REAL Oregon seeking applications for next class

A program designed to incubate new leaders in Oregon agriculture and natural resources management is seeking applications for its second class, scheduled to begin in November.

The Resource Education and Agricultural Leadership program, better known as REAL Oregon, was established in 2017 and graduated its first class in March. Participants have the chance to learn about farming, fishing and forestry over a series of five sessions held statewide, while also networking with professionals in the field.

REAL Oregon is designed to help members grow into leaders through training in board governance, communication, conflict resolution, public policy work, critical thinking, government interaction, media relations, public speaking and presentations.

Applications for Class 2 are due July 27. The cost is $5,000 per person, of which half is paid by business sponsors.

“We expect it to be a fairly competitive process,” said Greg Addington, REAL Oregon director.

The REAL Oregon board of directors will review application materials in August and announce members of Class 2 in September. Addington said the program will accept up to 30 people. Application materials can be found online at

Bill Buhrig, REAL Oregon board chairman, said graduates from the first class are already making their presence felt around the state, serving on various boards and commissions. Alumni are also serving on the program board and helping to recruit future members.

“I hope it’s a testament to what we put together that people want to come back and help make this program even better,” Buhrig said.