the Commission for COVID-19 protocols. I attended regular meetings including USW weekly crop update, WASDA, NAWG state executives, monthly CEO roundtable, and NAWG Special Committee on Sustainability and Climate. Crop quality data from Wheat Marketing Center for week two reflects incremental improvements.

Week of July 19, 2021

This week I delivered the soft white presentation for our South Korea virtual crop update. Korea has consistently remained one of the top five market destinations for Oregon Wheat. I met with Governor Brown and a small group of ag executives to discuss state and federal responses to drought and other natural disasters. We received our first crop quality report that, while too small a sample size to draw any conclusions, gives our first official data points. I coordinated with Dr. Hagerty on a request for more information regarding management controls for Fusarium Head Blight. The Commission is coordinating for an upcoming customer visit in August. Our website is updated with current information to assist compliance with new OR-OSHA rules including the Heat Index calculator and OSHA fact sheet. The House Ag committee is expected to vote next week on a bill to extend the WHIP+ program. NAWG is engaged in communicating on improvements requested to the program. I responded to a variety of media requests and addressed the remaining end of fiscal year items.


Week of July 12, 2021

This week we hosted the Oregon Wheat Talk featuring Dalton Henry from US Wheat Associates discussing non-tariff market barriers. With the progression of harvest, Wheat Marketing Center received their first box of samples and anticipates publishing their first crop quality report on Monday, July 26. League staff traveled for the Stewards video work, which will release leading up to Convention. I continued drought support work with the Natural Resources/Ag coalition, attended the Oregonians for Food and Shelter board meeting in Salem and participated in regular meetings including the USW Crop conditions call, NAWG Special Climate and Sustainability Committee and Pacific NW Waterways Association member meeting regarding issues impacting the river systems. I responded to media inquiries and prepared for the League audit.


Week of July 5, 2021

Harvest is well underway in parts of the state, providing more detailed information for crop updates to our market partners. This week included a virtual crop update report for China through US Wheat. Temporary OR-OSHA issued heat rules were published this week and took effect upon publication. I participated in a NAWG policy call, NW River Partners meeting, DEQ RAC meeting (Cap/Reduce), and other regular meetings. I responded to media inquiries and addressed administrative items: conducted a staff evaluation, brought new staff out into the field, began transitions on financial systems and worked on assessment delinquency actions.

June

Week of June 28, 2021

This week US Wheat Associates met in Nashville, TN, receiving updates on the Black Sea report, discussing market conditions and approving submission of comments for the Grain Standards Act. Changes adopted in the USDA Small Grains Crop Provisions Final Rule included one of the League requested options on enterprise unit divisions. I anticipate League comments on issues related to protein and replant issues before the comment period on the rule closes in August. I submitted our weekly crop conditions update for use by USW in market discussions, attended the CEO roundtable meeting and attended the NAWG Environment and Research committee meeting.


Week of June 21, 2021

End of legislative session brought the passage of SB590, the fire bill to include croplands in the definition of rangeland for the purpose of rangeland protection associations. It also brought the inclusion of $100,000 for the cereal lab through the American Rescue Plan Act dollars, as supported by Senator Hansell. The USW Soft White Quality Conference for our South and North Asia trading partners took place this week with over 200 participants, offering an opportunity for engagement with our wheat breeding community. OWGL Hosted the WheatTalk with ODOT representatives. We provided a letter of support for an IPM project involving Dr. Judit Barroso. I attended the USW Transportation working group and NAWG Special Climate and Sustainability Committee meetings. It is nearing the end of the fiscal year, so activities primarily involve wrap up and preparations to successfully start FY 21-22, including contract executions.

Week of June 14, 2021

President Carlson and I traveled to Lewiston for the Lower Snake River Dams Commodity and Industry Event/Tour. With one more week of session remaining, we had great news that SB 590 (our proactive fire bill to support cropland areas) had unanimous approval moving out of the full ways and means. The League Board met to approve our FY 21-22 budget and hear state legislative updates from Dalton Advocacy and discuss federal policy issues with NAWG’s CEO. I participated in the CBARC field day. OWGL signed another coalition letter this week supporting the need for full funding of the OSU statewides programs. The League hosted a tour of the CBARC facilities for legislative staff through USDA-ARS and OSU. In addition to reviewing the impressive investments into the facility, research underway due to RDFA dollars and upcoming plans, the League had an opportunity to push for further facilities funds and support for favorable policies on climate smart agriculture meeting our producer needs.

