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Oregon Wheat

This is the story of Oregon wheat, typically soft white wheat grown in the vast expanses of Eastern Oregon, and in lush Willamette River Valleys. Wheat from these diverse regions has a common trait. It helps feed a hungry world. Which means it must travel from farm to river to terminals at the Port of Portland…and on to the world. 

The Oregon Wheat Commission is a producer funded and governed check-off program. Our mission is to improve the profitability of Oregon Wheat Growers through Marketing, Research and Grower Education programs. The OWC is composed of five producer commissioners, one public member and two handlers from the various growing regions of the state. Our responsibility is to allocate assessment funds to specific programs designed to find solutions to immediate and long term issues faced by the wheat producers of Oregon.

The Commission was originally formed to deal with the abundance of wheat grown. With around 90% of Oregon wheat now being exported the majority of our marketing efforts are focused on overseas markets. The OWC currently cooperates with U.S. Wheat Associates and Wheat Marketing Center to provide technical assistance to customers and develop markets.

The majority of the Commission’s research funding goes to researchers at Oregon State University and USDA-ARS Western Wheat Quality Laboratory focusing on variety development, genomics, quality, fertility and weed management.

The Commission also funds, in part, the efforts of the Oregon Wheat Growers League as the industry’s grass roots representative conducting grower education and advocacy efforts.

The Oregon Wheat Commission and the Oregon Wheat Growers League collaborate to serve the ever changing needs of the industry.

The Informal Story

How the Oregon Wheat Commission was Formed

By Marion T. Weatherford *pictured to the right

The author of this informal story of the formation of the Oregon Wheat Commission, Marion T. Weatherford, needs no introduction to most Oregon people engaged in agriculture, and particularly those who produce wheat. Marion is a wheat and cattle producer in Gilliam County whose operation lies in the Shuttler Flat area, about 12 miles south of the town of Arlington. He is of a pioneer family. His grandfather emigrated to Oregon in 1861 by ox team and farmed in what is now Morrow County until 1881, when he homesteaded on Shuttler Flat and raised the first crop of wheat to be produced in Gilliam County. The original homestead is still included in the current Weatherford operation.

Mr. Weatherford has been extremely active in all phases of the state's wheat industry and agricultural pursuits in general. His various activities are much too numerous to be listed in their entirety here, but mention must be made of a part of them. They include a term as President of the Eastern Oregon Wheat League (now Oregon Wheat Growers League) after serving on key committees and lesser offices in the organization; 10 years on the Oregon Wheat Commission, four years of which he served as chairman; twenty-one years as chairman of the P.N.W. Grain & Grain Products Association representing the Wheat Commission, five years as President of the Oregon Agricultural Research Council, and two years as President of the Agri Business Council of Oregon. His many other activities combine with those mentioned to catalog him as one of the most devoted and dedicated individuals in the state who has worked in the interests of the wheat industry as well as Oregon agriculture in general. You will enjoy his breezy informal account of events leading up to and the actual formation of the Oregon Wheat Commission.

Read the full story in the PDF below!


Mike Thorne representing the Oregon Wheat Industry at the gala in 2019. 
The gala recognizes the significant contributions that Oregon’s trade-sector companies make to the Northwest’s economic vitality and quality of life. International business awards are presented in several categories, and the Oregon Consular Corps selects an additional organization or individual for special distinction.

Oregon’s businesses are leveraging the strengths of the region’s trade-based economy and expanding their markets around the globe. Celebrate Trade shines the spotlight on their accomplishments, with special recognition for several of them, and inspires others to step into the lucrative global marketplace.

• International trade supports more than 505,700 Oregon jobs.
• $28 billion of goods were exported from Oregon in 2019.
• Oregon exports represent 12% of the state’s GDP over the past decade.
• 1 in 5 manufacturing jobs in Oregon are export related.
• Oregon trades with nearly 150 countries around the world.

Oregon Wheat Industry was awarded the 2019 Trade Award
The Oregon Consular Corps (OCC) is an organization of career and honorary consular officials who serve or have served as representatives of foreign nations and jurisdictions in Oregon and in the Pacific Northwest.

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