Author: Oregon Aglink (page 2 of 4)

Winter Olympics & Oregon Wool

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images) Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Four years after its wool was featured in Olympic ceremony outfits for Team USA in Sochi, Imperial Stock Ranch is once again part of the thread that connects Oregon agriculture to Winter Olympic history.

Oregon agriculture is no stranger to Korea. Most of the soft white wheat grown in our state is exported to East Asia for noodle and bun production, and that area has been a solid market for berry, nut, and brewing exports as well. In that sense, there’s some good agricultural company for wool to join once it has traveled from Imperial Stock Ranch to National Spinning Co. mills, and from there to Ralph Lauren studios to become sweaters, mittens and hats worn by Olympic athletes.

Wool produced by Dan and Jeanne Carver at their ranch outside of Shaniko, Oregon featured in both the Opening and Closing ceremony uniforms for Team USA in Pyeong Chang this year. While National Spinning Co., Inc. is the official yarn vendor this time around, the story of the wool’s source at Imperial Stock Ranch is as much a selling point for the yarn as its high quality.

Founded nearly a century and a half ago in 1871, Imperial Stock Ranch still runs cattle and sheep, and produces hay and grains, near the ghost town of Shaniko. The Carvers persevered through a market downtown for domestic wool in the 1990s, creating a value-added yarn and clothing business that catered to multiple markets and employed local artisans to produce clothing.  Following their visible relationship with Ralph Lauren during the 2014 Winter Olympics, they continued to grow.  In early 2015, National Spinning Co., Inc., one of the strongest spinning mills in the U.S., proposed a licensing partnership based on Imperial Stock Ranch’s rich history, sustainable practices, and sheep and wool production. Together, National Spinning and Imperial Stock Ranch met with Ralph Lauren’s design and production teams, and presented this new model.  National Spinning launched their Imperial Stock Ranch American Merino branded yarn program later that year.  Their partnership represented a strong business model that brought Ralph Lauren back for the 2018 Olympics.

Throughout it all, the Carvers maintain their roots with the ranch and its chief business: “converting sunlight,” as Jeanne Carver says, into grass that feeds their animals.

The practices at Imperial Stock Ranch made it a pilot audit site for the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), a benchmark set by the Textile Exchange of best practices surrounding animal welfare and land management. In 2017, Imperial Stock Ranch became the first ranch in the world certified under the RWS.

While honoring its 147 year history, the ranch is like many other operations in Oregon that look equally as hard at the future of their land and its productivity in the long run. In Carver’s words, she is most proud of “the management of natural resources, and the interconnected relationship of grazing animals and grasslands. All food, clothing, and shelter begins with the soil. Managing for the health of our soil and systems is good for our family’s future and for all.”

Imperial Stock Ranch, like many other operations in Oregon, is an excellent reminder of the thread between past and future that farmers and ranchers cherish. This second chapter of their story with the Winter Olympics, first in Sochi and then in Pyeong Chang, highlights another important thread, one that spans distances and connects places.

The story of the hats, mittens, and sweaters of Team USA at the Winter Olympics is a special one for Oregon, and both ends of the thread are important. At the one end we have the journey of an Oregon product across the ocean to be appreciated by millions around the world. On the other end we see Dan and Jeanne Carver, the ranchers who made that wool possible on their own patch of soil in Wasco County.

For their part, the Carvers are quick to acknowledge how very neat it all is: “We are very humbled as well as proud to be a small part of Ralph Lauren’s Olympic uniform program,” says Jeanne Carver, “it will always be special.”

Adapt and Embrace: A Salute to John McCulley

Q: Our records show that you started serving on the board of directors in 1988, does that seem right?

A: Wow! Didn’t realize it was that long ago.

Q: How did you get involved with ABC/Oregon Aglink originally?

A: I was executive secretary for the Oregon Fairs Association. At that time and for many years, Aglink (ABC) coordinated the Oregon’s Best Program at county fairs. Aglink also had a presence at the Oregon State Fair. Oregon fairs and Aglink both saw fairs as a way to connect with many non–ag Oregonians.

