Two highlights of the Oregon Dairy Farmers Annual Convention are the presentation of the Community Service and Distinguished Service Awards.
Tom Johnson, ODFA Community Service Recipient
Tom is a native Oregonian, born in North Bend and raised on the dairy that had been in the family for all of but eight years since 1904. With his brother, Al, he jointly took the reins of the family dairy. As the farm gained its footing, he recognized the need to be involved, and the need for the dairy industry to collaborate. With that, he joined the board of the Oregon Dairy Products Commission, where he later served as chairman.
In that role, he guided the organization through some challenging times, but always with a respectful firmness, and a collaborative spirit that went “around the room” to ensure everyone was heard. His guidance helped create a new direction for the Commission’s initiatives, which are still in effect today.
He later leveraged those skills when he joined the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association board, also eventually serving as chairman. Under his watch, he helped lead a funding increase for ODFA, ushered in the Young Dairy Leaders program, and helped initiate Dairy Day at the Capitol.
Through all his board commitments, he kept meetings efficient, but lively. He kept discussions on point, but inclusive, and he thought of the whole industry, farms large and small, organic and conventional.
The Oregon Beef Council received the Distinguished Service Award from ODFA. The Oregon Beef Council represents beef producers across the state and promotes beef on behalf of Oregon’s farmers and ranchers through promotion, research and educational activities. Their board is organized with two positions for dairy producers, one from Eastern Oregon and one from Western Oregon. Currently John Seymour from Cloverdale and Amy Applegate from Vale represent the interests of the Dairy Industry. Previous dairy representatives include Buzz Gibson, Jason Chamberlain, Jerome Rosa, John Rohner, Ralph Duyck and Warren Chamberlain.
Jason Chamberlain is the immediate Past President of the Beef Council and a dairy producer from Vale. Jason said dairymen need to know the Oregon Beef Council is a strong partner and an important alliance. If the Beef Council can help the dairy industry, you can be guaranteed they will be 110% behind it.