The following officers are elected to the 2019 Executive Committee and voluntarily serve for one year, January to January, in their respective positions:
Megan Thompson – Sage Fruit Co.
Megan has been a field rep for Oregon Cherry Growers since 1999. She works with growers in the The Dalles and Hood River area to facilitate maximum return and quality control. In 2007 Megan and her husband bought a 35 acre cherry orchard in The Dalles. They produce cherries for both fresh market and processing.
Megan graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Horticulture. She first fell in love with plants and horticulture due in part to her involvement with the Green Thumb program in Portland as a child.
Along with being involved in Oregon Sweet Cherry Commission and Oregon Women for Agriculture, Megan is also actively involved in her two sons’ sports and school activities.
1st Vice President
Fred Geschwill – F & B Farms
Fred, co-owns F & B Farms with his wife Leigh, brother Billy and sister-in-law Heidi. They grow a variety of crops including grass seed, hops and nursery crop in the Woodburn area. Fred is in charge of hop sales for F & B Farms. He is also actively involved in the public hop breeding program.
Fred graduated from Oregon State University with a BS in Agriculture. He enjoys motocross, reading, skiing, scuba diving, and travel. Fred and Leigh have a daughter named Alex.
2nd Vice President
Michelle Markesteyn – Rootopia
Michelle’s mission is to make it easy to raise happy, healthy kids and help farmers prosper. For over 20 years she has gotten her hands dirty on farms 4 to 4,000 acres in size, taught in school gardens, researched ways to make it easier to get local foods on our tables, and then advocated for policies that do just that.
In 2014, Michelle transitioned from the Oregon Department of Agriculture as the Farm to School Program Manager to join Truitt Family Foods as VP of Sales and Marketing. At Truitt Family Foods, she directs activities to get shelf-stable, plant-based protein products to the K-12, health care, and college and university markets. Her work received the North American Agricultural Marketing Excellence Award, and in 2013 she was recognized with the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior`s prestigious Health Policy Promotion Award. She earned a Doctorate degree in Agriculture, Food and the Environment from Tufts University’s School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and a Master of Environmental Law and Policy degree from Vermont Law School.
She is a board member of the National Farm to School Network. Michelle lives in the Willamette Valley on a 4-acre farm with her two young boys. Her favorite vegetable to grow is eggplant.
Abisha Stone – SEDCOR
Abisha has been in the food industry for more than a dozen years, working to grow local businesses and support the Willamette Valley’s food and ag industries. Most recently she was a Production Manager for Oregon Cherry Growers and served as the V.P. of Operations for Marion-Polk Food Share. Now with SEDCOR, as the Yamhill County Business Retention and Expansion Manager, Abisha works with traded sector businesses, the ag industry and the local communities to create and sustain resilient communities with vibrant economies.
Abisha has lived in Marion County for 20+ years and currently resides in Salem with her husband, Chris who is also in the food industry, 3 of their 5 children (who still live at home) and their 8-year old lab, Silver (named for a silver streak on her chest). The family is active in volunteerism and can be found riding their scooters at the Riverfront or Minto Island Park on any weekend when they do not have baseball, softball, volleyball or football games…or a karate competition.
Terry Ross – Integrated Seed Growers
Terry’s love for agriculture started in high school while working at Crocker Farms in Monroe, Oregon. He joined Pennington Seed as a field representative following his graduation from Oregon State University. The Lebanon, Oregon, based company promoted him to production manager, and his responsibilities allowed him to work closely with producers all over Oregon and Washington. He also has worked for the Oregon Grass Seed Bargaining Association as their general manager, fulfilling a lifelong dream to work for the farmers as their agent and advocate.
Terry remains active in volunteering his time and efforts for the betterment of agriculture. In addition to his position with the Oregon Aglink, Ross is a past chair of the Oregon Seed Trade Association Trade Rules and Ethics Committee, member of the PR committee of the Oregon Seed Council and a commissioner on the Oregon Tall Fescue Commission.
Terry resides in Sherwood with his wife Jaime and daughters, Brooklyn and Emma.
Pamela Lucht – Northwest Transplants
Pamela, along with her husband Neal and now their daughter Lauren, own Northwest Transplants, a 28 year old business located in Molalla, Oregon. NWT is a transplant seedling nursery growing crops of all kinds on contract for their commercial farm customers. Their family operation now produces over 80 million seedlings and services five Northwestern States and Western Canada. A core belief is:
“We measure our success by the success of our customers”
She invites you to visit their website to learn more about NWT.
Pamela, once a city girl, and a transplant to agriculture herself, believes the Oregon Aglink team is doing good things for Agricultural Education. She and her family are passionate about Ag Education at all levels; at the elementary school by supporting Oregon Ag in the Classroom, at the high school level by supporting FFA and most recently at the middle school level by supporting the Aglink Adopt a Farmer Program for the past 3 years. “I am proud that our company jumped at the opportunity to be one of the adopted farms. It’s fun and exciting to watch students from all backgrounds make a connection with our small piece of agriculture.” She believes exposing students to hands on experiences about where their food comes from is one of our best ways to develop agricultural literacy.
As an Oregon Aglink board member, Pamela believes in Oregon Aglink’s message that agriculture is rooted, green and vital. It’s important to Pamela that Oregonians understand the critical role that agriculture plays in our economy. Oregon Aglink’s Adopt a Farmer program, the Road Crop Identification Signs and the I am Oregon Agriculture TV ads are ways that Oregon Aglink is making this difference.