Sponsored by Oregon Business

Keeping the rural connection

| Print |  Email
Articles - February 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010

Readers of this magazine know that we take seriously the mission to cover the entire state, not just the larger cities and the Portland Metro area.

Over the past year, our coverage of rural Oregon has included a thousand-mile journey to assess the health of Main Street, a special report on the challenges facing once-thriving timber towns, the emergence of the Southern Oregon wine region and the shifting fortunes of small-town newspapers. And those were just the big stories. We also have written about an Eagle Point mill project, the strategy of Tillamook cheese, a bookbindery run by monks in Lafayette and the travails of the Hotel Condon.

The depth and breadth of rural coverage in this issue includes an update on the Coast’s crab season, grass seed farmers switching to wheat, the nascent olive oil industry and an interview with the new head of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. And the two biggest rural stories come courtesy of ace contributor Adrianne Jeffries, who writes about the efforts to bring broadband to remote areas and the financial need that drives rural counties to accept landfills.

The broadband issue is a long-standing one. Lack of high-speed connections puts some rural parts of the state at a big disadvantage for attracting business. With rural areas suffering from huge unemployment (Crook County’s rate is around 17%), putting some stimulus money to work there could bring a concrete payoff for rural towns that desperately struggle to diversify their economies.

The “Married to the Dump” cover story was born from a deeper curiosity about the jobs impact that landfills have on their host counties after we looked into why Gilliam County’s unemployment rate was, and is, so much lower than the rest of the state’s. One reason is the Arlington dump. Jeffries spent weeks visiting Arlington and several other landfills around the state, talking to townspeople and waste management officials and digging into the dump economy. She found a surprising relationship between counties and landfills.

We will continue to examine the complex issues facing Oregon, with a deep interest in the rural communities. Sometimes out of sight means out of mind, and I hope our coverage keeps city-dwellers connected to their rural neighbors. The urban-rural divide is hard to maintain when each knows a little more about the other.

Robin Doussard
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

More Articles

One Tough Mayor

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Betty Roppe steers Prineville into the future.


Aim High

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015

We get the education we deserve.


Back to School

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Oregon is home to an abundance of gritty warehouses reborn as trendy office spaces, as well as crafty hipsters turned entrepreneurs. Does the combination yield an equally bounteous office products sector? Not so much. Occupying the limited desk jockey space are Field Notes, a spinoff of Portland’s Draplin Design Company, and Schuttenworks, known for whittling Apple device stands. For a full complement of keyboard trays, docking stations and mouse pads, check out the GroveMade line, guaranteed to boost the cachet of even the lowliest cubicle drone. 


Up on the Roof

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In 2010 Vanessa Keitges and several investors purchased Portland-based Columbia Green Technologies, a green-roof company. The 13-person firm has a 200% annual growth rate, exports 30% of its product to Canada and received its first infusion of venture capital in 2014 from Yaletown Venture Partners. CEO Keitges, 40, a Southern Oregon native who serves on President Obama’s Export Council, talks about market innovation, scaling small business and why Oregon is falling behind in green-roof construction. 


Mayoral musings

Linda Baker
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
091515-mayors-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The 2016 presidential election is shaping up to be the year of the outsider, with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump capturing leads in the polls and the headlines. In Portland, Wheeler vs. Hales is bucking the outlier trend.


Business School

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Training, from the mundane to the sublime, bolsters companies and workers in an uncertain world.


Reader Input: School Choice

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015

Which of the following would be most effective in reducing the cost of operating a public university in Oregon?

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02