Grain commissioners receive reappointment

Contact: Lori Maricle, Communications Director, Washington Grain Commission
(509) 456-2481 Ext. 208 /

SPOKANE, Wash. —Six Washington Grain Commission (WGC) board commissioners received reappointment letters from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Director Derek Sandison in November.

  • District 2 Wheat (Whitman): Gary Bailey
    Bailey is a St. John wheat grower representing the state’s largest wheat growing county. Bailey was appointed to the commission in 2016 and served as chairman from 2019-2020.
  • District 3 Wheat (Columbia, Walla Walla, Garfield, Asotin): Brit Ausman
    Ausman is a fifth-generation family farmer who grows spring wheat and spring barley near Asotin. Ausman has served on the board since 2012.
  • District 5 Wheat (Benton, Franklin, Kittitas, Klickitat, Yakima): Brian Cochrane
    Cochrane is a fourth-generation wheat grower in Kahlotus. Cochrane was appointed to the commission in 2019.
  • District 6 Barley (Whitman, Asotin, Columbia, Garfield, Walla Walla, Benton, Franklin, Klickitat, Yakima): Ben Barstow
    Barstow is a Palouse barley grower representing the state’s southern barley district. Barstow was appointed to the commission in 2019 and currently serves as vice chairman.
  • Wheat Industry Representative, Position 2: Ty Jessup
    Jessup is currently the marketing manager for HighLine Grain Growers, based in Waterville. Jessup has served on the commission since 2012.
  • WSDA Representative: Scott Steinbacher
    Steinbacher is the program manager for the Warehouse Audit Program and the eastern regional manager for the Grain Inspection Program with the WSDA. Steinbacher was appointed to the commission as the director’s representative in 2018.

Renewed terms for the six commissioners run through December 2024.

“I am thrilled to have these six commissioners continuing their leadership roles. The insight and expertise our volunteer board of producers and industry representatives provide is a valued resource for the WGC in fulfilling its mission and returning value to our state’s wheat and barley growers,” WGC CEO Glen Squires said.

The WGC board of directors is made up of 10 members, including seven producer members representing 20 Eastern Washington counties, two representatives of allied industries and one representative from the WSDA. Producer commissioners are nominated by constituents in their respective districts for appointment by the WSDA director. All four producer commissioners were nominated unopposed. Industry representatives are recommended by the board for WSDA appointment and the WSDA director appoints his representative directly.

The WGC is a self-governing agency of the State of Washington that allocates assessment funds to programs designed to enhance the production and marketing of Washington wheat and barley. For more information on the Washington Grain Commission board and a map of districts, visit our commissioners web page.


Additional contacts:
Glen Squires, CEO, Washington Grain Commission
(509) 456-2481 /

About the Washington Grain Commission (WGC). The WGC was created in 1958 by the Washington State Department of Agriculture with the support of Eastern Washington farmers. Barley came under the auspices of the organization in 2009. Our mission is to enhance the long-term profitability and competitiveness of Washington small grains and small grain producers through research, marketing and education. The current commission board is made up of seven farmer members, two industry representatives and a representative of the state’s Department of Agriculture. For more information, visit the About WGC web page.

Like this article?

Scroll to Top