OFB elects Iverson
Oregon Farm Bureau announced that Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm proprietor Barb Iverson was elected as the bureau's 16th president.
OFB delegates elected Iverson during the 87th OFB Convention held at Salishan Resort in Gleneden Beach. Those delegates are comprised of family farmers and ranchers representing county farm bureaus statewide, according to OFB Communications Director Anne Marie Moss.
Iverson, a member of the Clackamas County Farm Bureau, will replace retiring president Sharon Waterman, a member of Coos-Curry County Farm Bureau who raises cattle, sheep, and timber in Bandon.
"Barb was elected out of a very strong pool of candidates. She brings over 20 years as a Farm Bureau leader to the president's role," OFB Executive Vice President Dave Dillon said. "She also brings the knowledge and wisdom from a complex, dynamic, and forward-looking family farm operation and the many years of experience she's gained from service to other organizations.
"In this era when communicating farm issues to the non-farm public is so important, Barb brings a perspective about public engagement that we haven't had before," Dillon added. "Her leadership style is collaborative and collegial, and she is going to be a great president as Farm Bureau starts its second century in Oregon."
Moss noted that Iverson comes from a multigenerational family farm from Woodburn, raising industrial hemp, grass seed, squash, vetch seed, hazelnuts, wine and table grapes, and operating the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, which attracts over 160,000 visitors each year.
"My ultimate goal as Oregon Farm Bureau president is healthy rural communities. And to get there, we need healthy farms and ranches where the people who are immersed in the day-to-day care of their land can thrive," Iverson said.
"I trust in those who live and work on the land of this great state: our farmers and ranchers. Their vision of sustainability is in generations, both previous and future. I believe in Farm Bureau's mission to advocate for these hard-working families," she added.
Iverson had been serving as OFB's first vice president, and she's previously served as second vice president, third vice president and was chair of the bureau's budget committee. Moss said Iverson has also served as a board member of the Oregon Ag Education Foundation, as Clackamas County Farm Bureau president, on many OFB issue advisory committees, including labor and water, and on American Farm Bureau issue advisory committees for nursery and labor policy.
"The people in Farm Bureau are like family. I realized with my long and diverse farming career, as well as my 30 years of involvement in the organization, running for president of Oregon Farm Bureau was challenge I wanted to take on," Iverson said.
Iverson will be busy. Moss said that one of her first duties in office will send her to Austin, Texas, from Jan. 17-22 for the 2020 national American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) House of Delegates where she will be one of four representatives from Oregon.
Chapin farms hazelnuts and cherries and has been active with OFB since 1973.
"I feel very fortunate to have become involved in Farm Bureau immediately after college," said Chapin who tends Chapin Orchards on Wheatland Road N. "With only about 1% of Oregonians farming and ranching, agriculture needs a strong, united voice speaking out in the local, state, and federal government to keep us from being regulated out of business. Farm Bureau provides that respected, credible voice for Oregon's farming and ranching community. I encourage every farmer to join and get involved in Farm Bureau."
Chapin's induction marks a family legacy.
"Bruce is a lifelong member who comes from a proud farm bureau family," Waterman said. "He got involved at a young age after attending meetings with his father, Jack Chapin, who is also a member of the OFB Hall of Fame. We're glad to report that this tradition continues the third generation."OFB elected Angi Bailey of Multnomah County to serve as the first vice president.
Bailey, a fourth-generation farmer who runs a family-owned nursery in Gresham specializing in Japanese maples, graduated from the prestigious AFBF Partners in Ag Leadership (PAL) in March 2019.Oregon State Representative Shelly Boshart Davis, member of Linn County Farm Bureau, was honored with the 2019 OFB Top Hand Award. Helen Bushue, member of Multnomah County Farm Bureau, was honored with the 2019 OFB Outstanding County Farm Bureau Secretary Award. OFB Board member Dean Freeborn, member of Polk County Farm Bureau, was inducted into the OFB Hall of Fame. Hazelnut farmer Tiffany Harper Monroe, president of Lane County Farm Bureau, was honored with the 2019 OFB Service to Agriculture Award. Longtime OFB Board member, Lyndon Kerns, member of Klamath-Lake County Farm Bureau, was honored with the 2019 OFB Distinguished Service Award. Mickey Killingsworth of Jefferson County Farm Bureau was inducted into the Oregon Farm Bureau Hall of Fame. Multnomah County Farm Bureau was honored with the 2019 County Farm Bureau Action Award. OFB honored Trout Unlimited and the Nature Conservancy with OFB Good Faith Awards. OFB honored Rep. David Brock Smith and Rep. Susan McLain with awards for their work on legislation critical to farm and ranch families. OFB honored Oregon state Senator Herman Baertschiger, Jr. and Senator Betsy Johnson for their dedicated and unwavering support of Oregon's farm and ranch families.
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