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2020 Board Candidates - District 3


Bruce Abbey

 To view Bruce's video, click here

My name is Bruce Abbey, I am a 4th generation wheat farmer from Columbia County, living four miles northwest of Waitsburg. My wife of 48 years, Barbara, and I have two grown children Jonathan and Elizabeth. Jon, his wife Anne, and their four children have recently moved to Walla Walla from Minneapolis, Minnesota joining us in the family farming operation. Daughter Beth is a professor at Whitworth University in Spokane with her husband Tim. Our family farm has a long relationship with Columbia REA dating back to the early 1930's. My father, Joe Abbey, was a long-time board member and truly enjoyed his time serving. I graduated from Waitsburg High School in 1970 and received an Associate Degree from Walla Walla Community College in 1972. In 1972 I also married my wife, Barbara, and joined the Washington Air National Guard where I served six years. From 1972 through 1975 I worked for the University of Idaho, where I serviced and repaired the IBM office equipment on the U of I campus. In 1975 my wife and I moved back to the family farm where we still live. My father and I diversified our wheat farm by raising and processing certified seed wheat which we sold to area farmers, and continue to do to this day. I am active in my local church and have been a fire commissioner for District 2 for 20 plus years. At this time I also serve on the Washington State Crop Improvement board of directors and have been its president.

Neil Carpenter

 To view Neil's video, click here

I’m a lifelong resident of Columbia and Walla Walla Counties.  I have three years of experience on the CREA board, and have now received my Credentialed Cooperative Director certificate. I also have 15 years of experience on cooperative boards for Touchet Valley Grain Growers and Northwest Grain Growers, ending my tenure as board president. While on those boards I received extensive Cooperative Board Directors’ Training.  I am a member of the Waitsburg Lions Club and served as president from 2015-2016. I was also actively involved in the Waitsburg Days of Real Sport for 20 years, including 3 terms on the board.  I graduated from Waitsburg High School in 1972 and attended Yakima Valley College before returning to work on the family farm. I’m a 4th generation farmer who started farming on his own in 1976 as Carpenter Farms. On a personal note I have been married to Kathy for 36 years and have two sons Christopher and Nicholas.


It is a pleasure and a privilege to serve you as Secretary/Treasurer and now Vice-President of the Columbia REA board. The importance of maintaining reliable and affordable electrical service to both the rural and populated areas of our counties is what drives me as a board member. I believe that there is much more to be accomplished and would appreciate the opportunity to continue serving you.


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