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Jonathan Sandau named ODA Assistant Director

Today, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced that Alexis Taylor, Director, ODA, has appointed Jonathan Sandau as Assistant Director effective May 1. Most recently, Sandau served as a special assistant to the director focusing on the legislature, budget development, and strategic planning.

“Jonathan is a forward-thinking leader who has been responsible for many successes through the COVID-19 pandemic, various natural disasters, multiple legislative and special sessions,” said Taylor. “He successfully led the implementation of new programs, projects, and legislative work that kept our agricultural sector strong through a multitude of challenges over the past two years. His experience, relationships, and knowledge of agriculture and public policy will continue to serve ODA and the people it serves today and into the future.”

Sandau joined ODA in early 2020, just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic began. He led a statewide effort to provide farmworkers and the agricultural community with personal protective equipment (PPE) to promote health and keep agricultural businesses running. Sandau helped secure $50 million in emergency and state federal funds for Oregon’s farmers and ranchers. Most recently, he helped guide the creation of the Oregon Disaster Assistance Program (ODAP), providing nearly $40 million in relief for those affected by Oregon’s natural disasters in 2021.

As Assistant Director, Sandau will primarily be responsible for leading the agency’s legislative and external affairs work. He previously worked for the Oregon Farm Bureau, Congressman Kurt Schrader, and Governor John Kitzhaber. Throughout his career, agriculture has remained a focus of his work. Sandau’s family has farmed in Marion County, Oregon, for generations.