Wyden Holds Roundtable with Morrow County Ag Leaders, Processors

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U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden held a roundtable session Thursday, August 3, 2023, at the Boardman SAGE Center on to speak with Morrow County agriculture leaders and processors. As chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Wyden was seeking ways he could help to continue generating jobs in Eastern Oregon and growing export markets. (Photo by Beau Glynn/Hermiston Herald)

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden met Thursday, Aug. 3, with Eastern Oregon agriculture leaders and processors at the SAGE Center to discuss ways he could help as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, continue to generate regional jobs and grow their export markets overseas.

“Oregon does many things well,” he said, “especially by growing things, and you can see that here in Eastern Oregon. We have growers, chippers and processors, and they really want the government to focus on the kinds of policies that are going to make things more productive.”

Among other challenges discussed at the roundtable session were affordable housing, immigration and worldwide tariffs.

Boardman Chamber of Commerce Director Torrie Griggs brought up housing, stating that roughly 67% of the the city’s workforce comes from other areas because they either can’t afford or don’t have residences in Boardman. She said the average cost of a home within city limits was around $350,000.

Wyden responded by mentioning his March reintroduction of the Decent, Affordable, Safe Housing for All (DASH) Act, which aims to help low- and middle-income families face the housing affordability crisis.

Patrick Maag, director of continuous improvement and maintenance with Boardman Foods Inc., mentioned how much of the industry runs with the assistance of immigrants.

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