MADRAS — The Oregon Wheat Commission is adding two seats to its complement of six.

At a meeting in Madras Oct. 19, the commission agreed to add a wheat exporter and a wheat handler to serve the industry alongside the five growers and the public member who serve on the commission.

“The thought is they want a little more industry involvement in the commission, from the trade side, as well as from the up-country elevator side,” said acting administrator Tana Simpson.

The commission will begin taking applicants for the exporter position immediately and could have an exporter on board next month.

It will begin taking applicants for the wheat handler position next May.

By law, the director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture appoints the commissioners, typically under recommendations from the industry.

The wheat handler position could be appointed as early as July 1.

The wheat commission administers upwards of $2 million annually in assessments.

Also, in a joint meeting with the Oregon Wheat Growers League, the commission agreed to consider hiring an administrator to serve both the wheat league and the commission.

Under the plan, the administrator would be based in Portland. The wheat league would maintain its Pendleton office.

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