Q: What do you remember about the Agri-Business Council of Oregon in those years, before it became Oregon Aglink? Are there any campaigns or events you remember fondly?

A: Just as today, the organization has always benefited from dedicated leaders. The crop sign program was the signature activity 30 years ago and it continues to this day. I also fondly recall the first Denim and Diamonds events that were just a wonderful celebration. I think also the Landmark of Quality program with its widely used logo was a foundational campaign in those years.

Q: What are some ways you’ve seen Oregon agriculture and its producers change in the last 30 years?

A: The most obvious, of course, is the rapid adoption of technology. People in agriculture are the most inventive and forward thinking individuals around. I continually marvel at the way producers adapt to changes and how they embrace the most challenging business in the world. Two other things come to mind: the very impressive number of highly skilled young people returning to the farm and the growing number of women leaders in agriculture who are making such a huge, positive impact on the industry.

Q: What’s something that current and future members of the Board of Directors should remember going forward? Any advice or encouragement?

A: Aglink has moved to a higher plane in recent years. The challenge will be to continue to advance. Adopt a Farmer is the best and I only hope that the industry continues to embrace it. Any efforts that show the public (and especially policy–makers) the truth about agriculture are vital.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I will continue to be a part of the agriculture community serving on the boards of the Oregon FFA Foundation and the Oregon Fairs Foundation. I really enjoy my involvement with Rotary where I serve on the club’s foundation board and several committees. Beyond that I’m a volunteer SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) reader, brew beer, garden, try to keep up with our grandson and squeeze in travel along the way. What a great life!

Expanding Horizons: A Salute to Ken Bailey

Ken Bailey of Orchard View Farms

 

Q: Our records show that you’ve been serving on the Board of Directors for quite a while– do you remember what year you joined?

A: I do not remember the year I began serving on the Board of Directors but it was over 10 years ago.  Orchard View Farms had been a member for many years and we have always appreciated those involved in promoting agriculture and a positive image of what agriculture does for the state of Oregon.

 Q: What led you to get involved?

A: I got involved as I have always been interested in encouraging producer involvement in the promoting agriculture.  I have always been involved in various groups representing agriculture and Oregon Aglink was a continuation of that involvement.

Q: What led you to go beyond the Board of Directors and serve on the Oregon Aglink Executive Committee?

A: I served on the Aglink executive committee to do what I could to get others involved.  Getting the younger generations involved in Aglink has energized the organization and it is great to see more and more younger producers getting into leadership position

Q: Why does it make sense for Oregon Aglink to have a member of its Board of Directors from the Columbia Gorge? Flipping that question around, why does it make sense for someone farming in the Columbia Gorge to have a local producer serving on the Oregon Aglink Board of Directors?

A: It is important that Aglink has board members from all regions of the state.  The need to have everyone represented is good for both Aglink and the various regions of the state.  Producers tend to get focused on local issues and it is great to expand horizons and see what other regions of the state have to offer.  We can all learn by better understanding the issues of producers with other interests.

Q: What’s something that current and future members of the Board of Directors should remember going forward? Any advice or encouragement?

A: Going forward, members of the Board of Directors need to remember that all aspects of agriculture need to be represented and we can better represent Oregon agriculture only if we have a good understanding of the vast diversity of what makes up Oregon Agriculture.  This diversity needs to be presented in a positive way to the whole state of Oregon if we are to continue to grow.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: As I move more toward an eventual retirement, I continue to be involved in our family farm and many different local and state organizations, not all of which are directly involved in agriculture.  We need to remember agriculture is a small portion of the state as a whole and we need to communicate with others so that they may have a much better understanding of what Oregon Agriculture is.

“Never Stop Learning”: Welcome to President Pamela Lucht

By Allison Cloo

With the annual membership meeting marking a new year, Oregon Aglink welcomed in its new president, Pamela Lucht of Northwest Transplants.

