Umatilla County Historical Society Receives $3,000 Grant From Blue Mountain Community Foundation

Pendleton, Oregon: The Umatilla County Historical Society was awarded a grant from the Blue Mountain Community Foundation for $3,000. 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. An interesting feature of this exhibit is that it is designed to change as the wheat industry adapts and evolves. This will keep the exhibit fresh and interesting across its scheduled 10-year run.

Agriculture is one of the primary economic drivers in Umatilla County. It accounting for $369.5 million in revenue in 2009. This makes Umatilla County the second 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 County will tell this story.

The Blue Mountain Community Foundation (BMCF) started in 1984 based on the idea that the area needed a place for donors who cared about the community to make long- term charitable investments. Community foundations are generally tied to a specific geographic area or community, and seek major gifts that are invested for the long-term, to benefit their community in perpetuity.

Contact: Tom Winn, Umatilla County Historical Society Board President 

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