The Wallowa County Hay Growers Association was officially organized March 13. Elections were held and officers elected during the organizational meeting held at Pam's Restaurant.

A group of interested growers and industry representatives have been meeting as a steering committee of the Wallowa County Certified Weed Free Program since October to develop a strategy to market and sell their products in a more efficient manner and at added value. Two main goals of the new organization are to aid in the education of its members and to improve the marketing of hay grown in Wallowa County.

The newly elected board of directors include Mark Butterfield, Jim Petty, Dan Gover, Mike Fluit, and Jim Dawson, all Wallowa County hay producers. Butterfield will assume duties of president of the group, with Gover assisting as vice president.

The new group is holding a membership drive before their first official membership meeting that has been scheduled for March 26 at 12 noon at Toma's. Membership dues, which are $70, will include membership in the Oregon Hay Growers Association and will be used to create opportunities to market hay through the associations website and other marketing options.

For more information about the group, contact Mark Butterfield at 432-3735 or John Williams, OSU extension agent, at 426-3143 or attend the next meeting on March 26.

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