Some readers of AgLink magazine may be familiar with Lucht after a summer 2016 article explored the Molalla-based transplant business and greenhouses she runs with her husband Neal and daughter Lauren. Lucht has been serving as the Chief Financial Officer of Northwest Transplants since 1990. At a Denim & Diamonds event in 2014, then-executive director of Oregon Aglink, Geoff Horning, approached Lucht about serving on the board of directors.

Involvement with Oregon Aglink and its mission of education and promotion fit naturally into the path Pamela Lucht has carved for herself. “I was excited to be asked to serve,” she says, “especially where agricultural education is concerned.” Service and learning have been intertwined for Lucht since high school.

“At one of my first workshops in high school, we were told to never stop learning. Learning to do new things, learning about yourself and your leadership styles, etc.  This is one of my core beliefs.”

After running for class office in spite of childhood shyness, Lucht took that workshop lesson to heart and has continued to pursue opportunities to learn more about leadership and, as it happens, agriculture.

Lucht’s family had moved away from agriculture when her grandparents left a farming community in Oklahoma for California’s Bay Area in 1939. Lucht remembers her grandmother’s stories about picking cotton. For many families, the movement westward toward California and Oregon meant a journey away from farm life and toward other jobs. For Lucht’s family, that was construction and factory work for her grandparents in California, real estate once her parents moved to Eugene.

At the time Pamela Lucht was growing up in Eugene, she and her brother Douglas weren’t aware that their paths would lead them back to farming. A “city” kid like his sister, Douglas got degrees in computer tech and Spanish at University of Oregon but now works at Gingerich Farms. At Oregon State University, Pamela set out to study interior merchandising, an extension of an early interest in architecture and interior design. It wasn’t long, though, before she met her soon-to-be husband Neal and other friends who stoked her interest in learning about agriculture.

“Many of my college friends are producers around the state,” she says, “I had many opportunities to visit their farms and ranches, meet their families, and experience the farm lifestyle.” Beyond the warm welcome she received, Lucht appreciates the technical aspects that keep farms and processors running in Oregon. “I love farm tours and processing plant tours. I enjoy watching how machines work.”

Since attending OSU and co-founding Northwest Transplants, Pamela Lucht has doubled-down on her commitment to service, learning, and support of local farmers and rural communities.

Besides running the books at Northwest Transplants, Lucht keeps herself busy with other volunteer commitments like Molalla Drive to Zero: a campaign to reduce auto accident fatalities by 50% by the year 2020. Clackamas County chose Molalla as its pilot city, with hopes of expanding the program to other rural towns in the county.

If Molalla is setting an example with its drive for safety, Lucht is on a similar example-setting track with her other community work. She recently finished a project with Ford Institute Leadership Program, which focuses on building leadership in rural communities. Moreover, she has begun working with the Rural Development Initiative based in Eugene, Oregon. Their mission “to strengthen rural people, places, and economies in the Pacific Northwest” is a good match for Lucht, whose passion for Oregon agriculture and the surrounding communities is evident.

If it’s not clear already, Pamela Lucht is ready for her year as president of Oregon Aglink. She has no shortage of hopes and plans for the months ahead.

A strong marketing plan to boost membership will likely include sharing the benefits of the SAIF discount with potential members but also upcoming social media projects to help farmers tell their stories. Along with the Adopt a Farmer program, in which Northwest Transplants participates, Oregon Aglink will continue developing the adult education programs first piloted last year.

Lucht looks forward to working with Mallory Phelan and the rest of the board of directors:

“We have a tremendous opportunity to move the organization forward and capture some of the new energy that’s out there in agriculture.”

Investing in the Future

President’s Journal

By Pamela Lucht

Watch out, my millennial is taking over!  Wink, wink!

My husband Neal and I are in the beginning stages of turning over the business to our daughter Lauren. You would think that with only one child the process would be streamlined. I’ve always been a person to embrace new experiences but coming to grips with how quickly things move has been challenging for me lately.

