New Leadership Delivering Results for Our County
Occupation: Cattle Rancher
Occupational Background: 1989-92 US Army, served in Germany and Kuwait; Former Correctional Officer; Former State Brand Inspector; Ranch operations including, management, budgeting, hiring, and ownership.
Educational Background: Graduated Baker High School 1989; Future Farmers of America leadership; Department of Public Standards and Training; Basic Corrections at Western Oregon University at Monmouth; American Lands Council Seminar with Utah State Representative Ken Ivory on the transfer of public lands; Attorney Fred Kelly Grant’s Coordination Seminar 101.
Prior Governmental Experience: Previous elected Precinct Committee Person; Previous Vice-Chair of Baker County Republican Party; Previous Baker County Natural Resource Advisory Committee member; Member of Forest Access for All; and Member/Volunteer Agape Christian Center.
My roots run deep in Baker County and can be traced back to when my Great Great Grandfather William Justus settled at the south end of the county in Rye Valley in 1891. My Great Grandfather and Grandfather later moved to Vale, Oregon, when the irrigation project was put in there.
I was born in Ontario and consider my resident status in Baker County to begin in 1984 at the age of 13 when my family moved to the Baker Valley. It was then that my father, B. Kent Justus, purchased the ranch I currently reside and own. He bought the property with virtually no equity; 100% on credit. It was thought to be impossible to succeed with such a start. Now almost 40 years later, his endeavor qualifies as success by most all standards and it gave me a special appreciation for “sweat equity”.
I graduated from Baker High School in 1989 and joined the US Army that July. I served in Germany, Kuwait, and Fort Stewart in Georgia, and was honorably discharged in September 1992. I returned to Baker County and ranched with my father. I worked in the woods cutting poles commercially, worked at the sale yard in Vale, Oregon, and even rode as a Range Technician with the BLM out of the Vale office for one season. In 1998, I became employed as a Correctional Officer and worked at Snake River Correctional Institute for the next 3 years. Somewhere in the middle of all that I married and was later divorced. I returned to ranching once again and was employed as the Brand Inspector for the area. In 2005 I had the opportunity to buy my own ranch.
I met the love of my life and married my wife, Heidi, in 2007. I sold my property and moved to the Boardman area. We purchased a small ranch together and I worked for a neighboring farm. In 2011, we returned to Baker to help my father due to an injury and his desire to retire.
What I found in Baker County, was the blatant overreach of BLM and Forest Service, which spurred me to become increasingly involved in County affairs. With the support of my neighbors, I was elected as Republican Precinct Committee Person in the Keating Precinct. I have had the opportunity to participate in the rewriting of the county Natural Resource Plan after being appointed to the Natural Resource Advisory Committee. I volunteered with my church to minister to inmates housed at Powder River Correctional Institute with a goal to reduce the recidivism rate as they approached their release date.
With five daughters, assisting with coaching minor league softball and helping them be involved in 4-H, the future generation is close to my heart and impossible to overlook. It is my goal that the opportunity to create “sweat equity” will remain a possibility in this county. Additionally, the next generation will not only be able to be employed but have opportunities to enter the world of entrepreneurship.
Which brings us to today, I am asking you for your support to become your next county commissioner. I feel that I possess common sense, strong spiritual values and have the confidence and courage to clearly articulate your views and mine in public forums.