OFS and many of our members are supporting the Owyhee Basin Stewardship Coalition. The coalition asked us to share the following with you:
The Race Is On
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As the 2016 election season ramps up, Oregon farmers and ranchers are taking a close look at which candidates would fight hardest for agriculture in the state legislature. On Aug. 3 at the OFB headquarters in Salem, Farm Bureau leaders had the opportunity to interview 15 contenders for state office and get a sense of where they stand on priority ag issues.
The goal for these political hopefuls: earn an endorsement from Oregon Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general agriculture organization.
The goal for Farm Bureau: determine which candidates understand, value, and respect agriculture and its contributions to Oregon’s economy, environment, and quality of life.
For some time now, there has been steady chatter about labeling GMOs. Chatter is one thing, but uninformed chatter is quite another.
With the recent GMO disclosure bill signed into law, a national QR code for foods produced with GM crops will be in the works. Personally, I dislike the idea that we, as Americans, have come to a point where the demands of a few outweigh science and common sense. But if a consumer really wants to know more about GMOs, information will soon be just a scan away. A QR code is perfect for streamlining this kind of information. The Agriculture Department will take the lead in developing a national standard with a uniform symbol and consistent information—rather than the patchwork of misleading labels we see now.
Earth First! Criminal Log Spiking: Radical environmentalists reported online that in early June they had driven metal spikes into logs at the Swanson Brothers sawmill in Noti, west of Eugene. This criminally dangerous act was explained by the perpetrators to “target the mill because it specializes in processing the oldest & largest trees.” During the 1990s, protestors had illegally spiked standing trees
Counties Suffer Lack of Federal Timber: Four Oregon county governments remain on the insolvency watch list, as reported in a June audit by the Oregon Secretary of State. The common factor in county fiscal shortfall is the declining federal timber revenue. Curry, Douglas, Josephine, and Polk Counties are being monitored by the state continues due to their weak financial condition. Since 2014, five other fiscally-weak counties were removed from the watch list—primarily due to deep county service reductions and increased property taxes on residents.
It’s refreshing when opposing political candidates can agree on an issue—but in the case of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the two leading presidential candidates’ opposition to the trade agreement falls on the wrong side for agriculture.
In Ag Alert® four years ago, I wrote about how the TPP was proving to be “less controversial” than previous trade agreements and was “getting almost no attention at all.”
Fast forward to last month’s political conventions, where the TPP got a lot of attention—and negative attention at that.
To most people in the U.S., water is simply assumed. Without much thought, they turn on the shower, brush their teeth, make coffee or tea, flush the toilet, and grab a full, cold plastic bottle of name-brand water. Taking a bite of food or slipping on a cotton T-shirt does not inspire thoughts of water, its role in agriculture, or challenges to managing the nation’s water supply. But water is the lifeblood of agriculture, and plays an ever-increasing role in food availability, cost, food security, and national security… and competition for it is increasing as supplies decrease.
It’s hard to grasp the importance of managing water in areas where it seems so abundant. More than 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, though little is ever in the right place, in the right form, at the right time.
By Oregon Farm Bureau,
Multnomah CFB leader featured in Oregon immigration report
American Farm Bureau, Intel, Google, and others are part of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan research and advocacy group making the economic case for smart, sensible immigration reform.
By Rick Sohn, PhD
Umqua Coquille LLC
Product prices are up, Portland housing market is the hottest in the U.S. and mortgage interest rates are trending down. Median home prices continue to rise, albeit slower. Recent trends of lumber, logs, home construction, and housing markets, are compared to 2009 and 2005.
* A lumber board foot is 12 inches by 12 inches by 1 inch. A log board foot is larger, to account for losses during manufacturing due to tapered logs making straight boards, sawdust, etc. The leftovers become chips, which are used for paper and fuel.
Interpretation and Looking Ahead.
By National Association of Wheat Growers
On Tuesday, Dr. Roger Marshall from Kansas’ First district won the primary against three-term incumbent Rep. Tim Huelskamp, after a closely-followed race. Marshall, endorsed by the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and several other national and state agriculture groups, won with 57 percent of the vote to secure himself the candidacy. Marshall’s victory in the primary is an important step forward in reclaiming a House Agriculture Committee seat for Kansas’ First district. The “Big First” is the largest wheat-producing Congressional district in the country but has not had a voice there in nearly four years.
U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) announced that his plan to remove gray wolves from the federal endangered species list has been approved by the U.S. House by a vote of 223-201.
“Oregon’s wolf population has grown by more than 40 percent, and yet we have this divided management strategy in the federal government where in part of the state wolves are still listed and part of the state they’re not. We need a single management strategy where we have local control under the Oregon state plan,” said Walden. “That’s why this amendment is so important. We need to repeal the endangered species listing for the gray wolf, and get it under state management where we’ve got the most local control so Oregonians can make the decisions.”
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