Matthew Weaver/Capital Press
SPOKANE — Almira farmer Mike Eagle is departing the Washington Grain Commission to devote more time to his farm.
“This year, I started six weeks behind and I never did get caught up,” he said during the commission board meeting Nov. 16 in Spokane.
Eagle farms nearly 3,000 acres. His three-year term expires Dec. 31.
He said he particularly enjoying attending meetings at Washington State University and meeting researchers who held endowed chairs, which are funded by the commission.
“For me, it took me almost a term to figure everything out,” he said. “When I first got on, they told me it was like drinking out of a really big fire hose. I think it takes you one term to really get comfortable with everything.”
“Mike has been a good contributor,” commission CEO Glen Squires said. He praised Eagle for representing the commission’s workings with farmers in his area during some difficult times, such as when falling number testing last year indicated quality problems. “He brought a good perspective to the board discussions.”
An election to fill the position is underway. The candidates are Mike Carstensen of Almira and Joe Schmitz of Rosalia. Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 25, Squires said.
The position represents Spokane, Lincoln, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties.
Current commission chairman Mike Miller of Ritzville is running unopposed for another three-year term.
The commission will also hear from candidates for a barley representative during its board meeting Jan. 4. The position is currently held by Eddie Johnson of Wilbur. His term expires Dec. 31. Johnson has expressed interest in serving again, as have other candidates, Squires said.