BOARD OF DIRECTORS
LUKUS GRAY, DIRECTOR AT LARGE
Agriculture runs deep for Lukus, being the majority of family business all the way back to his grandfather, he was born and raised in a family farming and ranching operation in North Powder. After earning a degree from OSU in Crop Production Science, Lukus returned to
his family operation in North Powder with his wife, Lindsay, and their five children: Jaycee, Tycen, Graycee, Trysten, and Treyce. Together, along with Jerry, Shelly and Justus Gray, the families manage the entire ranching and farming operation year round.
For Lukus, family farming in North Powder is an ideal way of life, exclaiming, “I love the mountains that surround where I live
and the freedom of being my own boss. I’m involved in our family farming operation with my primary focus being on crop production and farm management. One of my biggest challenges that I face when it
comes to work is finding a balance between work and family time. I
don’t always get to go on family camping trips in the summer because when the crops are ready I need to be on the farm ready too. However, one of the best aspect of my job is that I can take my kids with me to work.Whether its riding in a tractor, truck, or on a hoarse- spending time with my family is very important to me not matter how we do it!"
As with many challenges families face in Northeast Oregon, Lukus and his family have had to overcome years of drought, making "managing water for crops very tricky and stressful." Lukus explains that, “Water is vital to our operation- to conserve water and to apply it more efficiently to our ground we have converted many flood irrigated pastures to central pivot irrigation systems.” These challenges however, only prove the adaptability and resilience of the Gray family. Lukus reflects upon the hard work required for running his family operation, saying, “Working long hours and sometimes seven days a week is all worth while when I know my children are being raised how I was. We are so blessed to live where we do and to be able to have my children raised around agriculture and in a small community. My wife is my biggest supporter and my best friend. She is able to be a stay at home mom which is very important to both of us, but will always help me whenever I need it. Her commitment to our future is as strong as mine, and I know she will always be there for me.”
Recognizing the need for agricultural representation in the Council and more community involvement, Lukus became a board member in January 2016. He took over after his father, Jerry Gray, as the Board Treasurer/ Secretary. Although extremely busy, currently helping manage up to 10,000 acres of grazing lands, including 1,100 acres of irrigated crops and about 400 cattle, Lukus manages to provide helpful insight into Council business and has become a valuable addition to the Board. He feels that the Council is "a great tool to have when someone has questions about how to imporve water use and quality and how to fund water enhancement projects." He would like to see the community recognize the full potential of the Council and hopes to see it grow in future years.