For me, it has been critical to remain positive by asking myself not what is best for me now, but what is best for the future. How can we support and shape our daughter into the business partner that we need?

Neal and I agreed that investing in our daughter’s personal and professional development would be key, and Lauren graduated from the pioneer class of REAL Oregon on March 8.

REAL is a Resource Education and Agricultural Leadership program that promotes leadership and service to people in our agricultural and natural resource industries. During the five month program we have watched her step into new leadership roles in the company with confidence. It also kept her busy and slowed her down just a bit, for which Neal and I were grateful.

Investing in the future of Oregon Aglink is also something I am passionate about. We must embrace change to remain relevant and worthwhile to our membership.

A change in venue for Denim and Diamonds is one new thing in store this year, and the board is looking to add valuable services for members, such as social media support. Our Adopt a Farmer program is also aiming to expand its reach to our Eastern and Coastal regions of Oregon.  Most importantly, I hope that you feel welcome and continue to share your ideas to shape Aglink into a valuable resource for its membership and the agricultural community.

It is a year for growth! With new Executive Director, Mallory Phelan, comes a new perspective and new energy, and I hope to bring a spirit of support and collaboration to the endeavor.

Stay tuned for an exciting year of innovation!

Social Media Madness

Lori PavlicekI struggled with what direction I wanted to go for this column.  I was passionate about many things taking place currently, but I didn’t know if I could comment without pushing an opinion.  On the other hand, SEX is something people like to think about, talk about, and act on, but is too broad to write about (I probably would give inaccurate terminology anyway). Last but not least, I still don’t want to head into any political arena with anyone, but politics did come into play when I finally chose to write about “social media,” how it affects our industry, and what we can do to improve what is being said.

“Social media” is a phrase that we throw around a lot these days, often to describe what we post on sites and apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, to name a few. I, personally, have procrastinated up until last year from getting into the social media scene and slowly tackled the Instagram, Facebook, and most recently LinkedIn.  I had to enlist the aid of my 12-year-old daughter to get started on this endeavor and discovered that once you get signed up and ready, you are thrown into a whole new world. For instance, many organizations choose not to use “snail mail” anymore, so they send information to the members of the organization via one nice Facebook post. The most recent negative aspect of Facebook is the political crap (oops! did I say that?) that is being tossed around.

I enjoy Instagram, which is mostly pictures and short blurbs; it is more like seeing a picture book than reading a novel.  Instagram used to be the “spy on your child” media of choice, but according to my now 13 year old, Snapchat is the teen favorite way to drive your parents over the edge route. With Snapchat, your little darling can send a picture and/or text and once the recipient receives it, it lasts 10 seconds; I can’t even get focused to see a post in that amount of time.

Along with Instagram, Twitter is also taking the teens and young adults by storm. Your media whiz can post something and all their followers can get sucked into what has been said.  This age demographic takes in and spits out more information faster than any previous generation.

All of these forms of social media are all ways to communicate with your peers or anyone willing to listen.  The beauty of social media is the ability to spread information and get it into the hands that need it. At the same time, not everything you see and read on the internet is the truth. Unfortunately, the negative media is what people view first and react to.  Social media is how people form their opinions, so we want to help them form positive ones on issues we, as farmers, face.  Everything you post creates attention and how you interact with information shared generates a bigger footprint on line for that topic. Simply put, the more positive information being tossed around over the World Wide Web, the more people will gravitate towards a progressive view.

So, get on board and go out into the shared vortex of social media and convince your “friends” that Farming is Sexy and that we are doing the right things on our farms and ranches.  Post photos of happy cows, goats, and sheep basking in the sun.  Crops such as fruit, nuts, berries and vegetables make for great conversations, along with pics of the kids getting physical around the farm.  For those who are born with the gift of gab, “blogging” is an exceptional way to chat and give facts on certain subjects that others have no clue about.

Someone always cares what is being said: make an impression.

