Tami Guttridge is often the first person people interact with when they contact the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District. She is the District Office Manager and occupies the front desk where she greets visitors, handles phone calls, and keeps our operation running smoothly.
“I like to greet people cheerfully, make them comfortable, and get them the information they need,” says Guttridge. She knows how our clients feel. Before she was a District employee, she was a District cooperator. A cooperator is a local landowner who works with the District to install conservation practices on their property.
What Does the District Office Manager Do?
Guttridge makes sure that everything at the office is in good shape and is operating smoothly. She orders supplies, puts together District mailings, and researches information for anyone who needs it. When called upon, she also provides staff with a supportive shoulder and is a great listener!
She maintains the District vehicles to keep staff safe and takes the minutes for all board meetings. She also manages our public records and lends a creative hand to signage and displays. Guttridge also serves on the District Safety Committee and writes the monthly safety newsletter.
Conservationist On and Off the Clock!
Guttridge and her family raise cattle and chickens and manage a small orchard. This means that she has first-hand experience with many of the issues facing landowners here in Clackamas County. These issues include mud and manure management, pasture and invasive weed management, forest and streamside care, and development of wildlife habitat. “When people call the District, I understand their concerns,” she says.
The Guttridge family has farmed in the Estacada area for over 130 years and they own part of the original Century Farm. The Oregon Century Farm and Century Ranch Program is a statewide recognition program honoring farmers and ranchers who have worked the same land for at least 100 years. Her family was selected as the 2018 Clackamas Woodland Farmer of the Year. The following year they were the Clackamas County 2019 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year.
Rural Roots Run Deep
Guttridge was born and raised in Yankton, Oregon, a small community near St. Helens. She enjoys small town life and living in rural Clackamas County suits her just fine. In 1988, she joined the local Grange where she currently serves as President. The Grange has deep roots in farming and was originally organized to give farmers a voice in Washington, D.C.
Although the Grange is now more of a community service organization, they still work and advocate for farmers. Her local grange raises money for scholarships and the local food bank. It also provides dictionaries for third graders in the Estacada and Colton schools.
Guttridge also works with a local 4-H group. She notes, “I have approximately 26 young people in the group. They work on everything from raising small animals to sewing, cooking, geology, horticulture, and many other projects. It is so much fun to watch the growth of these young people as they learn new skills and crafts.”
Guttridge says she’s happy to be working at the Conservation District because it does a good job for a wide range of people. “District staff have great attitudes, and they want to do the right thing for the right reasons. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?” she asks. “People here at the District want to help other people. Not because they have to. They do it because they care.”
She enjoys supporting local landowners to improve their properties for the benefit of themselves and their communities. She appreciates the District’s cooperative approach which encourages landowners to make positive change. Like many, she believes that this is a better approach than enforcement of blanket regulations.
She looks forward to all of the staff working in the office again once the pandemic is over.
Thank you Tami! You make all of our jobs easier.