Out of 19 Oregon State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) programs, and their corporate clients, West Coast Companies was honored to be chosen as the guest client to accompany the Chemeketa SBDC delegation last month to Washington DC. Throughout the week we met with the offices of Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley, Congressman Schrader and Congresswoman Bonamici to discuss how the SBDC programs benefit local communities through business development and growth.

The Office of Congresswoman Bonamici

West Coast Companies, Small Business Development Center, Senator Jeff Merkley

Senator Merkley Introductions

Congressman Schrader, West Coast Companies

Congressman Schrader’s Office

In addition to these discussions, we had the opportunity to review agricultural industry topics such as succession planning, trade concerns, hemp processing & banking regulations.  Sharing our concerns & highlights of the agricultural industry, and hearing in turn what strategies are being put into place to address these topics, was enlightening.

Chemeketa Community College, West Coast Companies

We happen to run into the Chemeketa Community College Board of Directors while there! Small world with impeccable timing!

Outside of these meetings, we attended a small intimate trade show of other companies around the country that participate in the National SBDC programs. These companies included entrepreneurs that are harnessing solar power into cooking pots for camping enthusiast and third world countries as well as an ex-Patriot NFL player, Jarvis Green, who own’s a successful seafood company, called Oceans 97.

Being the second generation of leadership for West Coast Companies (first with American Ag Systems) we have many ideas on how we can continue to build upon our custom processing solutions. The Chemeketa SBDC program has certainly assisted us in our company vision and future aspirations. Sharing the good work they are doing, and being able to discuss the agricultural industry with policy makers, was exciting. We are honored to have received this opportunity.

Merrissa & Andrew Burleigh



—Merrissa Hayden-Burleigh