WEST COAST CONNECTION
The Wheat Marketing Center, located in the old Albers Milling Co. building in Portland, Ore., was founded by seven charters states, including Nebraska. The center researches end use of wheat products, works with various markets to provide an end product that meets their needs, and provides educational programs for growers, students and international buyers.
NEBRASKA PLAYS A ROLE
Kathleen Gehring, laboratory technologist at the Wheat Marketing Center, demonstrates the center's new tortilla pilot line. Pilot lines like this allow the center to test end-use products on a small scale. The tortilla line, originally located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was purchased and donated to the center by the Nebraska Wheat Board.
FRESH OFF THE LINE
Gehring, along with Nebraska Wheat Ambassadors Autumn Lemmer and Jordan Bothern, watches as freshly baked crackers leave the center's cracker line. With this pilot line, different levels of sugar, honey and other ingredients, as well as different blends of hard red winter and hard red spring, are used to test the flavor, texture, color and stackability of different crackers.
Gehring demonstrates using an extensograph to test gluten strength — one of the components the center measures when testing different blends of flour.
A ship is loaded for export at a Temco terminal across the Willamette River from the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland. About 50% of the wheat produced in Nebraska is exported, and about 25% of that is exported through Pacific Northwest ports like the Port of Portland.
ALL 6 MARKET CLASSES
Gehring (left), Nebraska Farmer Editor Tyler Harris, Bothern, Lemmer and Janice Cooper, managing director of the center, stand in front of samples of all six market classes of wheat, which are tested at the center. Cooper notes a quote by Didier Rosada, award-winning French baker and international bakery consultant and instructor. "He referred to hard red winter as the flour for the battle field," Cooper says. "It's the workhorse of the bakery world. You can make anything with it. The flexibility it has in the bakery world is tremendous."