BEND, OR -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden met with a dozen Central Oregon food and beverage producers, along with a local state representative, members of the Oregon Business Council, and EDCO.
“Deschutes and Jefferson and Crook are hereby being designated by me as your senior senator as ‘Ag bounty counties.”
Wyden tells KBND News workforce housing continues to be a major concern for agricultural producers, “We’ve got to increase supply. You know, Democrats don't talk about supply side much, but we just have to increase supply. And I'm looking at using tax credits in that area.”
While more housing is expected in the next two to three years, he admits solutions to address the problem now are hard to come by, “People have suggested to me some vouchers, for example, for those workers, but it still doesn't deal with the shortage of actual housing being available.”
He hopes to address industry concerns at the Oregon Business Council summit in December, “Citizens want government to find smarter ways to drive down costs and make their small businesses, for example, more competitive. And that's what I heard today.”
Andrew Desmond from the Oregon Business Council says they’re hearing similar issues across the state, “The goals are to basically bring the issues that our food and beverage manufacturers and farmers have. And raise that in the consciousness of leadership in Oregon.”
Wyden says as chair of the Senate Finance Committee he’ll also work in Congress to find ways to promote Oregon products, “Oregonians, we do a lot of things well. One of the things we do best is grow things, we’ve got to grow them, we’ve got to add value to them. We’ve got to ship them all over the world.”