Wheaties Welcome Wrapping up the 2023 Tri-State Grain Growers Convention

By Trista Crossley


In a perfect prelude to the holiday season, producers, stakeholders, and industry supporters from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington gathered last month to hear industry updates, network, and do a little Christmas shopping, all in service to the Pacific Northwest small grains industry.

The 2023 Tri-State Grain Growers Convention was held Nov. 14-16 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. More than 400 attendees heard keynote presentations from former Ambassador Kip Tom, media producer Rob Sharkey, meteorologist Eric Snodgrass, and ag economist Dr. David Kohl. Break-out sessions covered a range of topics, including transition plans and other legal advice, planning for retirement, barley statistics, and the CPR of mental health. See page 32 for a brief summary of some of these break-out sessions.

Emcee Tim Gard kept the crowd laughing between drawings for gift cards, free 2024 convention registrations, and other items. The convention culminated in the dinner and auctions, which benefit the three states’ wheat foundations. All auction items were donated by growers, industry organizations, and businesses.

“We had a great turnout from both farmers and industry representatives, conducted business necessary to operate efficiently and effectively for the next year, learned a few things, and had a lot of fun,” said Michelle Hennings, executive director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG). “Organizing such a large event takes a huge amount of time and effort that begins almost as soon as the previous convention ends. The staff from all three states’ industry organizations worked hard to make the convention successful, so they deserve a huge thank you.”

Washington growers took the opportunity to get some business done during the convention. The all-committee meeting included updates from U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies, state and national legislative updates, and a look at what’s been happening in the effort to protect the lower Snake River dams (see page 26). Washington growers reviewed and updated WAWG’s resolutions, followed by an awards banquet (see page 6). Jake Ozburn of Soda Springs, Idaho, won a free registration to the 2024 convention as winner of the photo contest. The winning photo will be used in promotional efforts throughout the following year and may appear in industry publications. 

See page 24 for more photos from the event.

“Having all three states come together as a region is vital for all of our producers, most of whom share the same concerns and face similar issues,” Hennings said. “The tri-state convention allows growers to network with farmers in other states, share stories, and make new friendships.”

The wheat organizations of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington would like to thank those who made the convention possible, especially our sponsors, industry supporters, and exhibitors. Join us at next year’s convention, which will also be at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, Nov. 19-21, 2024.