The recently organized REAL (Resource Education & Ag Leadership) Oregon program announced today the selection of 30 natural resource professionals from throughout the state to its inaugural class.
The individuals were selected from a large pool of applicants and reflect a diversity of resource producers, agri-businesses, advocacy organizations, and government agencies.
Bill Buhrig, with Simplot Food Group and Board Chair for REAL Oregon, said the response to the program has been overwhelming. “We knew there was a need for a program like this, but to have more than 30 applicants in the first year exceeded our expectations and is a good indicator that a program like this is long overdue,” said Buhrig.
Oregon is modeling its program after a similar program in Idaho.
“Leadership Idaho Ag is currently preparing for its 38th class so we know this can work and be sustainable,” said Buhrig.
REAL Oregon is a collaboration of industry and other groups throughout the state that have recognized the importance of developing and grooming natural resource leaders now and in the future. In addition to networking opportunities and learning more about the state, the program will bring current and future leaders together from agriculture, fishing, and forestry sectors in a series of 5 statewide sessions starting in November.
The annual leadership development program will expose this cross-section of representatives to the diversity of Oregon’s geography, economy, and cultures through training in board governance, communication skills, conflict resolution, government interaction, public policy work, critical thinking, media relations, professional presentations, public speaking, relationship building and other areas.
Class 1 includes 10 individuals directly involved in production agriculture, 3 involved in timber production and forestry, 11 from agri-businesses or natural resource organizations and 6 from local, state and federal agencies.
“We have participants from all corners of the state and I couldn’t be more pleased with the quality of applicants,” said Greg Addington, the REAL Oregon Program Director. “We couldn’t have a better group of people to get this program started. Oregon’s natural resource industries will be the beneficiaries of this effort in the near future.”
According to Addington, Class 1 will conclude in March of 2018 and recruitment for Class 2 will be underway in the coming months. For updates and additional information, visit www.realoregon.net.
REAL (Resource Education & Ag Leadership) Oregon Class 1
Northwest /Willamette Valley – 20 participants
Riddell Farm — Monmouth
Burkholder Farms — Albany
Wilbur Ellis — Corvallis
USDA/FSA — Salem
Cascade Timber Consulting– Sweet Home
Northwest Transplants — Molalla
Northwest Farm Credit Services — Salem
Oregon Department of Agriculture — Portland
Northwest Farm Credit Services — Eugene
Barenbrug USA — Scio
Wilco Hazelnut, LLC — Aurora
Oregon Department of Agriculture — Stayton
Miller Timber Services — Albany
Oregon Water Resource Congress — Salem
Blue Line Farms — Silverton
Pacific Risk Management– Rickreall
Ruddenklau Farms — Amity
Pearmine Farms — Gervais
Oregon Farm Bureau — Eugene
Anne Marie Moss
Oregon Farm Bureau — Salem
Eastern/High Desert – 5 participants
Klamath Water Users Association– Klamath Falls
Flowers Farms — Midland/Klamath Falls
Doverspike Ranch — Burns
OSU Extension — Lakeview
Sage Fruit Company — The Dalles
Northeast – 3 participants
Pacific Ag — Hermiston
Umatilla County — Athena
Oregon Department of Agriculture — Pendleton
Southwest – 2 participants
Lone Rock Resources — Roseburg
Kenagy Cattle Company — Oakland