Stoel Rives Partner Co-Hosts Reception Supporting Diversity in Agriculture & Forest Products Industries

Press Release

PORTLAND, Ore. Stoel Rives LLP partner Kirk Maag recently co-hosted the third annual Oregon reception for the Cultivating Change Foundation, an event designed to bring together leaders in the agriculture and forest products industries to send a message of diversity and inclusion.

At a time when fewer and fewer young Americans are choosing to pursue farming as a vocation, the Cultivating Change Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that the industry is welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The organization’s annual reception was designed to celebrate the foundation’s formation in 2015 and spark conversation about creating positive change for LGBT individuals in the agricultural industry.

Maag, who leads Stoel Rives’ firm-wide Food & Agribusiness Team, serves on the foundation’s board of directors. Held on Feb. 15 in Portland, Oregon, the reception included industry leaders such as Alexis Taylor, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Alan Sams, dean of the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences, and Peter Daugherty, Oregon State Forester.

Growing up working on his family’s farm and feedlot in eastern Oregon gave Maag vital insight into the issues facing the nation’s farmers. As the average age of a U.S. farmer continues to increase – from 50.5 years old in 1982 to 58.3 years old in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture – it is vital that the industry attract young people to pursue careers in agriculture. Encouraging more people of diverse backgrounds to feel welcome in agriculture is one way to do that.

The Cultivating Change Foundation’s premier event, its global agricultural summit, is scheduled for June 19 to 21, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. To learn more, visit the organization’s website.

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