REAL Oregon 2023-2024 Class 7
We are pleased to welcome the following 20 agriculture and natural resources professionals into our REAL Oregon network and family.
Relationship Manager, AgWest Farm Credit
For the past five years, Adan has had various roles at AgWest Farm Credit. He spent the first three years as a Credit Officer in The Dalles, Oregon learning about the grain and tree fruit industry. In 2021 he had the opportunity to relocate back to the Salem office and has transitioned to a Relationship Manager serving as a trusted advisor in providing stable and reliant lending products to Willamette Valley agricultural producers.
Community Engagement Specialist and Stewardship Coordinator, Hampton Lumber & Family Forests
Lindsay Davis is the Community Engagement Specialist and Stewardship Coordinator for Hampton Lumber & Family Forests based out of their resources office in Knappa, Oregon. Lindsay serves as a liaison for local and state government, schools, community organizations and works closely with Hampton foresters and community partners to advance educational opportunities and conservation projects on Hampton lands. Originally from Southern Oregon, Lindsay grew up in the forest sector and has a strong appreciation for the benefits forestry and wood products manufacturing provide rural communities. Prior to Hampton, Lindsay served in a similar role at Oregon State University Extension in Clatsop County where she provided program support and served as a liaison to the County.
Oregon State University
Shayan Ghajar joined OSU’s Department of Crop and Soil Science as Assistant Professor of Practice – Organic Pasture and Forage Extension Specialist in August 2021. His work focuses on research and outreach to enable producers to reduce inputs while improving forage quality and yields. Shayan earned his M.S. in Rangeland Ecosystem Science from Colorado State University and his Ph.D. in Crop and Soil Environmental Science from Virginia Tech.
Account/Payroll Manager, Iverson Family Farms Inc.
Christina Iverson is part of her family’s farming operation in Woodburn, Oregon. Coming back to the farm has given her the opportunity to further the family legacy, being part of the third generation to farm this ground. Her responsibilities include accounting and payroll for Iverson Family Farms and Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm as well as being the owner of Red Barn Hemp. Having worked on the farm in her youth, as well as participating in the local FFA chapter in high school has broadened her passion for agriculture in general and instilled in her a strong work ethic as well. She was recently appointed to the Chemeketa Community College Foundation Board.
Farmland Program Director, Oregon Agricultural Trust (OAT)
Ivor began his agricultural land conservation career working with farmers and ranchers in the dynamic landscapes of the Hill Country and coastal plain of Texas. After more than a decade of collaborating with private forest landowners, farmers, and cattle ranchers completing conservation easements to protect family farms in north Florida, Ivor joined the OAT team in 2022 and is now working on farmland protection projects with agricultural producers in the Willamette Valley, Columbia River Valley, and north coast of Oregon. Teaming up with USDA NRCS and other Ag industry partners, he is working with a diverse team at OAT to protect Oregon’s agriculture economy, communities, and landscapes.
Director of Government and Political Affairs, Oregon Farm Bureau
As Director of Government and Political Affairs at the Oregon Farm Bureau, Lauren leverages her multifaceted background to advance the interests of the agricultural community. From spearheading advocacy initiatives, navigating legislative complexities, and building collaborative relationships, Kuenzi’s passion for agricultural advocacy positions her as a driving force in shaping policies that positively impact Oregon’s farming and ranching communities. Additionally, her journey through the political arena includes three statewide campaigns and work as a caucus staffer, where she delved into the intricacies of the legislative processes and party dynamics. Kuenzi builds on her political background by guiding OFB’s political strategy and PAC giving. In addition to her policy and political work, Kuenzi launched The LDK Company in 2022 to advise clients on advocacy, campaigns, and events.
Strategic Account Manager, Wilbur-Ellis Company
Bruce McLane is a Strategic Account Manager for Wilbur-Ellis Company currently working with large multi-region, multi-state ag producers. He has 38+ years of experience as a Sales Agronomist, Sales Manager, Branch Manager and is recognized and respected as a reference source for both ag retailers and ag producers. He also invests time in the local community, currently serving as the chairman for both the Planning Commission and the Budget Committee for the City of Umatilla.
Karasi (Kara) Mills
Lead Horticulturist, Nursery & Christmas Tree Program, Oregon Department of Agriculture
Kara earned her PhD in Plant Pathology from the Ohio State University and has worked as an agricultural plant pathologist for the last ten years. She has worked at the Oregon Department of Agriculture supporting and protecting Oregon’s nursery industry from pests and diseases since 2021. Kara is the current President of the Western Horticultural Inspection Society, which promotes sharing knowledge, experience, and training among pest inspectors from the 13 western states.
Log Sales and Timber Cruiser, Lone Rock Resources
Mackenzie Smith has been a forester in Oregon for Lone Rock Resources for a decade, focusing on timber cruising and log marketing. He handles the sale of all LRR’s north coast timber sales as well as all valley and north coast right of way sales. Mackenzie also does the timber cruising for all north coast, Umpqua valley, South Willamette valley, and Rogue Valley. He also helps with land acquisitions, timber inventory, and logging administration for Lone Rock. Mackenzie’s educational background is in forestry management from Oregon State University.
Rachel Van Dyke
Relationship Manager, AgWest Farm Credit
Rachel Van Dyke is a Relationship Manager at AgWest Farm Credit in Pendleton, Oregon where she helps farmers and ranchers secure their financing needs. She started working at Farm Credit eight years ago after graduating from Oregon State University. Her agriculture roots began in her home town of Albany, Oregon where her family has a trucking company and she was a member of the Santiam Christian FFA Chapter.