Lori's Signature

 

 

 

Lori Pavlicek, President

The State of Portland, and the Oregon National Park

geoff horning oregon aglinkHere’s the good news. By the time you read this column it will only be a couple more weeks before all the political vitriol will come to an end for another cycle. While I’m sure we’re going to elect the perfect President in November (sarcasm people), I’m far more concerned about some of the political posturing happening right here in Oregon.

Oregon has long been a bastion of activist activity. Some of it has been good for the environment and the economy, but much of it has been an over reach by an urban community out of touch with their rural neighbors.

Having grown up in Reedsport, I was surrounded by a proud community with a strong local economy thanks to International Paper and a robust forestry industry. Almost overnight I witnessed fear and anger as eco-terrorists entered the community, spiking trees and heralding the plight of an owl that nobody had even heard of. Some 30-odd-years later the Spotted Owl still hasn’t recovered, the Barred Owl thrives and a once proud community sits in economic shambles.

Many of those activists who strolled into town to demonstrate were from Portland, Eugene, Seattle and other urban destinations. Thankfully it was before the internet, or I could only imagine how many more would have come into town without a lick of forestry experience and told all the locals who spent generations caring for the forest everything they were doing wrong.

Reedsport is hardly the only rural community in Oregon that has been uprooted by larger urban populations who think they know better than the locals. It’s just one example that happens to hit close to home. While most in Oregon are currently debating the damage that will occur with the passing of Measure 97, my past history has me keeping a close eye on the furthest corner of the State and a push by activists to turn a large section of Malheur County into a Designated Monument.

Look, I’m okay with conservation. I believe it’s not just a good thing to do, but it’s our obligation to ensure a balanced ecosystem for future generations. I love to fly fish for trout and spend a lot of my “pleasure” time doing so. In fact, just a couple weeks ago I spent a week in the backwoods of Yellowstone, dancing around grizzly bear to fish one of the best trout fisheries in the world, the Lamar River. I LOVE National Parks.

Yet, I’m mortified that a legion of activists, mostly from other parts of the country thanks to KEEN Footwear, are making headway in turning the Owyhee Canyonlands into a Designated Monument. If successful this effort would significantly impact local ranchers from grazing their cattle. Why are they pushing for this designation you ask? The primary reason noted by the activist community is “it’s important to have areas like this for people to explore and love.”

Here’s the thing. They already can! Not only is this area designated as public lands that people can enjoy, there are also 5 National Parks or Monuments that already reside in Oregon, totaling 207,360 acres. There are more than 85,000 acres within 153 State Parks in Oregon. That doesn’t include the public lands along the Oregon coast, or the National Forests that reside throughout Oregon. That’s a lot of area for people to “explore and love.”

This designation will basically accomplish one thing, which is to restrict the cattle industry from thriving in a region that is already struggling to economically survive. Such a designation would devastate an entire area with no benefit to the greater society. It’s like watching my childhood manifest itself all over again. This time, though, I hope common sense prevails.

Denim & Diamonds is next month. The highlight of the event for me is the awards ceremony, but the purpose of the event is to raise money for our Cultivating Common Ground campaign. Engagement and education of our urban neighbors is our only option. We still have plenty of room, and we’d love to have your support. Every penny helps. Otherwise, we’ll soon live in the State of Portland, while everybody just visits the Oregon National Park.

geoff horning signature

 

 

 

Geoff Horning, Executive Director

A Golden Celebration

geoff horning1966.

The “8th Wonder of the World,” the Houston Astrodome was built.

The first episode of Star Trek airs.

Pampers created the first disposable diaper.

Ronald Reagan entered politics for the first time – eventually being elected Governor of California.

My parents started dating.

And, Marion T. Weatherford, an Eastern Oregon wheat farmer, led a small group of agricultural supporters to create the Agri-Business Council of Oregon.

Honestly, I have no idea if a specific event inspired Weatherford to create our association. I do know he understood a schism was forming between rural and urban Oregon and he wanted to create an organization that could have an open conversation with his neighbors in Portland, Salem, Eugene, etc.

