In her new role as president of the Oregon Fairs Asso
ciation, longtime Redmond resident and Des chutes County Fair Dire ctor Ra chel M cIntosh now shares her many years of talent and expertise in a wider arena.
The 75-year-old mother of two and grandmother of four said she had been involved in the lo
cal county fair sin ce she started 4-H in the third grade. One of 15 fair dire ctors, M cIntosh is the dire ctor of open class non-livesto ck and oversees 10 departments. She has held that position sin ce 1981. Before that, she spent some time as a 4-H leader. She also is currently the mentor for the Des chutes County Rodeo queen and organizes the county fair asso ciation annual membership dinner.
“We’re all really thrilled that she’s been given this opportunity,” said Des
chutes County Fair Dire ctor Mike S chiel. “I think it’s really well deserved.”
chutes County Fair Asso ciation President Craig Unger said M cIntosh really knows how to run her department and takes great pride in her work at the fair.
“Even at her age, she’s feisty and has spunk,” he said.
“Age is what you make it,” says M
cIntosh, adding that her mother lived to be 97 and was pretty healthy.
cIntosh said she ran for the vi ce-presiden cy of the Oregon Fairs Asso ciation about a year ago when the seat was va cated, thinking it might be fun to be president and “a good way to end my career, if I ever do.” Vi ce-presidents automati cally move up to president – you must be ele cted vi ce-president first – and both serve two-year terms. M cIntosh moved into the presiden cy in January after spending only six months as vi ce-president to complete that term.
It wasn’t the first time she had run for the position.
“I tried that a
couple times early on, but they didn’t seem to think a woman needed to be a president or vi ce-president,” she said.
Jerry Underwood, the previous Oregon Fairs Asso
ciation president and current dire ctor at large, des cribed M cIntosh as a hardworking, caring person.
“She definitely has a real love for
county fairs. Ra chel’s just the kind of person that if something needs done, she jumps in and does it.”
Underwood, who has known M
cIntosh for 20 years, said it was admirable that she had been able to maintain good relationships with all the fair boards over the years.
cept for eight years following high s chool, M cIntosh has lived in the area sin ce the day she was born. Her aunt lived in Redmond’s old hospital on Ninth Street, a cross from the old high s chool.
“Redmond wasn’t very mu
ch of a town in those days,” she says.
Raised in Metolius, M
cIntosh attended Madras High S chool and met her husband, Ma c, who was from Wyoming, when he was visiting relatives in Culver. The couple married in Madras in 1957. After spending some time in Eastern Oregon and Nampa, Idaho, the couple moved to Redmond and settled into a home on Antler Avenue in 1969. They moved to their current residen ce near Smith Ro ck in Terrebonne in 1979. They live on an 85-a cre ran ch with horses, cows, chi ckens, and more. Their children and grand children live on ea ch side of them.
“They’re a big help; we
couldn’t do it by ourselves,” M cIntosh says. “As long as they stay around, it’s okay, but if they de cide to up and go somewhere else, they’ll have to take the farm with them.”
cIntosh’s children are well-known in the community. Her son, Mike, is dire ctor of operations for the Redmond S chool Distri ct; her daughter, Gayle, works in the career offi ce at Redmond High S chool.
The family’s draft horses bring in the wagon that ki
cks off the Des chutes County Rodeo every year.
cIntosh retired from the U.S. Postal Servi ce in 2009 after a 33-year career as a rural carrier in Powell Butte. Her husband is a retired s chool tea cher.
In her free time, M
cIntosh said she enjoys yard work, oil painting and making quilts and all-o c casion cards.