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Wheat groups seek dual chief


Executive director would oversee both growers league and commission


By MITCH LIES


Capital Press


MADRAS, Ore -- The Oregon wheat industry is considering hiring one executive to administer its two statewide organizations.


In a meeting Oct. 19, the executive committee of the Oregon Wheat Growers League and the Oregon Wheat Commission formed a six-member panel to develop a job description for an executive director that would administer both organizations.


Darren Padget, president of the OWGL, said industry leaders will air details of its proposal at county wheat league meetings in coming weeks and could move on the proposal at the league's annual meeting in December.


The proposal to hire one administrator to lead the league and the commission was one of several ideas that emerged from a 2008 task force that analyzed industry operations.




Padget said the league is moving forward on the task force recommendation in an attempt "to run a more efficient operation and get the most bang for the growers' dollars.


"We had a substantial assessment increase and we owe that to the growers to look at all this," he said.


Oregon's wheat assessment increased from 3 cents to 5 cents a bushel in 2008.


The proposal does not include combining offices of the two organizations, Padget said.


Padget defended the executive committee's actions in seeking the resignation of Dennee, saying the committee "had its reasons."


Also, he said, under league bylaws, the executive committee is responsible for hiring and firing directors.


The Oregon Wheat Commission was established by state law. Commission members are appointed by the director of the state agriculture department. The Oregon Wheat Growers League was established by farmers to promote the interests of the state wheat industry.




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