Over the first 49 years the Agri-Business Council has pulled off some pretty revolutionary things. Did you know ABC was one of the first organizations to ever do grocery story food sampling? If we could get Costco to give us royalties for that concept we wouldn’t have to put so much effort into fundraising!

We were very political at one point. In fact, both Representative Stafford Hansell and Senator Mike Thorne served as president of the Agri-Business Council of Oregon WHILE they were in office. Today, we leave the politics in the very capable hands of the Oregon Farm Bureau and other agricultural associations.

ABC sponsored pig races have been held in the streets of downtown Portland, and a kissing booth was built to raise funds during the Northwest Ag Show. I have been trying to convince the current ABC Board of Directors to participate in a similar booth at Denim & Diamonds, but if I push too hard I fear they’ll make me kiss the pig.

As an organization, we’re about to turn 50. We’ve become more mature as an organization. If not, I’d win that debate with the board and a kissing booth would be at every event we attend. Like a fine Oregon Pinot Noir, we continue to evolve.

At Denim & Diamond next month we will start a year-long celebration highlighting the efforts we’ve made over the past 50 years, and we’ll talk about a barn dance we’re planning for next August to celebrate our golden anniversary.

With that said, our focus is not on the past but on the future. Big changes are ahead. Announcements will be made at Denim & Diamonds in November, but at our core we’ll still be doing what Weatherford set out to do in 1966. We’ll just skip the part where the executive director kisses the pig.

geoff horning signature

 

 

 

Geoff Horning

An Original Pioneer: Founder Marion T. Weatherford

by Heather Burson

Photos courtesy of OSU Archives Library and Oregon Wheat Growers League

An Oregon pioneer usually brings to mind the image of someone who’s travelled the Oregon Trail. Itself, a 2,200 mile wagon journey from Missouri to Oregon that brought settlers westward. Marion T. Weatherford was a direct descendent of one, his grandfather William Washington Weatherford, but the term ‘pioneer’ means so much more. A pioneer is also someone who helps create or develop new methods, ideas, etc. This is what Marion T. Weatherford would go on to do, creating a rich legacy in Oregon agriculture.

With ties to Oregon State College’s extension program, Weatherford, pictured at left, joins one of its members to look at the wheat crop.

With ties to Oregon State College’s extension program, Weatherford, pictured at left, joins one of its members to look at the wheat crop.

Born to Marion Earl Weatherford and Minnie Clara Weatherford, on October 9, 1906, Marion T. Weatherford began his life near Arlington, Ore. on his family’s wheat and cattle farm. Marion T.’s grandfather was the first to plant wheat in Gilliam County, a practice his family continued. In an original publication “The Weatherford 16 Mule Team,” Marion T. describes how his father cut costs hauling wheat to the railroad in Arlington. A task that required a lot of help.

The farm used a 16 mule team to haul seven wagons both ways. A round trip The Oregonian’s “Pioneer Family to Mark Harvest” describes as being “26 miles each day, hauling 270 sacks of wheat.” Marion T. recounts his own duties in “The Weatherford 16 Mule Team” as a 16-year-old boy whose job was to “load, harness, feed and water, unharness, and act as general flunky on the job.” This lasted until 1924, when paved roads forced them to switch to hauling wheat in Model T Ford trucks.

Mule Wheat Team Photo

The Weatherford family’s mule team consisted of 16 matched mules, seen here hauling wheat in the summer of 1923 along the John Day Highway.

Marion T. would remain on the farm, except for two decades from 1922-1942. A time period best described in another of Marion T.’s publications, “Things I See,” where he recounts the following. “During those twenty years, I first rebelled against parental authority and the Establishment and gave the world a whirl ‘on my own.’” Until, he adds, he “came to his senses” and went to college to get an education. Oregon State University’s archives reveal that this journey began at Pasadena University, a small liberal arts school, where he began studying industrial arts before transferring to Oregon State College (later known as Oregon State University) to do the same.

