PULLMAN, Wash. – Randy Suess, area wheat farmer and advocate for Washington State University agriculture research and extension, was honored Wednesday with the WSU Alumni Association Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of his support of local and global wheat partnerships and of ag and community programs throughout the region.
During Suess’ 11 years on the Washington Grain Commission, it funded six endowed faculty positions at WSU and recently completed a $5 million gift for the new WSU Washington Grains Plant Growth Facility. He lobbied for WSU at the state level during the 2009-11 budget reductions and nationally for increases in funding for WSU small grains research.
He has served on advisory boards for WSU Whitman County Extension, WSU agriculture and home economics and on the national board for the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.
His service on national boards – including chair of U.S. Wheat Associates 2011-12 – has enhanced the reputation of the wheat industry and of WSU. His interest in foreign marketing helped accomplish the opening of Central America: It once bought primarily soft red winter wheat but now buys nearly all soft white winter wheat from the Pacific Northwest.
On many overseas trade missions, Suess took along a WSU flag to get photos taken of him waving it in South America, Asia and Europe.
Suess received his bachelor of arts degree from WSU in elementary education in 1976. He was a teacher and school superintendent in Steptoe, Wash., for nine years before farming in Colfax, Wash., for 30 years. In his community, he has supported the Whitman County Library, Whitman County Wheat Growers, WSU Whitman County Extension and the Whitman County Gazette newspaper.
The WSUAA Alumni Achievement Award was created in 1970 by the WSUAA Board of Directors to recognize alumni who have given outstanding service to WSU and made contributions to their professions and communities. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association. Of an estimated 250,000 students who have attended WSU, Suess is the 529th Alumni Achievement Award recipient.