Long before I first ran for public office I was a farmer and a veterinarian. These experiences profoundly shaped both my life and how I approach serving you in Congress. I am often asked about my farming background, so we made a short video that gives a quick tour of my farm (I still live there) and some of the lessons farming has taught me.
Farming can be a tough business, but working the land and growing products that people use and value is incredibly rewarding. You learn about hard work, cooperation and having to be adaptable in the face of adversity. You also get a front row seat on how federal policy can help – and hurt – folks who are working hard to make it.
Both my farming and small business experience drilled into me that there isn’t a Democratic or Republican way to do things. There is right and wrong; smart and, well, not so smart. The good news is that as a ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee I get to work with people of goodwill from both sides of the aisle to try to break through partisanship and get some good stuff done. That’s how we passed both farm and forestry bills. They didn’t have everything I might have wanted, and the same could be said for other Members of Congress, but we made progress and included some things that were important for agriculture and forestry here in Oregon.
There is plenty to be frustrated with Congress, but I’ll keep on reaching across party lines to move our nation forward. And, as always, I’d like to hear from you about how you think we can best do that.