Two Selected For Oregon State Board of Ag

Earlier this week Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced the appointment of Elin Miller of Roseburg and Josh Zielinski of Salem to serve on the Oregon State Board of Agriculture. Both appointments were effective October 29th, and each will serve a four-year term. Miller and Zielinski will attend their first Board of Agriculture meeting as members on December 1st and 2nd.

“Elin and Josh will provide a global view of Oregon agriculture and leadership to the Board of Agriculture,” said ODA Director Alexis Taylor. “Their unique experience and interests will play a critical role in addressing the state’s most pressing agricultural issues and challenges. We are also fortunate to have Bryan and Luisa back for another four-year term. They have been an invaluable part of the board.”

Josh Zielinski is a manager and owner of a mid-sized nursery and farming operation in the Willamette Valley. Zielinski provides a voice for the production of many crops including: grass seed, specialty seed, vegetable row crops, hops and hazelnuts. A native of Oregon, Zielinski grew up working on his family’s farm. After attending college in southern California and studying a year abroad in Argentina, he returned home to join the family business. When he is not running the family farm, Zielinski serves on the Oregon Association of Nurseries Board and Chemeketa Community College Horticultural Advisory Committee. He enjoys camping, hiking and gardening with his wife Kattie, who works in the wine industry.

Elin Miller and her husband, Bill, own Umpqua Vineyards and farm hazelnuts in Douglas County. She currently serves as the co-chair of the Oregon Wine Council and is a member of the Fall Creek Farm and Nursery Board. Elin is keenly interested in water quality, agricultural trade and how Oregon’s agricultural diversity is promoted to buyers around the world. Miller’s path to farming in Oregon is unique. Raised in Mesa, Arizona, Miller’s lifelong career in agriculture began when she joined FFA in high school, which led to executive positions in government, corporate and not-for-profit organizations and volunteer work up and down the west coast, Africa, China, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. 

The governor also re-appointed board members Bryan Harper and Luisa Santamaria each to a second four-year term. Both had first terms that expired in 2020 and both reapplied to the board to serve a second term. Harper is a hazelnut farmer from Junction City and he looks forward to serving another term so he can continue to give back to the agricultural community. Santamaria fills the public member position on the board and says she feels prepared to contribute and advocate for the well-being of the agricultural community in her second term.

The Oregon State Board of Agriculture advises the director and ODA regarding the implementation and administration of programs and the development of policies designed to improve the agricultural industry statewide. The 10-member board is made up of nine governor appointees and the chair of the Soil and Water Conservation Commission. The ODA director and dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University serve as non-voting ex-officio members of the board.

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