President : Mary Hood
Mary started her banking career in 1991 and has worked entirely within the agricultural industry right here in the great state of Oregon since her first day. She is proud to say that she has ‘grown up’ in this industry. Today you can find her working as the team leader for Columbia Bank’s agricultural lending team; the largest lending team, dedicated entirely to agriculture, at any commercial bank in the Pacific Northwest.
Along with her duties as President for OWA, Mary is past-president of the Linn-Benton Chapter and is Treasurer for the Oregon Ryegrass Growers Association. She is a past-president for Oregon AgFest and is very involved in countless other industry events and meetings. Mary and her family live in North Albany on their own small piece of acreage.
First Vice President: Sarah Puls
Sarah grew up on citrus farm in the Central Valley of California and spent her summers on the family’s grass seed farm in Monroe Oregon. Sarah is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) in the State of Oregon. Sarah has worked in private sector and local government in environmental project management; environmental food, pool, and lodging health and safety; and safe drinking water programs. She is currently applying her environmental and agriculture knowledge and experience at the State level as the Emergency Preparedness Planner for the State of Oregon. Sarah is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University with a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Systems Management with a concentration in environmental management. Sarah has furthered her education obtaining a Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health with a concentration in environmental management through Columbia Southern University. Sarah is the current president of the Oregon Environmental Health Association and a member of the National Environmental Health Association. She is also President of the Lane County Chapter of OWA.
Second Vice President: Michelle Carmony
Michelle is a born and raised Oregonian. With her husband, Randy, she raised two daughters on a small ranch raising cattle, horses and hay. While her daughters were growing, she was a proud stay-at-home mom and active volunteer at their schools and with 4-H and FFA programs. She served as the PTA club treasurer, soccer club treasurer and newsletter editor/publisher for the Oregon Foundation Quarter Horse club. She also owned and operated a western clothing store for five years. She now keeps busy with her three grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Dona Coon inspired her to get involved with Oregon Women for Agriculture and her favorite project is working with the Agriculture in the Classroom Literacy Project. She believes it’s imperative that we engage our youth in agriculture.
Recording Secretary : Emily Duerst
Emily grew up on a grass seed farm east of Salem in the Silverton Hills where she spent her summers driving combine. She attended Oregon State University and graduated with a major in Business Management and a minor in Agricultural Business Management. After college, Emily started working in community banking until getting a job at Northwest Farm Credit Services and is currently a Relationship Manager there. Emily still finds time to go back to the farm every summer to help out with harvest. Emily has been a member of OWA since 2011 and also serves as the Marion/Clackamas OWA Chapter Secretary.
Treasurer : Tracy Duerst
Tracy Duerst has been a member of OWA since the mid 1980’s and has volunteered at times for the annual Auction and Marion-Clackamas Chapter fundraisers. She retired in 2009 from a career in banking, with experience in many areas of the industry. She has been the treasurer of several non-profit groups over the past 35 years and has a business management and an accounting degree from Chemeketa Community College. Her husband, Doug, farms with his family east of Salem. They grow grass seed, meadowfoam, oats, hazelnuts, Christmas trees, plus they also have a custom seed cleaning operation and marketing division. They have two children, two granddaughters and one grandson.
Corresponding Secretary : Jessica Hanna-Locke
Jessica grew up in Central Oregon raising hay and cattle with her family. She attended Oregon State University and earned her degree in Agriculture Business Management with a minor in Animal Science and then worked for Northwest Farm Credit Services for 11 years doing commercial agriculture lending. Today she owns her own business and although it isn’t Ag-related, she is very committed to communicating the importance of Ag to the community and beyond. Jessica has been a member of OWA since 2002 and also serves as the Central Oregon OWA Chapter President and volunteers for Ag in the Classroom. She enjoys returning to help on the family ranch, spending time with family and friends and enjoying the outdoors.
Past President : Mallory Phelan
Mallory grew up in Linn County around the grass straw business. She attended the University of Portland and graduated with a degree in Global Business with minors in Entrepreneurship and Spanish. After graduation she worked for her dad’s straw business and then moved to Peru where she lived and taught English. Upon returning to Oregon, she began working for Oregon Aglink as a coordinator of the Adopt a Farmer program in 2013. She is currently the Executive Director of Oregon Aglink, a non-profit organization with a mission to grow Oregon agriculture through education and promotion. Mallory has been a member of OWA since 2015. She also serves on the Oregon Ag Fest Board of Directors and is a graduate of REAL Oregon Class 2. In her spare time, she loves spoiling her nieces and nephews, playing with her dog Drex, traveling, baking, sewing, and being outdoors.