This last weekend, a group of engaged young agriculturalists met in Bend to plan out the future of YF&R. Led by Roy Hofer, the new Chair of the Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee, plans were made to invest in a program that creates and molds the future leaders of Oregon agriculture.
Roy’s ascent to Chair is just another step in his own story, and if I can add, a predictable step at that. Roy was raised on a small farm in Canby where his budding passion for farming and tractors was nourished. A great nephew of a John Deere dealer, he shared a passion for tractors and just recently completed a tractor museum on his family farm where he also assists his dad with the hay and hazelnut operation. And, like many other farmers out there, he also works an off-farm job to maintain his livelihood – as a farm manager for Oregon Flowers Inc. in Aurora.
Roy is fantastic example of a young producer who is a dedicated steward of the land with an eye and passion for realizing a resilient future in Oregon agriculture.
When asked how he originally became involved with YF&R, he was quick to shift praise to a past YF&R great: Jon Iverson. "[He] was definitely instrumental in getting me involved,” Hofer said. “I was able to speak to the national committee a couple years ago. It was a great group of like-minded people who are passionate about agriculture and I thought - wow, I really want to be a part of something like this.” Roy wasn’t - and isn’t – alone here. After seeing the amazing resources the national program offers, as well as the financial support we have seen from our own County Farm Bureaus, there hasn’t been a better time to join the Oregon Young Farmers and Ranchers program.
As for what the future holds, this is a building year. Roy - and his committee - plan to get out and connect with the public and elected officials. He is adamant that the only way to secure a resilient future is to effectively tell the story of the young farmer and rancher in Oregon. And that story is your story. Membership will be his number one concern – and the program will be nothing but better for it.
If you are interested in joining YF&R, please reach out to Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org.