The Idaho Grain Producers Association is accepting applications for the state Wheat Commission District 5 seat representing the southeastern region.

The five-year term starts July 1.

Jerry Brown is retiring from the commission after serving two terms.

The District 5 commissioner must live and farm in Power, Bannock, Oneida, Franklin, Bear Lake or Caribou counties. A recent Idaho Grain weekly online newsletter said applicants must show U.S. citizenship as well as Idaho and district residency. He must be over age 25 and engaged in producing wheat for at least five years, deriving a substantial portion of their total income from growing the crop in the state.

The association is involved in advocacy. The commission, led by five members the governor appoints, is a quasi-state agency that invests producer checkoff funds in research, marketing and education.

Brown “has done a tremendous amount for the industry, and we appreciate his service,” Idaho Grain Producers Association Executive Director Stacey Satterlee said.

“I have had a great experience on the commission,” Brown said in an interview. He enjoyed working with fellow commissioners and others in the industry, and “I made friends locally, nationally and internationally.”

Commission members serve the industry as a whole, “and we try not to divide the state,” he said. For example, all are concerned about maintaining a navigable Lower Snake River for shipping, and all want to promote continued advancements through research.

Crop science and varieties have advanced substantially over the decades and in recent years, said Brown, who serves on U.S. Wheat Associates and Wheat Foods Council boards.

He and a commissioner from northern Idaho, working with various wheat industry players, helped find varieties less likely to produce low falling-number test results. The test measures starch damage due to sprouting and other factors. A lower number indicates greater presence of the alpha amylase enzyme that degrades starch.

Brown said he plans to spend more time farming with his sons — “I will have a few extra days,” he said — and on recreating and spending time with family.

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