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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.

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, 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

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.

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