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!