Wheat commission will monitor research, wants positions maintained
By MITCH LIES
PENDLETON, Ore. -- The Oregon Wheat Commission on Oct. 17 voted to give Oregon State University's College of Agricultural Sciences $300,000 -- with some strings attached.
Under an agreement between the college and the commission, a new wheat industry advisory committee will monitor the college's wheat and barley research programs.
And the commission stipulated that it expects the college to maintain certain positions dedicated to wheat and barley research.
The donation comes on top of more than $600,000 the commission already has dedicated to the college for specific research projects.
"Things are getting to the point that programs that are very important to the wheat industry are going to go away if we don't do some infrastructure funding," said Tom McCoy, chairman of the commission.
Provisions attached to the funding stop short of specifying where the dollars will be spent, McCoy said.
The provisions are designed as guidelines to help steer decisions, he said.
Much of the funding is expected to go toward the Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center, home to a considerable amount of wheat research.
The commission also on Oct. 17 voted to give the Oregon Wheat Foundation $5,000 for its Bushels for Betsy Program, turning down a request for a $25,000 donation.
The program provides flour donations to the Oregon Food Bank. The money will go toward packaging pancake mixes.
Wheat growers have donated 1 million pounds of baking mix to the food banks since its inception in 1995, said Tom Winn, chair of the foundation.
"Because we grow food, we should be doing something," Winn said.