Oregon Farm Bureau names new lobbyist
The Oregon Farm Bureau has nearly 7,000 members who grow a wide range of food and raise livestock. (Oregon Department of Agriculture photo)
The Oregon Farm Bureau has appointed a new director of government affairs.
In her new role, Lauren Smith will be responsible for several issues, including wildfire, wildlife taxes and transportation.
“Lauren’s role will be to advocate for and with our farm bureau members at the Capitol, in the courts and within regulatory agencies,” Anne Marie Moss, the groups communications director, said in an email.
The trade group, which has nearly 7,000 members and is the largest agricultural association in Oregon, four other lobbyists, including three on staff. Mary Anne Cooper directs the lobbying team.
A lawyer, Smith is a longtime specialist in policy and legislative affairs. She was the public policy counsel at Oregon Water Resources Congress for five years and then served as the natural resources legislative affairs manager at the Association of Oregon Counties, the bureau said in a statement.
Earlier, she was legislative director for former Sen. Jason Atkinson, a Republican from Grants Pass.
“Lauren brings a breadth and depth on many issues important to Farm Bureau members and has great experience and relationships in the Oregon public policy arena,” Dave Dillon, the farm bureau’s executive vice president, said in a statement. “We are excited to welcome her to the OFB team.”
The farm bureau is a powerful lobbying force in Salem. A nonprofit, it brought in $3.5 million in 2019, according to its latest 990 tax filing available publicly.
“Agriculture is unique in that almost every aspect of public policy – from labor to land use, water to wildlife, taxes to transportation – impacts farm and ranch families,” Moss wrote. “New rules, regulations and red tape make it ever more challenging to keep family farms and ranches in business.”
Smith said in a statement that she considers it an honor to do what I can to protect what makes Oregon such an amazing place to live, specifically our diverse farming, ranching, and forestry operations.” She earned a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University and is a graduate of Willamette Law School.
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