Umatilla County Historical Society Receives $25,000 Community Spaces grant from Union Pacific Foundation

Pendleton, Oregon: The Umatilla County Historical Society was awarded a Community Spaces grant for $25,000 from the Union Pacific Foundation. This will help fund the installation of the exhibit, Umatilla Gold: The History of Wheat in Umatilla County. This grant was written with the help of Eastern Oregon Business Source Community Development Coordinator Bonnie Day.

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, with regard to agriculture. 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 Countywill tell this story.

Union Pacific Railroad has a long-standing commitment to improve the quality of life in the communities they serve and where their employees live and work. Their vision is that Union Pacific employees will take pride in their company’s civic leadership and that their customers and shareholders will appreciate and recognize Union Pacific as an excellent corporate citizen.

Contact: Tom Winn, Umatilla County Historical Society Board President 

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