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Angi Bailey of Verna Jean Nursery elected to leadership role in Oregon Farm Bureau

COURTESY PHOTO: VERNA JEAN NURSERY - Angi Bailey, center, with her husband, Larry, and daughters Abbi, left, and Katie, is headed to Austin this weekend to represent the Oregon Farm Bureau, to which she was elected First Vice President in December. Angi Bailey, who was recently elected as Oregon Farm Bureau's (OFB) First Vice President, will take part in the American Farm Bureau Federation House of Delegates during the 2020 AFBF Convention held this weekend, Jan. 17-22, in Austin, Texas.

The Gresham resident and nursery owner will serve as one of four seated representatives from Oregon during the annual gathering, OFB said in an announcement.

Bailey was elected to the First Vice President position by the OFB House of Delegates, a grassroots group comprising family farmers and ranchers representing county farm bureaus statewide. The election took place during the 87th OFB Convention, held Dec. 10-12, 2019, in Gleneden Beach on the Oregon Coast.

Bailey takes over the role from previous OFB president Barb Iverson.

"Farm Bureau will benefit greatly from Angi's extensive leadership experience within Farm Bureau, her effective communication skills and her unwavering passion for agriculture advocacy," said OFB Executive Vice President Dave Dillon. "She will do an outstanding job, as she's already done in many ways for Farm Bureau at the county, state and national levels."

Bailey, who runs Verna Jean Nursery, a family-owned business on Southeast Altman Road, specializing in Japanese maples, graduated from the prestigious AFBF Partners in Advocacy Leadership class (PAL) in March 2019.

Only 10 farmers and ranchers are chosen nationally for the two-year program, which is designed to develop grassroots leaders into effective representatives for agriculture and help farm and ranch families through advocacy in public and political arenas. Bailey was the first Farm Bureau member from Oregon selected to participate, graduating from PAL's ninth class.

"As a fourth-generation farmer and a third-generation Multnomah County Farm Bureau member, I want to see Oregon Farm Bureau continue to be a strong, effective voice for agriculture in the public and political arenas," Bailey said. "For decades, Farm Bureau has helped keep my family farming."

Bailey grew up on the nursery established by her mother, Verna Jean Hale. As a young adult, Bailey left the farm but returned in 2005 to take over the business.

"When I came back to the farm, it was striking to see a very distinct rural-urban divide," Bailey said in spring 2019. "That's what inspired me to become an advocate for agriculture."COURTESY PHOTO  - ANGI BAILEY

In her advocacy role, Bailey has testified before state legislative committees in Salem, met with federal agency representatives and Oregon's congressional delegation in Washington, D.C., appeared in a national campaign promoting the need for immigration reform and shared her perspective as a family farmer.

She has worked on issues as diverse as labor, taxes, water, biotechnology and responsible pesticide use.

"I hear the questions my friends, as moms and as consumers, ask about food production and agriculture, and then I see the farm and ranch families who are working so hard to raise safe, high-quality food and fiber," Bailey said. "Most people don't really understand what it takes to run a farm, manage a successful business and feed a nation. There's a disconnect there — I want to help close that gap."

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