By Megan Thompson
Oregon Aglink, like most of us, continues to change and evolve. In the last two years, we have seen staff transitions along with the standard ebb and flow of board members and executive committee. Staff leadership transitioned from Geoff Horning to current executive director Mallory Phelan. Other staff changes have also occurred bring new perspective and positive change to the organization. The collaboration with Allison, Cate and Leah means a stream of ideas and energy dedicated to the mission of promoting agriculture in Oregon.
Faces have come and gone over the fifty plus years since Oregon Aglink was originally founded as the Agribusiness Council of Oregon, but the vision and mission of the organization have been constant in many ways. While the original spirit continues to guide us, the executive committee and board of directors have been working to update the language of the vision and mission statement to better align with where Oregon Aglink is now and will be in years to come. In 2016, ABC changed its name to Oregon Aglink to reflect the value of the organization as linking urban and rural Oregon through shared interests in agriculture. In the same way, this refreshed language in vision and mission statements will be true to the core values established by Marion T. Weatherford in 1966.
This is also a year of physical changes for the Oregon Aglink office. After decades located in Portland and the metro area, the staff will be moving operations southward to the 45th Parallel Building in North Salem. This move offers many benefits: more centrally located in the Willamette Valley, closer to several partner organizations, a fresh and public-facing location, and large cost benefit. Once the move is complete please take a minute to stop by and check out the new space!
As much as agriculture seems grounded in tradition and prides itself on ties to the past, farms and ranches throughout Oregon are familiar with change. Growers and processors are constantly changing to keep up with markets, weather, family needs or partner transitions. Operations have condensed, expanded, and relocated. Your grandfather’s sheep farm might be your daughter’s hazelnut farm in ten more years. Some changes are simplistic, like just changing the variety you are growing or the dealer you use. Some changes can be far more complicated due to new equipment needs, infrastructure, and shifts in marketing or regulations.