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Patti Milne

(R, D-38) Retired

Oregon House of Representatives, 1993-1998, District 38 Marion County Commissioner, 1999-2014 Portions of Marion and Yamhill counties.

Agriculture Background

Living in Woodburn for the past 35 years, Milne has long been a part of an agriculturally centered community. “My life has been touched in many ways by numerous friends and family who make their living in a variety of ways related to agriculture.”

Agriculture Highlights

Milne received the Gold Star, which she hangs on her Christmas tree every year, from Oregonians for Food and Shelter. “Every piece of legislation that freed or protected farmers from burdensome regulations and unnecessary costs and fees was an achievement,” she says. As a Marion County commissioner, she led fellow commissioners in a formal resolution that declared “Agriculture is a high priority in economic development for Marion County.”

“This resolution made clear our intentions to provide farmers and ag-related businesses certainty so they could make critical business decisions to grow their business, add jobs and increase production,” she says, “thus bringing stability to agriculture, Marion County’s number one industry. It also guided our decision making with regard to land-use applications, regulations and fees.”

Advice for Current Politicians

“Politicians need to understand and acknowledge that farming is a high-tech, complicated business driven not only by Mother Nature, but by unanticipated, intrusive government regulations that touch every aspect of farming operations,” Milne says. “Every legislative session there are a whole host of bills that adversely affect pricing, products, employment, water rights, trade, land use and property rights, taxes and fees. It is an ongoing struggle to keep the family farm in business much less in the family. The current generation of young farmers, many of whom are young women who are taking over the family farm, are better educated, more technologically savvy and innovative in finding solutions. It will be important for politicians to learn from them if we are going to keep agriculture and natural resources the viable, successful sector we want and need it to be for Oregon’s future.”