Madras Profile

Madras & other communities in Jefferson County

Madras is a city “on the move” with a significant number of new businesses and community amenities including a modern aquatic center, a large multi-purpose recreational park, skateboard park, fishing pond for youth and handicapped, a bicycle/hiking trail system encompassing the city, a 5-plex cinema, a new campus for Central Oregon CommunityMain street through Madras Oregon College (COCC) and a large GA airport with a new all-weather navigation system.  The forward- looking community residents passed a bond measure in 2012 to upgrade all their educational buildings and athletic facilities, construct a performing arts center and share in the construction costs of a new k-8th school in Warm Springs. Jefferson County, as a whole, is a blend of economic and cultural diversity with agricultural and manufacturing businesses, and a strong cultural heritage of the Warm Springs, Piute and Wasco Tribes and a flourishing Hispanic population.

Jefferson County includes the communities of Madras, Culver, Metolius and Warm Springs in the center of the county, a ranchette-style community, Crooked River Ranch, on the south, the rural communities of Ashwood and Camp Sherman and an “off-the -grid” lake community - Three Rivers.  Jefferson County boasts of 3rd and 4th generation families, yet is hospitable and friendly to new-comers.  


Business oJefferson County farming with Mt. Jefferson in the backgroundpportunity abounds with the untapped infrastructure of two major north/south highways (Hwys 26 and 97), Central Oregon (north/south) trunk railroad line operated by BNSF, the Madras airport with the third largest runway in Oregon, an abundant, pure water supply from the Opal Springs aquifer serving Culver, Metolius and Madras and the newest discovered asset: a vast basalt quarry with extremely dense rock for use as jetty stone, road and rail aggregate, soil amendment and basalt fiber. The vast open area of the Warm Springs Reservation and the infrastructure of the Madras airport is being developed for the emerging UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) industry as a test center for civilian and natural resource applications.  And, there are two Enterprise Zones: Jefferson County and Warm Springs.

Fun at Cove Park, Jefferson COuntyFrom 2000 to 2008, Jefferson County's population grew by more than 18%, more than twice the national average.  It was the third fastest growing county in Oregon, and employment growth is expected to be among the fastest in Oregon over the next decade.  With affordable housing, low energy costs, reasonable wages, and significant infrastructure in place, Jefferson County is positioned for growth.

Madras, Metolius and Culver has seen steady development activity over the past decade and a half. The closest proximity to the Portland metropolitan area (two hours via car, or ½ hour via air) makes this area an excellent location for manufacturing and distributing products throughout the west coast as well as nationally and internationally.  Many of our manufacturing and agricultural businesses export a significant amount of their products. 


Fishing in Madras area People desiring a quality lifestyle, year-round recreational activities including Lake Billy Chinook, famous fly fishing on the Deschutes and Metolius Rivers and ideal weather, find Jefferson County a highly desirable area to live and work. With 300 days of sunshine and low annual rainfall, boating, water-skiing, camping, fishing, hunting, mountaineering, and rock hunting are major tourist and resident activities.

Major landowners in the county are the Forest Service, with 24% of lands, and Warm Springs Reservation, with 21%.  Jefferson County includes nationally protected areas of the Crooked River National Grassland, part of the Deschutes national Forest and a portion of the Mount Hood National Forest.  In fact, of Jefferson County's 1,791 miles, 10 square miles are water.     


Named after nearby Mount Jefferson, (10,495’), Jefferson County was created in 1914 from a portion of Crook County. The railroad linking Madras with the Columbia River was finished in 1911 and served as a the springboard for Jefferson County's agricultural growth as well as the impetus for multiple irrigation projects that continued into the late 1930s.  Incorporated in 1911, Madras has been the permanent county seat since 1916 and operates as the major commercial hub of the county.  In the 1940s, Madras experienced another economic boom with the establishment of the U.S. Army Air Base used to accommodate the B-17 Flying Fortress.

Since that time the community has become an established industrial center and home to the region’s largest employer, Bright Wood, Warm Springs Confederated Tribes Jefferson County ORas well growing companies such as Keith Manufacturing, maker of moving floors for material handing; Double Press, manufacturer of hay compressors and handling equipment; Shielding International, producer of x-ray protective garments and accessories; and Earth2o, regional bottled water distributor. The agricultural industry remains quite vibrant, with Jefferson County leading the world in carrot seed production. Other commercial crops include vegetable, grass and flower seeds, garlic, and mint. The Warm Springs Forest Products and Warm Springs Composites are two, multi-million dollar enterprises owned by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.  They also co-own the Round Butte hydro facility with Portland General Electric and operate a new, sophisticated fish by-pass system which makes possible the upstream spawning and downstream migration of Chinook Salmon.  

MADRAS Stats at a Glance

Madras, Oregon (Jefferson County)
Elevation: 2242’
Population (July 2011) 6,225 (Madras) / 21,845 (Jefferson County)
Median Resident Age 33.6 (Madras) / 39.1 (Jefferson County)
Estimated Median Household Income (2010) $38,470 (Madras) / $41,425 (Jefferson County)
Median single family home price
(YTD thru Dec 2011)
$69,900 (Jefferson County)
Average household size (2010)
2.47 (Madras) / 2.72 (Jefferson County)
Property Tax Rate 2011/12 (Madras)
$21.2683 per $1,000 of assessed value
Assessed Property Value 2011/12 $1,406,718,607
Telecommunications Infrastructure BendBroadband (Residential & Commercial), CenturyLink (Residential & Commercial), Community Broadband (Residential & Commercial), Crestview Cable (Residential & Commercial), Mid Oregon Telephone LLC (Commercial), Warm Springs Telco (Residential & Commercial)
Major Private Employers in the County Bright Wood, Kah Nee Ta Resort, Mountain View Hospital, Indian Head Casino, Keith Manufacturing Company
Top 5 Jefferson County Taxpayers in
2008-09 (in order)

Portland General Electric, Gas Transmission Northwest Corporation, PacifiCorp (PPL), Briht Wood Corporation, Warm Springs Power Enterprises

Madras / Jefferson County Quick Links

Madras & Jefferson County, Oregon

Jefferson County Economic Development, Inc. 

Janet Brown, Manager 541-390-6275
2028 NW Berg Drive, Madras OR 97741  

Economic Development for
Central Oregon

Roger Lee, Executive Director
705 SW Bonnett Way, #1000, Bend OR 97702

City of Madras

City Hall, 125 SW E St, Madras

Jefferson County 
Administrative Offices

66 SE D Street, Madras OR 97741

Madras-Jefferson County
Chamber of Commerce

274 SW 4th Street, PO Box 770, Madras, OR 97741

Work Source Oregon / Oregon
Employment Dept. Office

2158 SE College Loop, Suite B, Redmond OR 97756

Madras Pioneer

345 SE 5th Street, Madras OR 97741

Spilyay Tymoo News
(Warm Springs newspaper)

Warm Springs Indian Reservation
PO Box 870, Warm Springs, OR 97761

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