Graduating in 1930, Marion’s own biographical sketch shows he went on to teach industrial arts at Marshfield Wisconsin High School, returning in 1937 to pursue his masters in industrial education at Oregon State College. Upon receiving this degree in 1938 he became an associate professor at San Jose State College, remaining there until his parents’ death in 1942. At this point he returned to take over the farm with his wife Leona. Something that went fairly smooth given his accounts in “Things I See,” where he states “…even during those twenty years ‘outside,’ I came home frequently and always kept in touch with current events in this community.” A practice that would serve him well.

Armed with this knowledge, Marion T. quickly found ways to get involved. In 1945 he became a board member of the Bank of Eastern Oregon, serving until 1962, and a Gilliam County Fair board member, serving until 1953. The following year, 1946, Marion T. became Eastern Oregon Wheat League’s vice president. From this, he became one of three wheat growers to found the Oregon Wheat Commission. The first wheat commission in the nation. This would become one of his most well-known accomplishments.

M Weatherford

The commission’s formation came about through a wheat surplus, with Marion T. selected to serve on a three-person committee. This committee was tasked with writing and passing a bill to assure a steady supply of money in the future, to deal with these and other problems that may arise. Ever the orator, Marion T. Weatherford’s written account of these events reveals the following. “In later years I have come to view this assignment as an incredible one,” he says, “…so far as I know, neither one of us had ever even read any part of the Oregon laws, and I’m sure we didn’t have the slightest idea of how to go about getting new legislation drawn up.” Despite these challenges, the committee worked connections throughout the Legislature, the House and the Senate to get the bill drawn up and passed, founding the Oregon Wheat Commission and assuring the wheat industry’s prosperity for years to come.

In addition to founding this commission, and serving as its founding chairman to boot, Marion T. went on to become president of the Pacific Northwest Grain and Grain Products Association from 1950-1957. A position, once again, served simultaneously along with various others. An OSU Foundation trustee since 1947, Marion T. became one of the founders of the Oregon 4-H Foundation in 1957. Serving as vice president and later its second president, in 1960, he was influential in the development of its business practices and its ability to accept gifts for 4-H. One of his accomplishments was finding a location for a 4-H center, something he would see come to fruition when he was president again in 1967 and 1968.

Marion T. Weatherford, pictured here at left, helped found the Oregon 4-H Foundation and was present at a special ceremony celebrating the program in 1962.

Marion T. Weatherford, pictured here at left, helped found the Oregon 4-H Foundation and was present at a special ceremony celebrating the program in 1962.

While all of this was going on, J.F. Short, state director of agriculture, had proposed the formation of an Oregon Agri-Council to be “one voice for agriculture.” A February 1965 edition of the Eugene Register Guard recounts that the decision was proposed in 1964, and that preliminary feasibility studies would continue during the next year. Another article, written in an October 1965 edition of the Heppner-Gazette Times, discusses a September meeting where four subcommittees were chosen as part of a larger steering committee headed by Marion T. Weatherford. He would become the council’s first president from 1966-1967, and this council would become known as the Agri-Business Council of Oregon.

A 1968 article in the Bend Bulletin would quote Marion T. as saying that the council’s purpose would be “to provide a medium of communication between the urban public and the farmer.” An aim that continues today, as it approaches its 50th anniversary next year. It would also quote him as saying the council’s challenge was “essentially one of communicating the significance and importance of this agriculture business and to do it in a business-like way.” Something Marion T. had always done and would continue to do through various pursuits the rest of his life. One might say that no one did this better than Marion T. Weatherford. An original pioneer who forever left his mark on Oregon agriculture.

 

2015 Award Recipients

Barb Iverson, of Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, and Paulette Pyle, former grass roots director of Oregonians for Food and Shelter, will be presented with the Agri-Business Council of Oregon’s two most prestigious awards at the 18th Annual Denim & Diamonds Dinner and Auction.

Barb Iverson (2)-001

Paulette Pyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Older posts Newer posts

© 2018

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