Boring, Oregon, farmer recognized for 'exemplary leadership'
For nearly 20 years, Barry Bushue not only represented his own Boring farm as part of the Oregon Farm Bureau, but the farmers of Oregon as part of the national organization.
From 1999 to 2018, Bushue served as president of the Oregon Farm Bureau. He was also the vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation from 2008 through 2016 and further served on the AFBF Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Trade Advisory Committee and the Vision for Action Task Force.
For his work as "a tireless worker, mentor and fundraiser," Bushue received the Farm Bureau Founders Award earlier this month at the group's annual convention in Austin, Texas.
According to a release from the AFBF, Bushue is a "firm believer that farmers and ranchers should get involved in education and the policy making process."
"Activism needs to be a part of your business plan," Bushue said. "You budget for fertilizer, you budget for your seed, you budget for maintenance, you budget for all these things you do, new tractors, whatever it is you need. But, if you don't have a line item that somehow represents an activist piece of what it is you do and show your passion for agriculture, then I think you are missing something on your farm."
Bushue added that his father initially encouraged him to join the Farm Bureau for the sake of his own farming business.
"He said, 'We're going to go to the (Farm Bureau) meeting tonight, and you're going with me,'" Bushue said. "I embraced it and I loved it. I've always had a passion for it. I think I inherited that, it's probably genetics in our family."
Barry and his wife Helen and daughter Lara operate Bushue Family Farms in Boring, inviting people to their farm multiple times a year to buy plants, pick berries, choose a pumpkin and spend time with family.
The Farm Bureau Founders Award is one of the organization's top honors and voted on by a committee of the national bureau. Bushue was nominated by the Oregon Farm Bureau membership.
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