“The Distinguished Service Award is one of the top honors Oregon Farm Bureau can give. I can think of few more deserving of this award than Joe Steere. The impact of Joe’s service can be felt throughout the state in his influence on water quality policy, forestry policy and research, and countless acres of productive forestland,” said OFB President Barry Bushue.
“I was blindsided by this award,” said Steere. “I’m grateful for this recognition by my neighbors and peers of the effort and time I have spent trying to keep seat at the ‘table of public policy’ for agriculture and forestry. As they say, ‘You’re either at the table — or you’re what’s for dinner.'” An active Farm Bureau member for 32 years, Steere served as Lincoln County Farm Bureau Board member from 1995 to 1998, and since 1999 has performed the duties of county secretary.
He has attended numerous OFB Annual Meetings as a voting delegate, and is a longstanding member of the OFB Water Committee. Steere is also a representative of local agriculture interests on the Mid-Coast Oregon Dept. of Agriculture Water Quality Management Area Local Advisory Committee and a longtime board member of the Mid-Coast Watersheds Council.
For the last decade Steere has also represented farmers on the Mid-Coast Basin Total Maximum Daily Load Technical Workgroup. He is chair of the Association of Concerned Landowners of Lincoln County, serves on the board of trustees for Keep Oregon Green, and was recently nominated regional vice president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.
For several years Steere has volunteered in various capacities with the Oregon Small Woodlands Association, serving as president of the Lincoln County Chapter, and in 2014 earning the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Most recently, Steere and his family were key leaders in the Coalition to Defeat Measure 21-177, a ballot initiative in Lincoln County that sought to ban aerial pesticide spraying, give legal rights to trees and rocks, and authorize vigilante enforcement of the ordinance. Steere, his wife Cathy, and his family manage timber, beef cattle, goat, and hay enterprises on the Lower Siletz River. His day job is Forester for Miami Corporation, a multi-state timber company.
“I’m very proud to present the 2017 OFB Distinguished Service Award to Joe Steere of Lincoln County Farm Bureau,” said Bushue.