I first met George Murdock almost 20 years ago while I was attending Washington State University. George and his wife Donna lived on a farm just north of Walla Walla. Even though I had been friends with their son Ian for a few years, I was really introduced to them through my younger brother Sam, who was a student at Walla Walla Community College.

What many folks don’t know is that George and Donna opened their home and “bunkhouse” to quite a number of young men who were attending WWCC and on the rodeo team, my brother being one of them. These 18-20 year olds would move in with trucks, horse trailers, and often a couple of horses. At one time there was even an old motorhome in the driveway that housed one or two cowboys.

Money can be tight when you’re attending college, so George and Donna provided all this at no charge to any of these young men. I am sure at times it was a challenge to have these college students in and out of their home and on their property. George and Donna believed it was good investment of time and resources to help these young men and do what they could to contribute to their education and set an example of service to others.

This commitment to helping others isn’t just lip service, I have seen it first hand. My brother’s family continues to benefit from the Murdocks’ investment to this day. How many of us would be willing to sacrifice our personal space and comfort to help a bunch of strangers achieve a college education? And not just for a few minutes here or there, but over a several year period.

This is just one of the reasons I am supporting George Murdock for Umatilla County commissioner.

Ben Buchert


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