In my last column, I mentioned that members of the executive committee and board of directors have been working since early spring 2019 on a new vision and mission statements for Oregon Aglink.
For several years, Oregon Aglink has been operating with a short and sweet vision statement: “Growing Oregon agriculture through education and promotion.” It highlighted our focus, Oregon agriculture, and our main methods, bringing new awareness and interest to farming and ranching in our state. The word “growing” seemed fitting for agriculture, but also open-ended and positive.
We will always have a soft spot for that vision statement, but we knew it was time for another strategic planning session that would help us create a clearer picture of how our work in each Oregon Aglink program ties to its central idea. Thanks to Abisha Stone, who guided us through the process, the executive committee moved forward with finding language for a new vision statement. We asked ourselves, “What would the world look like if Oregon Aglink accomplished all of its goals and finished its work?” After multiple rounds of feedback from the board of directors, we are ready to share it with you all:
We envision a connected Oregon, where producers and communities share an informed understanding of agricultures in our state. Knowing the diversity of the origins and processes behind food, fiber, and shelter helps everyone in Oregon appreciate their impact.
The result is a little longer than before (it might not be fitting on a bumper sticker any time soon!) but it opens up many avenues for conversation and good work for our staff and volunteers to continue.
In the perfect world where Oregon Aglink has done its job, there are all sorts of connections between producers/processors and communities all over the state. In 2019 we still need to work on improving relationships between urban and rural communities, but our work has shown us that even in rural areas people might not understand what the farmer down the road does.
You might have noticed that we use the plural form of the word “agriculture” in the vision statement. That was intentional! Being part of this organization, you learn so much about the different ways people live and work in their own little corner of the state. We wanted to respect the differences but also the commonalities between the ranchers, dairy farmers, orchard owners, nursery and greenhouse operators, farmers, processors, and even timber and fishing industries. Those are all ways that Oregonians create important products out of the natural world surrounding us. If nothing else, we hope that using the word “agricultures” becomes a conversation starter for many people in years to come.
At the end of this issue, executive director Mallory Phelan will tell you a little more about the mission statement that came out of the same meetings as this exciting new vision statement.
It truly has been a year of big changes for Oregon Aglink. We look forward to seeing how these new vision and mission statements can guide our work to better serve these industries and the many communities that depend on them.
I look forward to seeing all of you at the Denim and Diamonds event on November 22nd at the Salem Convention Center. It is always such an amazing evening to celebrate Oregon agriculture!