As a daughter of Oregon, I grew up in Central Oregon in a family with deep roots in the forest products industry. As a state lawmaker, for 20 years I proudly represented communities with significant natural resource related industries – farming, forestry, fisheries, and ranching.
For decades, politicians like Kate Brown and Tina Kotek have dictated policies and regulations that negatively impact Oregon’s natural resource jobs, industries, and communities. When I talk to people who work in these industries, they tell me it’s not only getting harder and harder to make a living, but they are rarely invited to sit at the table when the policies that impact them are being written. That will change when I am governor.
Oregon farmers and ranchers feed Oregonians and the world. Some 80% of Oregon’s agricultural products are shipped out of state, including 40% that heads overseas. Oregon agriculture has a market value of over $5 billion, with about two-thirds coming from crop production, and one-third from livestock, poultry, and animal production, including dairy. Almost 6% of Oregon workers are employed on a farm or ranch, and more than 8% of state employment is linked, directly or indirectly, to agriculture. Agriculture is a vitally important industry, and it is a very tough business. Farmers and ranchers work 365 days a year. They have little control over elements that directly impact their business, like weather, and frequently they don’t yield profit. The last several years, marked by drought, wildfires, and international shipping debacles, have been particularly tough for farmers and farm employees, and there are huge challenges ahead.
As a state lawmaker, I supported Oregon farmers and ranchers. I did my best to reduce regulatory red tape, and I supported investments that enabled agriculture to diversify and thrive. I will do the same as governor. I will keep Oregon agriculture competitive in a global marketplace, and I will always support our Oregon family farmers and ranchers.