Wow! What a year of change and growth we’ve had for Oregon Aglink.
2018 brought us the first full year under a new director, a new staff member, a new venue for Denim and Diamonds, and a first step to finding a more suitable location for the main office. I feel positive about the path the organization has traveled.
Director Mallory Phelan has done a tremendous job at leading the Oregon Aglink staff and planning for 2019. Changes implemented by Mallory and the Board of Directors were embraced by staff members Allison Cloo, Cate Stuart, and Leah Rue. I am humbled as well as excited to have these driven and inspiring women behind the day to day operations of Aglink.
Our new hire, Leah Rue, hit the ground running as she helped to oversee the event planning and coordinating of Denim and Diamonds.
Although we use the same planning template for the event, changing to a different venue in Salem created new challenges and decisions. Overcoming the obstacles, we achieved a record breaking fundraising year, which speaks volumes about the support and generosity of Oregon Agriculture.
Most importantly, I recognize that we would not be up for the challenging task of bridging the urban and rural divide without the investment made by our industry members.
Our chief effort, the Adopt a Farmer program, was able to add seven new classrooms to the participant list. Moving forward, we are exploring opportunities to better serve and highlight our more rural regions across Oregon.
I am proud to have served Oregon Aglink and its membership. The board and staff are enthusiastic about celebrating our differences and working together toward a common goal: making Oregon agriculture stronger through communication and education. The diversity of crops, markets, and the people that make it all happen are unique to Oregon. I am excited to see how Aglink will continue to aid our extraordinary industry in the future.
In January, at the Northwest Ag Show, Oregon Aglink will hold its annual meeting. At this time, I will be saying ‘goodbye’ to my year of service as the organization’s president. Stepping into this role for 2019 is Megan Thompson from The Dalles. She brings great vision and perspective, having grown up in Portland before beginning her career in agriculture. I look forward to seeing where she leads us!