Executive Director, Oregon Seed Council
Megan Chuinard joined the Oregon Seed Council as executive director in May of 2023. For more than 12 years, Megan has been engaged in and around the political process, including as a lobbyist, legislative director, and in public affairs and campaign roles. Megan’s background includes policy development and analysis, strategic planning, advocacy, communications, and association management.
Water Quality Program Manager, Oregon Department of Agriculture
Kevin has worked for the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Water Quality Program for approximately 16 years. Kevin worked as a Water Quality Specialist for six years as the Water Quality Program’s Compliance Lead for 10 years and started as the Water Quality Program Manager on November 20, 2023. Kevin manages implementation of the Agricultural Water Quality Program, the Agricultural Drainage Channel Maintenance Program, the Soil and Water Conservation District Program, and the Department’s GIS program. Kevin’s education was at Oregon State University in Environmental Sociology with a focus on Natural Resource Management related to agriculture, fisheries, and forestry.
Public Affairs Specialist, Oregon Department of Agriculture
Taylor Harding is a public affairs specialist for the Oregon Department of Agriculture, where she manages the agency’s social media platforms, website, and publications. For nearly a decade, Taylor has worked at the intersection of digital communications, government, campaigns, and marketing. She is passionate about supporting Oregon agriculture and advancing sustainable practices within the industry. Taylor is a fifth-generation Oregonian and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Georgetown University.
Viticulturist, Saint Michelle Wine Estates, Erath Winery
Nicole is a seasoned viticulturist with a degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis with a focus in food and brewing science. Specializing in crop estimates, harvest scheduling, and conversationally fluent in Spanish, Nicole brings a wealth of viticultural experience to the field. Having worked harvests across California and abroad, in Spain in Australia, to land in the Willamette Valley where she has resided for the past five years. As a co-founder of the PNW Vit Women group, Nicole actively develops, networks, and supports women in viticulture. She is a dedicated member of the Willamette Valley LIVE technical committee and the Vit Tech group, working towards advancing sustainable land stewardship and viticulture in Oregon.
Retail North District Manager, Wilco Retail
Planted firmly as an advocate for agriculture and rural lifestyles, Bryan King has been part of the agriculture community for the most of his life. From a multigenerational family farm in the Southeast managing operations at a national brand farm and ranch retail location, to the agricultural co-op retail industry in the West, he has been in retail leadership for 20 years. Bryan manages the retail operations in the state of Washington as District Manager for Wilco based out of Mt. Angel, Oregon. Bryan has been a successful leader in retail and community outreach while supporting youth in programs like FFA and 4H and participating in both California and Washington State Cattlemen’s Associations.
Maria Marquez, Ph.D.
Lab and Research Lead, Plant Health Lab, Oregon Department of Agriculture
A Plant Pathologist with over 13 years of experience, Maria leads phytosanitary testing programs that support the global movement of Oregon’s agricultural commodities, including seed, nursery stock, and produce. Her scientific background and logistics expertise enable the Plant Health program to implement advanced testing processes to safeguard Oregon’s natural resources. Dr. Marquez’s expertise in phytosanitary and export issues and excellent customer service skills benefit all the industries that the ODA supports, enhancing the marketability of Oregon’s agricultural products.
Owner, Miller Hazelnut Farms, LLC
For over a decade, Stacey has focused on being a thorough advocate and leader in agriculture. Through her own farming operations, marketing for agriculture-based businesses, leadership roles in various organizations, and direct consumer relations, agriculture is truly her passion. Stacey Miller is an owner at Miller Hazelnut Farms, where she and her husband farm filberts throughout the northern Willamette Valley and she has been working on industry and public outreach. Along with farming, Stacey is also raising two teenagers and her free time is spent supporting them at their various activities and sporting events.
Farmer, Operator, Nusbaum Farms, LLC
A sixth-generation family farmer, Orin Nusbaum operates Nusbaum Farms LLC with his family at Bellfountain, Oregon. For over twenty years, Orin has been active in industry organizations to include grass seed commissions and the Oregon Seed Council, and is a founding member of the Oregon Seed Research Institute. Orin has also held a seat on the Wilco Farmers Board of Directors for the last 12 years where he is currently serving as Vice-Chairman.
Farm Director, RD OFFUTT CO/Three Mile Canyon Farms
For over two decades, Tim has had a vast background in farming and production agriculture with much of it being focused on seed production for cereal grains, hybrid seed, and potatoes. Currently, Tim is a Farm Director for R.D. Offutt’s Three Mile Canyon Farm where he oversees their offsite locations stretching from La Grande, Oregon. to Paterson, Washington, and manages the day-to-day operations of the company’s western potato and cereal grain seed farm. When Tim is not farming, he can usually be found with his wife and five children working on their Western Skies Hereford cattle operation where they raise and sell registered Hereford cattle focusing on bred replacement heifers.
Senior Wildlife Biologist, Manulife Timber and Agriculture Management
Lindsey has worked as a professional wildlife biologist for the last 15 years. Her work has ranged from Salmon and water quality research and monitoring in Oregon to Sage-Grouse monitoring in Idaho and Caribou research in Newfoundland, Canada. As Senior Wildlife Biologist for the world’s largest natural capital investment manager, she provides risk mitigation and regulatory compliance for threatened and endangered species on 3.8 million acres of forested and agricultural lands, across 19 states and two Canadian provinces.