Week of June 7, 2021

The tri-state commissions met in Moscow, ID to receive an update on the South American technical specialist project and discuss issues related to seed variances, grain standards, and research. With the end of the legislative session quickly approaching for the end of the year, attention is on final bills and ways/means. OWGL joined a coalition letter expressing concerns in response to proposed OSHA heat and wildfire smoke rules. I attended the USW Hard White Committee meeting, ODA Commodity Commissions Oversight Program subcommittee meeting, NAWG Climate and Sustainability Committee, and the OBI Tax Committee meeting, in addition to regular weekly meetings. I discussed producer issues with ODOT and OSHA. We will host an individual from ODOT’s compliance division in June for a Wheat Talk. I participated in the monthly NAWG Policy call with discussion on the President’s proposed budget, status of Surface Transportation Reauthorization, Pandemic Cover Crop Program, Waters of the US status and drought issues. In operational activities, we formalized extension of the agreement with Dalton Advocacy for League representation. The League meets next week to discuss federal issues with NAWG’s CEO and approve an FY 21-22 budget.

May

Week of May 31

We officially welcomed Corey Shrader to the Oregon Wheat Commission as our new Office and Program Coordinator, dropping him right into the assessments and board communications as we prepare for the tri-state commissions meeting next week. I participated in a meeting with Senator Merkley, focusing on the impacts of drought throughout the state to our wheat producers. Most of the rest of the week dealt with internal operational items in preparation for the end of the fiscal year and for final contract reviews. On the legislative side, we continued to push forward on SB590, the proactive priority fire advocacy support bill to incorporate croplands to rangelands definitions for the purpose of fire protection activities.


Week of May 24, 2021

This week kicked off the virtual crop updates, with US Wheat Associates hosting a session for our Japanese millers and customers. The Commission appointments came through, with new appointee Tyler (TJ) Hansell joining OWC and Jordan van Zante receiving reappointment. The Commission audit finalized, and we will be presenting it at the next meeting as a good, clean audit. The legislature hit another deadline with the last day to hold work sessions on any remaining second chamber measures (this will not apply to Ways & Means, Revenue, Rules, and other joint committees). The end is in sight for the 2021 legislative session with constitutional adjournment June 27. I presented before House Energy and Environment on Climate Mitigating strategies in agriculture. I participated on the stakeholder panel for the interviews for the Air Quality research scientist position at USDA-ARS in Pullman, a NAWG state staff call and an OBI / Stoel Rives webinar.


Week of May 17, 2021

This week the League signed an agreement for 2021 Tri-State Convention logistics, so our members will start seeing information shortly on the excellent line up for this year. The State’s May revenue forecast was released, reflecting a rosy picture that will influence the state’s budget conversations. President Carlson and I had a briefing with NAWG on the American Families Plan; a topic which will continue to be a focus for engagement for the League. I completed operational and administrative items in relation to annual OWC contracts. I met with researchers on modifications to work given impacts from environmental factors this year and shifts to ensure outcomes that have value in data for producers. I attended the Board of Ag meeting, OSU extension ‘Beat the Cheat’ webinar and Keep Oregon Green Board meeting, the NAWG Climate and Sustainability committee and NAWG budget committee meeting.


Week of May 10, 2021

The Oregon Wheat Commission met this week, approving its FY 21-22 budget and operational plan, as well as recognizing outgoing commissioner Bob Newtson. I presented on a panel “Wheatfields to the World: Oregon, Hunger and Humanitarian Aid.” The Foundation held its 24th golf scramble, successfully raising funds for the scholarship program. The state legislature passed another deadline today as bills had to be posted for work session: policy committees have two weeks remaining to advance those bills still alive. With the May revenue forecast due out next week, all eyes will be on those numbers for budget conversations. I met with USW staff regarding virtual programming, attended the OFS board meeting, NAWG policy meeting and Sherman station liaison meeting. I drafted all Commission contracts and research task orders for FY 21-22.

Week of May 3, 2021

This week involved preparation for upcoming meetings and activities. Packets went out for the Commission meeting on May 10th and League staff completed final preparations for the Foundation Golf Scramble. State legislative activities also have an important deadline next week: May 14th bills must be scheduled for work session in 2nd chamber. Among other items, OWGL signed on to a coalition in support of OSU Budget hearings this week. I attended the weekly state wheat crop conditions, Ag-ODA-Gov Office meeting, Tax policy meeting, Ag lobby and other meetings. On the operational side, most of the activity involved final elements for the Commission audit work.

