Counting down

Relevant & needed experience

What kind of experience is needed on the Yamhill Board of Commissioners right NOW? Here are experiences that I will bring to critically round out the existing skill set and perspectives represented on the board:

  • Generational experience — I bring the important perspective of a person who has grown up and is raising my children in a different world. Being younger also provides different insight into what it means to plan for the future of our county.
  • Farming and rural living experience — My wife and I have been farming in Yamhill County for thirteen years. Issues such as county land-use decisions disproportionately affect rural residents and farmers, and I have the personal experience to understand the high stakes and the nuances involved.
  • Physical work experience — I have worked as a farmer, a plumber, and a construction worker. My wife and I also built our house ourselves (literally with our own hands, in seven months). People who haven’t done it personally can sometimes underestimate the complexity of physical labor and the accompanying skill sets acquired through the work. Working with real-world physical materials, and the inevitable complications of every project, hones the eye to literally SEE the world differently. When Yamhill County is faced with decisions about land-use, long-term projects or complicated budgeting questions, I have the experiences necessary to visualize the complexity of those projects, start-to-finish.
  • Small business experience — My wife and I started our farm from scratch in 2006 and have operated a profit every year since, without ever borrowing for operating expenses or having off-farm income. I know what it takes to budget carefully, plan for diverse income streams (in our case, diverse crops), communicate effectively with both vendors and customers, and plan for the future. Because of operating our farm in Yamhill County, I also already have positive working relationships with people throughout the county in various walks of life.
  • Science experience — In addition to my farming and physical work experiences, I have an academic background in science, including a Bachelor’s of Science in biochemistry and a Master’s of Science in forest ecology. I have continued to pursue scientific inquiry alongside farming, participating in OSU sponsored farming trials on our farm as well as reading science journals in my free time. I have extensive training in statistical analysis and geographic information systems (GIS).
  • Completion experience — I also have a track record of commitment and follow-through on everything I take on: completion of two rigorous academic degrees; completion of building our family’s home; and thirteen years of providing weekly vegetables to our customers. Throughout my life (and during this campaign), people have commented on my high energy level. (This must come naturally to me, because my 95 year-old grandmother drives herself to work every day at the business she founded with my grandfather over half a century ago!)

I take on hard projects because I genuinely love challenges. I will bring that same level of energy and commitment to follow-through to my role as future Yamhill County Commissioner — not just starting projects, but FINISHING them.

My unique combination of real world physical experiences on the ground and higher-level scientific academic training allow me to see real world problems through a lens of complexity.

As a rural resident, I can see and empathize with the real people involved and affected. As a scientist, I can think through the claims and the evidence provided to support those claims. As a farmer, I can think through the physical aspects of a situation and anticipate what problems are likely to arise and how to problem solve along the way.

The board of commissioners needs these unique skill sets, and I look forward to providing them as future Yamhill County Commissioner!

Under 50? This is for you:

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Young people! READ THIS! Those of us under 50 years of age statistically turn out to vote at a MUCH lower rate than people over 50. Hoorah for those folks over 50 — they’re doing an awesome job at participating in our democracy and have set a great example! . But, today, I want to directly address those of us UNDER 50. If you are not already a regular voter, IT IS TIME to get into the habit! WHY?!?! Decisions made today, at all levels of government, will affect you for decades to come. With so much life left to live, the possible ramifications of today’s governing will disproportionately affect many decades of YOUR LIFE, not to mention the life of your children and grandchildren. . I understand why it can feel hard to prioritize voting for people who are 18-50 years-old. These are VERY full years of life. We are busy getting an education, establishing careers, finding our partners, setting up our homes, raising children, and possibly caring for aging family members. . However, we also bring to the table the perspective of people who are in the thick of it, who are on the ground, seeing how the world is changing rapidly around us and wanting to plan for the coming future decades. This is why I am running for office. I feel that the younger generations have tremendous insight to offer on what matters NOW and will make a difference for the near and far future. . Not every young person can or should run for office, but all young citizens can (and SHOULD) vote. When young people show up at the polls, it DOES make a difference. . So, what’s step 1? Make sure you are registered! You can register in Oregon through 5 pm Tuesday, October 16. Register online NOW at vote.gov . Step 2: acquaint yourself with the candidates and issues. If you feel overwhelmed, check with a trusted friend for guidance. . Step 3: VOTE! In Oregon, it’s easy. They mail you a ballot; you fill it in with a pen; and then mail it or drop it off by 8 pm on Tuesday, November 6. . Three simple steps, and you can make a profound difference by making your voice heard through the democratic process. You live here. Be heard. . #vote #democracy #beheard #engage #participate #votekullanov6 #letsdothis

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Voter’s guide is out!

Commissioner Olson’s endoresment

Farmers & entrepreneurs in Yamhill County

What a beautiful afternoon yesterday was for harvesting! Mild sunny days are especially awesome because farming can be hard work. Not only do farmers work in all kinds of weather, but they also manage the complexity of a resource-based business.

In our thirteen years of operating our farm on Grand Island, we have had the pleasure of meeting and working with farmers from around Yamhill County. I have been amazed at the endless ingenuity and creativity of Yamhill County farmers, many of whom are true innovators in their fields. Farmers in our community grow and raise a wide range of crops and livestock, often balancing multiple enterprises in one business, spreading the needs of different crops on many parcels of land.

Yamhill County is an agricultural county in its history and in its thriving present economy. The farms that make for a beautiful landscape for all also provide an essential driver to our economy, by providing jobs but also by providing the essential economic force that comes from locally-based businesses. Farmers support other businesses too through their work, as they work with local vendors, mechanics, and more.

As future Yamhill County Commissioner, I am 100% committed to supporting and sustaining our local agricultural economy, including upholding Oregon’s land-use laws. I am also 100% committed to nurturing and encouraging more such locally-grown industries and business across sectors here in Yamhill County. Who knows who could found the next Betty Lou’s or A-Dec?

Entrepreneurs, be they farmers or otherwise, bring commitment, energy, and spark to our economy.