Oregon Farm Bureau doles out awards to local recipients
Doug Hoffman, CEO of Wilco Farm Stores, was honored with the Oregon Farm Bureau President's Award during the 84th Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) Annual Meeting in Salem.
The President's Award recipient is selected by the sitting OFB President to recognize an individual who contributes in extraordinary ways to Oregon agriculture, and therefore to Farm Bureau members.
"I am proud to give the OFB President's Award to Doug Hoffman," said OFB President Barry Bushue. "He has spent his entire career supporting farm and ranch families across several states and adding value to countless agricultural businesses."
Hoffman grew up on a farm in South Dakota as one of nine children. "We had 100 head of cows and calves and a bunch of hogs," he said. "It was a lot of hard work, and it taught me if you want things in life, you have to work for it."
Hoffman attended the University of South Dakota, receiving a business and accounting degree; married his wife Jan, with whom he raised three children; and started with Cenex, a management training program in Wilmot, S.D. He quickly earned a reputation as a great business manager through a series of co-op jobs, each one bringing him further and further out west. In each case, he was known as a leader who puts others above himself.
This core value is evident in his personal service to many organizations, from the Oregon FFA Foundation and Oregonians for Food & Shelter, to ranging as far as Kenya where he is a volunteer leader in Empowering Lives International, which teaches young people the business and practice of farming and equips them for success.
"He is a man of faith, integrity, and service above self," said Bushue. "As CEO of Wilco, he has brought great value to Farm Bureau member families, great service to Oregon agriculture, and has built a brand around ag lifestyle retail stores that make a positive connection with the non-farm public."
Also being honored at the OFB annual meeting was the Marion County Farm Bureau with a County Farm Bureau Action Award.
The award is given to a county Farm Bureau that has developed a successful, innovative project or program in the political or public education arena within the last two years.
"Since 2013, Marion County Farm Bureau has organized agriculture-themed bus tours to proactively connect with elected officials, candidates, and legislative staff," Bushue said.
The county hosts a full-day bus tour highlighting different agricultural commodities, processors, distributors and ag research facilities in the Willamette Valley. The goal is to help decision-makers have a greater understanding of and respect for Oregon agriculture.
County Farm Bureau members help plan the tour, host tour stops and work to build relationships with lawmakers while on the tour.
"These ag tours have successfully established Marion County Farm Bureau as a go-to resource when local government officials have questions about Oregon agriculture and the impacts of public policy on farmers and ranchers," Bushue said. "The program has excited members, the media, and the public. It has been a successful program by any measure."
See a complete list of awards at oregonfb.org/media/press-releases/.