March-April

Week of April 26, 2021

We completed interviews for the OWC Program and Office Coordinator position, extending an offer to a candidate. Discussions on the ‘American Families Plan’ proposal was an important part of the week given the potential implication for our producers. I attended a town hall for Senator Wyden, Chair of Senator Committee on Finance, with a discussion question on those tax issues. We completed updates to Oregon grain facilities to support revisions to the Plains Grains Institute map. As drought conditions persist throughout the state, I furthered discussions on agency resources. I prepared materials for the OWC meeting and working with our agent for OWGL Directors and Officers insurance renewal.


Week of April 19, 2021

The League Board met this week with updates on the status of state legislative session items, a review of FSA programs and a confirmation on funding of educational efforts, among other administrative business. We began interviews for our Commission Program/Office Coordinator position. I presented an update at the PNW Grain and Feed Association on Commission and League activities. I attended a meeting with Senator Merkley to provide highlights on League and program areas: from research to farm bill. I participated in a Sanitary/Phytosanitary update meeting, Crop Conditions call and other regular meetings.


Week of April 12, 2021

This week the Commission held its April meeting for initial budget consideration and to receive funding requests from the Western Wheat Quality Lab and Wheat Marketing Center. The legislature passed its first significant deadline on Tuesday which narrows the focused to final form on some bills, final death of others and a clearer trajectory for those remaining. The Commission audit is underway and we reviewed candidates for our Project/Office Coordinator position. I participated in House and Senate ag committee meetings with the Food Aid Working Group. NAWG policy meetings kicked off this week with a review of concerns with the STEP Act, comments to USDA on climate, the status of CFAP and proactive bill approaches. I attended the Global Warming Commission meeting to provide comments on ag and working lands concerns, among other regular weekly meetings. We sent the mailing for the OWGL board meeting which has a heavy agenda on state and federal legislative issues.


Week of April 5, 2021

With the necessity to continue some international market engagement virtually, US Wheat hosted a virtual South Asia crop update this week. With week twelve of state legislative session and the first significant legislative deadline next week, Dalton Advocacy has been engaged actively on all remaining bills. USDA reopened CFAP signup and is extending the additional $20 per acre payments under the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative this month. I attended the ‘Celebrate Trade’ event hosted by the Oregon Consular Corps and the spring Sherman station liaison meeting. I advanced discussions related to CBARC physical facility requirements. I addressed operational items related to the close of the job solicitation for the OWC Project/Office Coordinator, preparations for upcoming Commission and League meetings and the OWC audit.

Week of March 29, 2021

The League hosted our final Wheat Talk in the second series: featuring Chris Mundt discussing stripe rust. A significant portion of the week involved preparing materials for April meetings of the League and Commission. I participated in the US Wheat Food Aid Working Group meetings and in activities planning for the Soft White technical conference. Finally, legislative session: week eleven continued the frantic pace for the League and Dalton Advocacy leading up to the next major deadline of April 13th: the point at which Bills must have advanced out of policy Committee in Chamber of Origin.


Week of March 22, 2021

USDA announced release of additional Coronavirus Food Assistance Program funds for producers. NAWG and OWGL had advocated for the inclusion of wheat in CFAP payments, and we are pleased to see the release of these additional funds. I attended the China Market overview, as part of the USW Unified Export Strategy and the Wheat Marketing Center board meeting, among other regular weekly meetings. With week ten of legislative session, the League and Dalton Advocacy had significant activity in coalition one pagers, hearings and advocacy work on behalf of producers. I joined the National Wheat Improvement Council (NWIC) meetings to discuss continued funding for the wheat/barley scab initiative and a request for new funding for the Wheat Resiliency Initiative to address wheat rusts, sawfly, hessian fly and bacterial leaf streak. We moved the OWGL board meeting to April 20th in Pendleton/virtual. I held discussions with ODA pesticides division regarding products pending annual renewal registrations, prepared for the Commission audit and met with our representative for the initial risk assessment outline.

Week of March 15, 2021

USW presented a South Asia market overview as part of their Unified Export Strategies. For the river system, the Army Corps of Engineers hosted a brief informative meeting to provide updates on the status for anticipated reopening of The Dalles navigation locks. Finally, at the end of this week many bills were posted for hearings/work sessions. PNW Wheat Commission CEOs met to advance the soft white technical conference concept with USW-Portland staff. ODA pesticides team met with OWGL and OFS regarding definitions used in past rulemaking. Commission position openings closed this week for Handler #2 and Producer #2 positions. OWGL provided a letter of support for candidates. The last of the OWGL “Wheat Day on the Capitol” DC Hill visits took place. OWC finalized execution of the Task Order to providing funding support for the research bake lab expansion.

