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Christine Drazan: Family Farms Are Worth Fighting For

Canby, Ore. – Christine Drazan today highlighted the importance of family farms in Oregon. Drazan pointed to a recent Capital Pressprofile, which featured several family-owned farms that have left Oregon due to politics and an overburdensome regulatory environment.

“Family farms that have been here for generations are making the decision to sell their operations and relocate out of state. This has to stop,” said Drazan. “As governor, I will do everything in my power to support ag and natural resource based industries to help them grow and thrive.”

The Capital Press profiled several families, including the Roths, who relocated their farm from Oregon to Oklahoma.

In December 2021, the Roths — wife, husband and five children, who ran a cow-calf operation and grew organic crops in Hampton, Eastern Oregon — moved to Oklahoma.

What prompted the move?

“On the one hand, I’d say political uncertainty. And on the other, I’d say political certainty,” said Stephen Roth, 47.

He explained that although policies were unpredictable, what was predictable was the political climate toward agriculture that, in his view, was mostly negative.

“As a farmer and someone whose family has been growing crops in Oregon for decades, this story is all too familiar,” said State Representative Shelly Boshart Davis, who serves as the Chair of Drazan’s campaign. “We need a governor who recognizes and values our state’s ag industry. Christine will be that governor. Oregon family farms can count on her to always have their backs.”

Capital Press also spoke to the Duyck family, who moved their operations from Oregon to Montana.

Duyck said his main reason for leaving was Oregon’s estate, or “death,” tax, but he said regulations, labor costs and concerns about COVID lockdowns all influenced the decision.

“I’ve been fed up with regulation and taxes for a long time. But COVID was the last straw,” he said.

“Oh dang, this is so hard,” Duyck said, his voice breaking as he fought back tears. “So hard to talk about it. It’s hard. It was my life. I was pretty sure I was gonna die there.”

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” concluded Drazan. “With the right leadership, we can continue to grow Oregon’s family farms for generations to come. I look forward to working with our farmers and ranchers to encourage them to stay and grow their operations here in Oregon.”