Our Past | 1969: State wheat agencies court Japanese market

Selected by Karen Larsen

According to Scott Yates, director of communications for the Washington Grain Commission, Japan has been an important market for Washington wheat since the 1960s. For the past few years, Japan has been the second largest market for Washington-grown soft white wheat, with the Philippines being the largest market. The following article, published in the Aug. 7, 1969 edition of the Waterville Empire-Press, tells of a trip by a Japanese official which promoted Washington grain.


Japanese Send Leading Wheat Buyer to Area

Mr. Shigeru Tamesue will be visiting Eastern Washington from Aug. 1-13 as a guest of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, the Washington Wheat Commission, and Western Wheat Associates.

Mr. Tamesue is chief of the Wheat and Barley Import Planning Unit, Import Section, Japanese Government Food Agency. The primary purpose of his visit is to observe the quality of wheat and barley being produced in the Pacific Northwest this year.

In addition to wheat, the Washington Association of Wheat Growers will be showing Mr. Tamesue as many of Washington’s other farm commodities as it is possible.

Included will be visits to wheat ranches and grain elevators, a cattle ranch, a feed lot, a meat packing operation, orchards and fruit packing, the dry pea and lentil industry, a mint ranch, alfalfa production and processing, sweet corn production and processing, dryland and irrigated research stations and as many others as can be arranged. Japan already imports some of these products although not all of them originate in Washington.

The Wheat Growers hope that this tour will stimulate purchases by Japan of these non-cereal grain commodities. Washington producers now growing irrigated wheat, a commodity that is in surplus worldwide, and other Washington farmers would benefit from increased exports of non-cereal products.

On the recreation side, Mr. Tamesue will see Grand Coulee Dam and, hopefully, the Omak Stampede.

For further information, call M. Snell Weatherford, Washington Association of Wheat Growers, Ritzville, 659-0610.