Week of March 8, 2021

We officially posted our OWC job opening for a Project/Office Coordinator, with applications for first round consideration requested by April 8th at 5 pm. OWGL held virtual DC Hill visits as part of the NAWG Wheat Day at the Capitol, visiting with the offices of Senator Wyden, Representative Schrader, Representative Bentz, and Representative Defazio. We entered the eighth week for the state legislature which included a hearing on ag overtime, ag coops and multiple others. OWF Scholarship notices went out this week, with five awards made this year. I attended the CBARC liaison meeting to discuss climate/ soil health research and facility needs and the Oregonians for Food and Shelter Board meeting, in addition to the regular weekly meetings. Finally, the US Wheat Food Aid Working Group met to hear about cargo preference requirements.


Week of March 1, 2021

The annual Oregon Wheat Commission research reviews took place this week, offering an opportunity for the Commission to provide feedback and guidance to researchers. State legislative action alerts circulated to OWGL membership, and while we were scheduled to testify on HB 2674, that hearing ended up being deferred. OWGL was very pleased to see SB 590, which would expand options for cropland fire protection, pass out of committee with strong support. I participated in Commodity Classic, prepared for virtual Washington DC Hill ‘visit’ which will take place next week and finalized release of the OWC Project and Office Coordinator position.

February

Week of February 22, 2021

The NAWG and U.S. Wheat Board of Directors met this week. NAWG passed its budget, adopted new resolutions, and had an extensive discussion on climate policy. Congratulations to Brent Cheyne for his return in officer role for NAWG! U.S. Wheat Associates Board heard presentations on the Russian wheat taxes, regional strategies, and world market wheat updates. OWGL and OSU hosted its most successful ShopTalks to date with participants learning about Russian Thistle management and options for grassy weed control in cereal production. I met with our wheat breeder on a potential breeding program changes to be discussed with OWC at its next meeting. The state legislature continued in virtual format and we will see a work session for our fire bill next Wednesday. On the federal side, Tom Vilsack was sworn in as the USDA Agriculture Secretary on Wednesday. A joint press release from U.S. Wheat and NAWG welcomed him back to the role. The hearing for nominee Katherine Tai was also held this week with pledges to hold China accountable for its promises and ensure that the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement is fully implemented. The Foundation finalized recommendations for five scholarship awards this year and will begin the notification process in March to applicants.

Week of February 15, 2021

This week was the deadline for research proposals and we finalized all materials for the Oregon Wheat Commission meetings and research reviews scheduled for March 1-2. I attended the USW United Export Strategy meeting for the Mexico/Central America/ Caribbean region and a USW Quality Committee meeting. With the icestorm, a number of activities at the Capitol were delayed but we were able to host a very successful OWGL Wheat Day at the Capitol in virtual format. Additional activities included participation in weekly meetings, USDA’s Ag Outlook, and Washington AMMO event “America on the Edge” with Peter Zeihan. Most of the rest of the week included operational items, including facilities.


Week of February 8, 2021

This week Senate Natural Resources and Wildfire Committee held a hearing on a priority bill for the league: SB590 which would expand resources for fire protection options in our cropland areas. I testified on the bill and coordinated additional members to participate, including our Sherman County League president. The PNW Commission CEOs met to review some proactive proposals for engaging with our customers, recognizing the likelihood of ongoing limitations on travel this year. The OWGL Board met to discuss priorities for state legislative session, discuss Columbia Snake River system values, engage with NRCS on program expansions, and discuss County meetings and member appreciation. The Board received updates on federal issues and NAWG highlights and were joined by Congressman Bentz who provided an overview of the 117th Congress. The Oregon Wheat Foundation Board met to approve the budget, adopt updates to scholarship criteria for payments and approve a new lease with OSU for the Adams property. I coordinated with researchers as they worked further on their submissions for the March OWC meeting. I coordinated with Dalton Advocacy on efforts for OWGL Wheat day on February 17th. I attended the OBI annual meeting and a Strategic Commodity Marketing meeting and addressed assessment issues.

