The Farmer to entrepreneur to House Speaker

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By Oregon Family Farm Association,

Republican, Oregon House of Representatives, 1995-2001, District 10 Clackamas, Damascus, Happy Valley, Oregon City, Boring and Gresham. Republican House speaker, 1999-2001. Current: CEO, Gresham Chamber of Commerce.

Agriculture Background

Snodgrass grew up picking crops on her grandparents’ farm, which included hundreds of acres of berries, mint, corn and beans in the Jefferson area. “Those summers gave me a healthy appreciation of the hard work farmers do,” she says. As an adult, she and her husband purchased one of his family’s garden centers. They have run the Portland-area company called Drake’s 7 Dees for the past 50 years, expanding it to include a landscape division. “It was so easy to talk about agriculture while in the Legislature because I lived and breathed it.”

Agriculture Highlights

Snodgrass’ highlight was being a constant voice for agriculture and rural communities. “A nursery grower plants a crop one year which is not ready for ‘harvest’ for three to five years,” she says. “That is a long wait for return on investment. Meanwhile, regulations can change, neighborhoods change, the price of fuel goes up, labor changes and the weather is a constant threat to the health of a nursery crop. It is important for all politicians to get their arms around the complexities and economic influence the ag and natural resource industries have on the general fund.”