Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has appointed Eric Orem owner/operator of a diversified dryland wheat, hay, and cattle farming operation in Heppner, and Miguel Lopez, owner of Red Dirt Vineyard Management Company from Carlton to the Oregon State Board of Agriculture.
The appointments are effective immediately. Each will serve a four-year term with an option to reapply for a second term.
Orem will fill a producer position, formerly occupied by Tyson Raymond of Helix. Lopez will fill the Board’s public member position formerly occupied by Stephanie Hallock of Lake Oswego. Both Hallock and Raymond served two four-year terms.
Orem grew up in Morrow County and earned an associate degree in marketing and business management from Blue Mountain Community College. He is a first-generation farmer. In 2001, he began leasing a 2,400-acre dryland wheat farm from a farmer he worked for in high school. Since then, he has grown his farm to 7,000 acres. Orem converted all acres to direct seed – no till practices to conserve the topsoil and utilizes GPS and other technologies to reduce overlap of fertilizers and chemical treatments. He runs a 120-cow-and-calf operation, grows hay, and provides custom seeding and spraying.