Dairyman Jerome Rosa and small farmer Laura Masterson have been named to the Oregon State Board of Agriculture.

A fourth-generation dairy farmer, Rosa is past president of the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association and current president of the Oregon Beef Council. He milks 300 cows and farms about 300 acres at JER-OSA Dairy, an organic dairy in Gervais.

"I think that it is important that those few of us (dairy farmers) that are left are doing our part to make the industry the best we can and to try to keep this livelihood for our children," he said when asked why he applied for the board position.

Rosa said roughly 1,400 dairies operated in Oregon when he started in the business here in 1988. Today, less than 300 remain.

Masterson owns and operates 47th Avenue Farm in Portland. The farm sells through community-supported agriculture and to area restaurants.

Masterson has served on the board of the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District and participated in an advisory committee for Metro Council in its urban and rural reserves development.

Rosa and Masterson replace Salem dairyman Bernie Faber and Salem winegrape grower Pat Dudley on the 10-member board.

Their first meeting is Dec. 1-2 at the Port of Portland Corporate Headquarters, 7200 NE Airport Way.

Water strategy and specialty crop grants are among items on the meeting's agenda. It begins Dec. 1 at 10:30 a.m.

--Mitch Lies

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