For six or seven seconds Monday afternoon, a group of wheat farmers from Idaho were able to imagine pushing 15,000 metric tons of wheat up the river. Maybe the wheat had been harvested in Idaho, or maybe it came from Washington or Oregon or Montana or even the Dakotas. Regardless, the imaginary barges under their control – the tugboat they each got to pilot was real, the barges not so much – were filled with U.S. wheat destined to be loaded on a ship headed for an export market.
The tugboat “driving lesson” was part of the Wheat Export and Marketing Workshop, an annual educational seminar and tour sponsored by the Idaho Wheat Commission and anchored at the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, Oregon.
Here’s a brief video from the first day of the 3-day workshop: