Term Expires: September 2021
Brett Blankenship was appointed to the Board of Regents in October 2016. He is an owner and partner in Blankenship Brothers, a family farm wheat producer, and an advocate for the wheat industry, nationally and in the state.
Regent Blankenship previously has served as president of the National Association of Wheat Growers, a federation of the 22 leading wheat-producing states that account for about 85 percent of the nation’s wheat. He also has served as president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, leading the policy arm of the industry in Olympia and Washington, D.C. He was a participant of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Foundation - serving as President Class XXI. Blankenship’s service allowed him the position to play key role in negotiating the 2012 federal farm bill, building coalitions in the agricultural industry, as well as conservation advocacy groups.
The University’s newest Regent looks forward to assisting WSU’s efforts to increase national awareness of its wheat breeding expertise and research designed to position the agriculture sector to meet the challenges of climate change, international competitiveness, and find solutions that enhance carbon sequestration. He is also honored to join the board at a time when the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is in its infancy—he strongly supports the University’s initiative to broaden access to quality health care across the state, while maintaining and enhancing the University’s proud land-grant mission.
Regent Blankenship is a 1980 graduate of Eastern Washington University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music/piano performance. He completed a Master of Music in Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, in 1982, before joining the family business.
In the spirit of community involvement, Regent Blankenship is a past president of his local Lions Club, a member of the local Eagles, and volunteers on the local fire department and holds an EMT license.
He and his wife Lee Ann, a registered nurse, make their home on the family farm in Washtucna.