By Jinger Eberspacher, National Association of Wheat Growers Building and Office Manager
Every day I walk the 1½ blocks from bustling Union Station to the vintage tile-fronted building at 415 Second St., NE. Three stories high, it stands cheek by jowl with the only gas station for miles to the right and the Ronald Reagan Republican building to the left. Situated within walking distance from the United States Congress, this proud little building represents the strength and tenacity of the nation’s wheat farmers. Home to the National Association of Wheat Growers since 1978, it has stood witness to seven Farm Bills, six U.S. presidents and countless changes in party rule. Most notably, it has been the home to 37 National Association of Wheat Growers presidents and all their constituents, three CEO’s and a wide variety of tenants.
Prior to 1978 headquarters locations were varied, but through the take-charge vision of our 16th president, Glen Moore, the building was purchased in one week and the foundation activated to hold the title. Acquiring an $850,000 property at a time when $5,000 would buy a new pickup required courage as well as a strong belief in the future of the wheat industry. Moore, along with ten state wheat associations and 117 visionary wheat growers and friends, recognized the investment opportunity. Their names grace our foyer wall, and their foresight allows us the privilege to work in the heart of the nation’s political power.
The National Association of Wheat Growers wants to ensure the strong history of our headquarters and industry will continue. Therefore, we are working with the National Wheat Foundation to make renovation, modernization and general upkeep of our headquarters a top priority. More information about ways to support this effort will soon be available on the National Wheat Foundation website.
In this season that celebrates home and family, I urge you to stop by 415 Second St., NE. This is your wheat industry home in the heart of Washington DC. You are always welcome.