Former WAWG president named to WSU Board of Regents

Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the appointment of Brett Blankenship to the Washington State University (WSU) Board of Regents. Blankenship, who resides in Lake Stevens and Washtucna, is an owner and partner in Blankenship Brothers, a family farm wheat producer.

Blankenship has served as president of the National Association of Wheat Growers, a federation of the 22 leading wheat-producing states, encompassing approximately 85 percent of national production. He served as president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers in 2009/10, and as president of Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Foundation. He is also a local emergency medical service volunteer.

“Brett’s extensive experience with our state’s agriculture sector and the science that supports Washington’s signature crops makes him a great match for Washington State University,” Inslee said. “His expertise and leadership in both the state and federal Wheat Grower’ associations will benefit WSU and serve our state’s food and wine industries.”

“His work with the growers in negotiating the 2012 Farm Bill, building coalitions in the agricultural industry and lobbying in a nonpartisan framework gives me great confidence that his appointment to our board will serve both our state and our university very well,” WSU President Kirk Schulz said.

“The nation’s agricultural sector is poised to take a giant leap forward and assist in carbon sequestration, using our tremendous productivity to solve global climate challenges,” Blankenship said. “This perspective on how agriculture can be part of the solution to the challenges of global climate will serve WSU and promote agriculture in innovative and sustainable ways.”

Blankenship received his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University in music and his master’s degree in music performance and literature from the University of Rochester. His appointment is effective Oct. 1.