The Malheur County Onion Growers Association and Malheur County Potato Growers Association are in favor of the Greater Idaho movement, though we believe that it is more reasonable to integrate Malheur County now.
The Malheur County economic region is more like Idaho than Western Oregon. Our population demographics mirror those who live within a few miles of our border than those hundreds of miles away. Historically, we tend to vote based on family values, personal responsibility and integrity based lifestyles. Virtues that Idaho can appreciate. We have watched western Oregon riot and destroy with dismay and embarrassment. We have learned from Idaho’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic that we agree with their way of protecting people’s liberties and personal choice. We have all experienced the same kinds of tragedy even across state lines, yet Oregon’s governor continues to increase her control of our schools, our businesses and everyday life without restraint. If that weren’t enough, Oregon’s massive estate tax kills generational small businesses.
We feel, on this side of the state, our voices aren’t heard. Our state continues showing us that we are inferior as they initiate a Carbon Tax and a goal to ban the use of all diesel fuel by 2027. This tax would devastate our far-reaching agricultural based economy. Our production costs rise while imported food, without American’s standards, fill our stores. We can barely keep up with transportation costs.
Minimum wage in Oregon is currently higher than Idaho’s, but employees can rest assured knowing that wages won’t decrease because our businesses know their value.
We appreciate the awareness that the Greater Idaho movement initiated, but Malheur County is ready now. We feel that Idaho’s legislature preserves the legacies that we have worked to build and will allow them to flourish in the future.
Paul K. Skeen, president, Malheur County Growers Association; and
Tyler Wagstaff, president, Malheur County Potato Growers Association