The Oregon FFA Foundation has reluctantly withdrawn its application to build a leadership center in the McMinnville area, saying the current access to the property under consideration is unsafe for students and that building commercial access from Highway 18 would be too costly.
Foundation Executive Director Kevin White said the group will continue looking for a site. Ideally, the foundation would like to have 50 to 100 acres for facilities, parking and agricultural production and displays. A 15- to 20-acre might do, but the foundation is hoping for a larger site, preferably along the Interstate 5 corridor or centrally located. Anyone with ideas or land offers should contact White at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 541-604-1350.
The McMinnville area site was offered by Waste Management-Riverbend’s Stewardship Committee, which is making available 450 acres Waste Management bought as a buffer to its landfill in the area. The garbage disposal company does not plan to use the land as part of its landfill, and has asked the Stewardship Committee to determine how the property should be used.
White said the Waste Management site was attractive in part because of Yamhill County’s strong agricultural sector, but the access problems were too much to overcome. In a prepared statement, the foundation said access off busy Highway 18 “will be difficult and expensive, and the safety of Highway 18 will be a challenge which may put our teachers and students in harm’s way.”