The Umatilla County Historical Society was recently awarded a grant from the Autzen Foundation for $15,000. This grant will help fund the installation of the exhibit, Umatilla Gold: The History of Wheat in Umatilla County. This grant was written by Eastern Oregon Business Source Community Development Coordinator Bonnie Day. The Umatilla Gold: The History of Wheat in Umatilla County exhibit is planned to open in August 2019.
The Umatilla Gold exhibit tells the story of wheat in Umatilla County, highlighting its importance in the history, culture, and economy of the county. It traces the path wheat travels around the world, and tracks all of the different products wheat is used in. The exhibit emphasizes the role wheat plays in Umatilla County, even for those not directly involved in wheat production. The exhibit also addresses and corrects a number of misconceptions about wheat farming.
Agriculture is one of the primary economic drivers in Umatilla County, accounting for
$369.5 million in revenue in 2009. This makes Umatilla County the 2nd highest- earning county in Oregon. After reviewing past Umatilla County Historical Society exhibits, it was found that the role of agriculture had not been given appropriate attention. This exhibit seeks to address this oversight. The story of agriculture is a story that must be told as part of the mission of the Umatilla County Historical Society. Umatilla Gold: The History of Wheat in Umatilla County will tell this story.
The Autzen Foundation was founded in 1951 and supports charitable work that makes Oregon a better place. They award grants to social service, arts and culture, educational, environmental, and youth-centered organizations.