OSB Bulletin Features Kirk Maag on his Advocacy for LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Agriculture and Path to the Law

In The News

Agribusiness and timber partner Kirk Maag was profiled in the Oregon State Bar Bulletin in a feature titled “Kirk Maag Advocates for LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Agriculture and Beyond: Cultivating Change,” published in the February/March 2021 issue. Maag talked about his passion for working for inclusivity for LBGTQ+ individuals in the agricultural industry, his path to a career in the law, his involvement in diversity and inclusion efforts at Stoel Rives, and his work for the Cultivating Change Foundation and Oregon FFA Foundation.

Growing up on a family farm and feedlot in eastern Oregon, Maag early on formed a “deep connection to the agriculture industry and community.” While in high school, he was active in 4-H and FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America), and after he graduated, he was elected one of six Oregon FFA state officers.

Maag’s involvement with FFA continued while he was attending Oregon State University, culminating in his spending three summers at FFA’s Washington Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., which started him on the road both to becoming a lawyer and attending law school at Georgetown University Law Center.

During law school and after he joined Stoel Rives, Maag did not expect to do work on diversity and inclusion but thinking of others and how he could help them sparked his interest: “What helped me find a passion for doing this work is just a recognition and a desire to make sure that every young person who has a passion for agriculture knows that there is a place for them within the ag industry regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Maag leads Stoel Rives’ LGBTQ+ affinity group in the firm’s Portland office and is one of the firm’s ambassadors to the Move the Needle (MTN) initiative. Led by Diversity Lab, an organization that works to cultivate diversity and inclusion in top-tier law firms and legal departments, MTN is a collaboration between Stoel Rives and three other law firms to establish and meet data-driven diversity goals.

Outside of the legal world, Maag is board chair of the Cultivating Change Foundation, a national nonprofit that works to elevate and value LGBTQ+ individuals in the agricultural industry, and president of the Oregon FFA Foundation, a nonprofit that supports Oregon FFA.

“Kirk’s work has caused influential people within the agricultural business community in Oregon — including top bureaucrats, highly successful agribusiness folks, and elected officials — to recognize that
there is an LGBTQ+ community in the agricultural industry and to nurture that community,” said Stoel Rives’ environmental partner Geoff Tichenor, who is also active in MTN.

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