Future Wheat Interpretive Center

Future Wheat Interpretive Center

Future Wheat Interpretive Center

I’m KayDee Gilkey with the Northwest Farm and Ranch Report.

A tourist attraction that promotes wheat and educates consumers is moving closer to building a Wheat Interpretive Center including value added businesses near Ritzville, Washington on I-90.

This plan had its inception more than five decades ago, when area farmers hoped to create a national wheat museum, that plan unfortunately didn’t materialize but lay fallow until recently.

The many pieces of the groundwork have been completed since the City of Ritzville and the Public Development Authority picked the project back up in 2010. Approximately 20 acres has been donated, a feasibility study completed and architectural designs created by a WSU student team.

The City of Ritzville Clerk-Treasurer Kris Robbins has been the project’s point person. She shares after presenting an update this spring to the Community Economic Revitalization Board, or CURB, about how the project had progressed since CURB funded the feasibility study and showing them the new designs, the project has really gained momentum.

Robbins: “The legislature heard about it. We had Senator Hatfield call and ask what we were looking for and what was going on. We had the president of the WheatGrowers Foundation call and say, ‘What is this, I’m getting phone calls, tell me more.’ So Olympia sparked interest and therefore move us a little quicker.”

Getting infrastructure in place is the next necessary step. Robbins says fortunately a new development hopes to be in business across the road from the project’s site by next summer which will extend water and sewer services to the location as well as a possible grant for the interpretive center’s infrastructure improvements looks promising.

I’m KayDee Gilkey with the Northwest Farm and Ranch Report on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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