Week of February 1, 2021

This week included bill tracker review with Dalton Advocacy: reviewing the bills that have been introduced and setting priorities and positions. We are seeing key bills move through with several important hearings set for next week. We received confirmation of Oregon approval on the label for the registration of a new mode of action to address wireworm control. Monday was the deadline for OWF scholarship applications, and we are reviewing those for sufficiency before sending to County presidents. Board meeting packets for the Foundation and League meetings were prepared this week. For OWGL, we will be joined by representatives from CBARC, OFS and PNWA. Dalton Advocacy will provide primary updates on bills of interest and prepare for the virtual lobby day. Congressman Bentz will join remotely for discussion. OWGL released a statement in response to a proposal from Idaho Congressman Simpson which proposes to breach the four lower Snake River dams and establish a ‘Columbia Basin Fund. I attended the NAWG Environment and Research Committee meeting which focused on carbon market conversations and review of expiring resolutions in preparation for the annual meeting. I participated in our regular meeting with ODA and Governor’s office staff. We were joined by OHA for an update on vaccines and received a preliminary review from OWEB on the high-level results of the natural/working lands survey. I followed up with the actions related to OWC assessment delinquencies. OWC staff met with Wheat Marketing Center staff to continue discussions on improvements to the sampling for 2021 in smaller production areas.

January 2021

Week of January 25, 2021

This week included the PNW Wheat Quality Council, conducted virtually along with the Falling Number Workshop, Cereal/Grains Technical Research presentations, and wheat breeder meeting. I attended the US Wheat Associates United Export Strategy- South America meeting and Food Aid Working Group meeting. OWGL kicked off our 2021 Wheat Talk series with a focus on Oregon OSHA Requirements for Agricultural Wildfire. I coordinated with OSU on the varieties with commercial relevance in Oregon to ensure they remain in the 2021 Preferred Varieties Brochure. I met with CBARC’s Director, participated in the NAWG State Executives meeting, attended the NWF investment committee meeting and Dunn Carey Ag Summit, met with NRCS staff regarding CSP enhancements and engaged in a number of meetings regarding a prospectus on an PNW research project. Dalton Advocacy continued to engage in the critical elements of session, and I participated in our lobby group discussions. OWGL signed on to an opposition letter to HB2229, a state pre-emption bill. Most of our priority items have not yet come up for hearing as the legislative session gets off to a bumpy start. OWGL-AgLink partnership finalized this week to better assist our members with access to benefits. OWC posted the application for the two open positions: Handler 2 and Producer 2. Staff prepared for the February OWGL meeting to take place in Arlington.


Week of January 18, 2021

This week the OWGL Executive Committee met in Pendleton, receiving key updates on activities in legislative session and providing approval for a partnership with AgLink to enhance support to our members. For the Commission, we sent out the full proposal request to our researchers and I met with additional researchers to advance projects related to certified seed and to further discuss proposed herbicide resistance initiatives. I presented on an industry panel to the Board of Ag. I attended the Oregonians for Food and Shelter Board meeting, commodity Commissions Oversight Advisory Committee meeting, lobby meetings, NAWG Budget Committee meeting, PNW US Wheat SPS meeting and a variety of other meetings.

Week of January 11, 2021

This week I completed the remaining research review pre-proposal discussions and met with the new CBARC director to discuss leases, funding, research work and other critical items relevant to the Pendleton and Sherman stations. I attended the US Wheat Sanitary Phytosanitary committee meeting and dealt with a number of key operational items. Oregon’s legislature convened for an organizational session and we began to see many bills, but also a shift in terms of the opening week plans. I was pleased to see some CFAP2 Payment Resolution. USDA announced an adjustment to payment calculations for wheat and certain other row crops for CFAP2. The official opening day for this year’s session remains January 19th, but due to concerns on violence, committee meetings are cancelled and neither House nor Senate members will meet on the chamber floors as initially planned. I attended the first DEQ RAC meeting on the Climate Protection Program (Cap/Reduce). While introductory in nature, the meeting outlined the ‘leanings’ by DEQ staff on modeling and program design. Meeting packets were sent this week to the OWGL Executive Committee for our meeting next week.


Week of January 4, 2021

This week involved preliminary research proposal conversations, in preparation for researchers’ full proposal development for the Oregon Wheat Commission meeting in March. OWGL announced upcoming Wheat Talks, in collaboration with OSU. I attended the NAWG state executives and Domestic Trade and Policy Committee meetings. NAWG has been conducting extensive work in meetings with USDA leadership this month. Oregon State 2021 legislative session convenes January 11th. In preparation, OWGL signed on to a few letters including comments on OSHA COVID-19 rulemaking. We have our OWGL virtual lobby day scheduled for February 17, 2021. I reviewed OWC audit responses to our RFP, with a recommendation to be provided to the OWC for approval at the next meeting. I participated in the Commodity Commission Oversight subcommittee meeting with ODA staff. I attended the US Wheat Associates United Export Strategy for the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and Europe regions.


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