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.