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OFS Director Position Opens

July 31, 2011 --

OFS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR POSITION
By Oregonians for Food and Shelter

Oregonians for Food & Shelter (OFS), a 501(c)(6) non-profit association located in Salem, Oregon is seeking a full-time, Executive Director to start ideally on or before January 23, 2012. Starting salary commensurate with experience. Competitive benefits include family medical, retirement plan and more. The Director, reporting to the OFS Board of Directors and managing a staff of two, is responsible for the successful continuation of the OFS mission: “to promote the efficient production of quality food and fiber while protecting human health, personal property and the environment, through the integrated, responsible use of pest management products, soil nutrients and biotechnology.”

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How debt ceiling debate hurts Ag

July 30, 2011 --

Debt Ceiling Negotiations Lasting Impact on Agriculture
By American Farm Bureau Federation

Johnna Miller, Director of Media Development, AFBF

Days away from the federal government defaulting on its debt, the debt ceiling negotiations continue to be the top priority of both members of Congress and the White House. American Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Public Policy Mark Maslyn says farmers and ranchers have a major stake in the outcome of the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations. AFBF’s Michael Pettengill reports.

Pettengill: With the August 2nd deadline fast approaching, failure by Congress and the White House to either raise the debt ceiling limit or reduce the federal deficit, could result in the federal government defaulting on its loans. American Farm Bureau Executive Director of Public Policy Mark Maslyn says the situation has huge implications for America’s farmers and ranchers.

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10 Oregon farmers awarded Century status

July 29, 2011 --

Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Program Awards Century Status to 10 Farms & Ranches and one Sesquicentennial Farms in 2011
By Oregon Farm Bureau

(Salem, OR) – At an annual awards ceremony at the Oregon State Fair, families from across the state will receive recognition for operating as either a Century or Sesquicentennial Farm or Ranch. The 2011 ceremony will be held on Saturday, September 3, at 1:00 p.m. at the Oregon State Fair. The public recognition ceremony and awards celebration will be held in the Corporate Tent on the west side of the fairgrounds. Please join us and the Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation and its major partners, the Oregon Farm Bureau, the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, Oregon Travel Information Council, OSU Libraries’ University Achieves and the Oregon Department of Agriculture for this special event.

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CA Governor signs farmland conservation bill

July 28, 2011 --

Gov. Brown signs bill to preserve Williamson Act
By Kate Campbell
California Farm Bureau Federation

After months of uncertainty, a bill signed by Gov. Brown last week reinstates a revised Williamson Act program intended to preserve the state’s landmark farmland-conservation law. Brown signed Assembly Bill 1265 by Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, which establishes the revised form of the Williamson Act through 2016.

The bill, which takes effect immediately, authorizes counties to revise the term for Williamson Act contracts from 10 years to nine years or from 20 to 18 years—a 10 percent reduction in contract length in return for retaining 90 percent of the property tax relief offered by the act.

“For more than 45 years, the Williamson Act has served as an effective conservation program that helps farmers withstand development pressures and stay in farming,” California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said. “We applaud the governor for upholding the real benefits of the Williamson Act.”

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Business tax credit used for liquid sewage recycling

July 27, 2011 --

Business tax credit used for liquid sewage recycling
Natural Resource News Note:

The Oregon Energy Department has done something new, they have approved extending the Business Energy Tax Credit to materials reclaimed from liquid sewage. The idea is that nitrogen and phosphorous can be taken from the liquid waste. As a result one local business called Clean Water Service may be awarded more than a million dollar tax credit from the State of Oregon.

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State can’t keep illegal clammers at bay

July 26, 2011 --

Forty-four years later some calm diggers still show up
By Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

NEWPORT – More than four decades after the first conservation closure, some clam diggers still show up in late July to dig razor clams on the Clatsop beaches. Since 1967 the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife close the 18 miles of beaches in Clatsop County to razor clam digging on July 15. The closure is to protect newly-set young clams that are establishing themselves on the beach during this time of the year.

“It has been a consistent problem in past years and this year it begins in the middle of a minus tide series,” said Matthew Hunter, ODFW’s Shellfish and Phytoplankton Project Leader. “It’s been in place long enough so there is no reason anyone should claim ignorance.”

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Urine battle and Triangle Lake

July 25, 2011 --

Triangle Lake Pesticide Issues:
By Oregonians for Food and Shelter

You might be aware of what is happening in the Triangle Lake area. Over the last several years a local advocacy group, the Pitchfork Rebellion, has made numerous complaints about aerial application of herbicides on privately owned forestland in their area and claim that residents are being “poisoned” by chemicals. In fact, 20+ of them have had their urine tested and claim that the test results show traces of 2,4-D and atrazine.
Interestingly, neither Dr. Dana Barr (the scientist who did the analyses) nor the Pitchfork Rebellion individuals who initiated the testing of their own urine will release any details of the sampling or research protocols, the chain of custody requirements and other information that are critical to evaluating the credibility of the results. Officials from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) say that while they have not seen the actual data from Dr. Barr’s analyses either, they believe the alleged exposures to be “plausible” enough to warrant further study.

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Mythbusting on food vs. fuel debate

July 24, 2011 --

New analysis continues to disprove food v. fuel canard
By Renewable Fuels Association

Washington—There is no statistical evidence to support the argument that growth in ethanol production is driving consumer food prices higher, according to a comprehensive study released today by Informa Economics. Rather, the report concludes that retail food prices are determined by a complex set of inter-related factors, including supply chain costs for energy, labor, transportation, packaging and other marketing-related expenses.

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Budget-Debt Talks Fail — billions in Ag funds at risk

July 23, 2011 --

Budget End-Game Still Unclear as Other Issues Fall to the Side
National Association of Wheat Growers

A deal to rein in the federal debt and raise the government’s borrowing limit just days before a projected default was elusive this week, with more proposals floated but no end in sight. Discussions continue between top leaders in Congress and President Barack Obama while most of the rest of Washington waits and wonders. The Gang of Six, a bipartisan group of Senators that was seeking to negotiate a long-term compromise on debt and deficit issues until it faltered in May, seemed to reconstitute this week, even issuing a proposal that gained relatively warm reception.

On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled House passed in a 234-190 vote a so-called “cut, cap and balance” bill, which would cap overall federal spending and require Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before the debt ceiling could be raised. The legislation was denounced by Democrats and failed a procedural vote on Friday in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Meanwhile, the agriculture community continues to work to express the importance of a strong farm safety net and other investments in ag-related programs. There is no solid figure of what could be cut from agriculture-area programs in an eventual deal, but numbers have been floated ranging from $10-11 billion, in the President’s debt commission report and the Gang of Six proposal, to $30 billion or more in debt talks led by Vice President Joe Biden and the House-passed budget resolution.

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How the Heat Wave impacts food prices

July 22, 2011 --

Heat Wave’s Affect on Food Prices
Johnna Miller, Director of Media Development
Newsline, American Farm Bureau Federation

The heat wave broiling much of the country is not just uncomfortable, it could end up costing you more at the grocery store. American Farm Bureau Economist John Anderson explains how to AFBF’s Johnna Miller.

Miller: The past week has been a scorcher with at least 17 states hitting the 100-degree mark. While it’s no surprise that will probably mean higher electric bills to pay for additional air conditioning, it could also mean higher prices for food.

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