Convention registration deadlines approaching

Fieldwork for the year may slowly be winding down, but preparations for the 2023 Tri-State Grain Growers Convention are reaching a fever pitch.

Staff from the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG), the Oregon Wheat Growers League, and the Idaho Grain Producers Association are putting the finishing touches on this year’s convention, which will be held Nov. 14-16, 2023, at the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The annual convention offers growers an opportunity to socialize, network, hear state and national policy updates, and participate in educational break-out sessions. The convention will wrap up with dinner and the traditional silent auction, which raises money to support the industry through various activities, including funding grants and scholarships.

“Every year, we strive to make the convention bigger and better, to provide more opportunities for our producers to learn and to network. This year is no exception,” said Michelle Hennings, WAWG’s executive director. “Staff has been working overtime to make this year’s convention successful. We have some interesting, noteworthy speakers lined up, and the break-out sessions will provide something for everyone, no matter what their interests are. We hope to see everybody in beautiful Coeur d’Alene next month.”

Part of the convention will be dedicated to taking care of business. Washington growers are invited to attend the all-committee board meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 9:30 a.m., where members will review and update the association’s resolutions. The resolutions help direct WAWG’s advocacy efforts for the coming year.

“We are a grower-led organization, so it’s critical that our members weigh in on the issues that they want us to focus on for the coming year,” explained Hennings. “We’ve got a number of issues already on our radar, including ag overtime, riparian buffers, and carbon fuel surcharges, but we want to hear what else is weighing on growers’ minds.”

Members that can’t attend the meeting are welcome to call the WAWG office at (509) 659-0610, and a staff member can submit comments on their behalf. A copy of the current resolutions can be downloaded at

The convention kicks off with an agribusiness breakfast featuring former Ambassador Kip Tom. Tom served as the U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Agencies for Food and Ag and was chief of the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome from 2019 to 2021. He is the managing member of Tom Farms in Indiana.

Other keynote speakers scheduled include:

  • Rob Sharkey, better known as The SharkFarmer, is an Illinois grain farmer, podcast and radio show host, and host of multiple TV shows on RFD-TV and PBS.
  • Dr. David Kohl, a popular ag speaker and writer, will provide a unique perspective into future trends of the ag industry and economy.
  • Eric Snodgrass, principal atmospheric scientist for Nutrien Ag Solutions, develops predictive, analytical software to help producers manage weather risk.

The convention will be emceed by Tim Gard, a hilariously fast-paced and informative speaker who uses a down-to-earth style and real-life humor to keep audiences entertained.

All shutterbugs are encouraged to enter the annual photo contest. Entries will be displayed throughout the 2023 convention area, and attendees are encouraged to vote for their favorite. The grand prize is a free registration to the 2024 Tri-State Grain Growers Convention, which will be held back at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Contest is open to convention registrants only, and photos must have been taken within the past 12 months. Submissions should be emailed to by Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. Please include photographer’s name, contact information, and caption information. Winning photos will be used in 2024 marketing materials and may be published in Wheat Life, Oregon Wheat, and Idaho Grain magazines.

Registration is available on our website at Early bird registration ends Oct. 25. Here’s a closer look at the breakout sessions scheduled for the 2023 convention:

Global Wheat Trade and Market. U.S. Wheat Associates staff will help the audience digest and better understand the news headlines of global wheat market outlooks and challenges.

D.C. Talk. Keira Franz and Jack Long from the National Association of Wheat Growers will deliver an “inside the beltway” perspective about what farmers can expect from lawmakers moving into 2024. They will provide an update on the farm bill, as well as other federal issues.

Dealing With Mental Health Emergencies. Oregon State University’s Cassia Bouska will explain how QPR, like CPR, is an emergency response to someone in crisis that can save lives. Question, persuade, and refer are the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save someone from suicide.

How to Tell Your Ag Story. Geoff Vetter of the Clyde Group will focus on helping you tell your ag story and discussing difficult topics, such as pesticides, in a way that can resonate with a public audience and sway decisionmakers.

Making Crop Insurance Decisions. So many factors need to be considered when purchasing crop insurance. Join our panel of crop insurance professionals and farmers to discuss making crop insurance purchases.

Natural Resources Conservation Service Update. Learn about program updates, including how Inflation Reduction Act funding can benefit your farms, from representatives from each of our three NRCS state offices.

Securing Your Retirement and Your Legacy. Not putting all of your proverbial eggs in one basket is something everyone is familiar with when it comes to planning your retirement, but what are the various “basket” options available to a self-employed farmer? Join Jordan Thayer from Morgan Stanley as he discusses several topics he has mentioned in recent Wheat Life articles.

Wheat Market Update. The Money Farm’s Allison Thompson will provide a global wheat marketing update and bring marketing statistics and trends into perspective.

It Takes a Plan to Build a Legacy and an Estate Plan to Protect it. The most common regret Kevin Bearley of Pinion sees with farm families is not having a comprehensive estate and next-generation plan when it’s time to pass the business on to family or transition to new ownership. It’s crucial you make sure your planning fits with your desires and dovetails with current and future situations that may arise.

All About Barley. Experts in the barley industry will take an in-depth look at expanding opportunities for growers in the Pacific Northwest. What are the economic and demographic forces driving demand today?

High Land Values and How They Impact Your Farm. AgWest Farm Credit representatives will discuss the market trends and headlines surrounding regional farmland values and how that impacts your operation.

We Do Give a Dam! Are you tired of all the rhetoric surrounding the dams? We are bringing a panel of dam experts to share information and perspectives on Marine Highway 84 that you may not have considered.