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Classic video: People sign petition to ban water

January 22, 2012 --

National Corn Growers Association
Corn Commentary Blog

These days, farmers and ranchers seem to be constantly having to defend every practice they use to produce food, fuel and fiber – and much of it is based on just plain ignorance of agriculture in general.

Ignorance may be bliss, but it is also extremely dangerous. We just recently came across this Penn and Teller video about how willing people are to sign a petition to ban water when it is called by its chemically proper but unfamiliar name, “dihydrogen monoxide.” This illustration of ignorance and radicalism is not new. Wikipedia traces it back to some University of California students in 1990. Penn and Teller updated the hoax in 2006 and it would be funnier if it wasn’t such a sad commentary on how gullible some people can be and how it could have disastrous consequences.

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State reduces sturgeon catch by 38%

January 20, 2012 --

States agree to reduce sturgeon catch by 38% on the lower Columbia River
By Oregon Dept. of Fish & Widlife

For the third straight year, fish and wildlife directors from Washington and Oregon have agreed to reduce the catch of white sturgeon on the lower Columbia River, where the species has declined in abundance in recent years. Under the new agreement, the total allowable harvest of white sturgeon below Bonneville Dam will be reduced from 22.5 percent of the “legal-size” fish to 16 percent in 2012.

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How the White House plan to merge trade agencies impacts ranchers

January 19, 2012 --

By National Cattlemen’s Beef Association 

Statement from NCBA President Bill Donald Regarding President Obama’s Proposed Consolidation of Trade Agencies

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) supports the administration’s recognition of the need to improve government efficiency and eliminate wasteful spending. However, precautions must be in place to avoid unintended consequences.

“NCBA has strong concerns about President Obama’s proposal to merge the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) with other trade agencies. NCBA maintains that USTR should remain an independent agency within the Executive Office of the President, focusing on trade negotiations, trade agreements and trade enforcement. USTR is vital to ensuring successful trade negotiations concerning U.S. beef and other agricultural commodities with our global trade partners. USTR must be in a position to have direct access to the White House.

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Gov. Kitzhaber maligns loggers, Bill to bailout counties, More

January 18, 2012 --

by Rex Storm,
Associated Oregon Loggers,

Governor Maligns Timber Owners and Loggers: The rise in log exports to China has left coastal sawmills facing new price competition for timber. Oregon Governor Kitzhaber unfairly criticized log exports in his Nov. 3 testimony before the state Board of Forestry. “We are at risk of becoming a timber colony for Asia,” Kitzhaber said. “While (log exports are) undermining our mill infrastructure and surrounding communities…” The Governor’s deceptive remarks—repeated by the media—slanders those Oregon forest sector businesses and jobs that grow, harvest and deliver timber.

Congressmen Push for County Bailout: All six members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation announced bipartisan support for a bill to extend the county timber payments law. If the bill passes, the now-expired Secure Rural Schools Act would be extended for six years, providing declining subsidy payments to counties that lost federal timber receipts in the 1990s. Under the current federal budget deficit, renewing the Secure Act is a steep uphill revenue battle, pitted against needed federal timber receipts, run-away federal spending, and defaulting county governments across the West.

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Entire Oregon delegation backs forest restoration plan

January 17, 2012 --

Greg Walden organizes bipartisan backing for job-creating forest landscape restoration projects
By Congressman Greg Walden,

Estimates from proposals say Lakeview project would create more than 80 jobs; Southern Blues project would create more than 150 jobs

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden has organized a bipartisan letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack that expresses strong support for funding two job-creating and large-scale forest restoration projects – one in the Lake County area and the other in Grant and Harney counties. The letter was signed by Walden, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, and Earl Blumenauer.

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Arson hits 14 cattle trucks in California

January 16, 2012 --

Below is a press release from National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

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Ag predictions for the 2012 Congress

January 15, 2012 --

Looking to 2012: Long To-Do List, Little Appetite in Election Year
By National Association of Wheat Growers

Members of Congress are headed back to Washington, D.C., from a holiday break, but how much they will accomplish before leaving in early August for full-time campaigning remains very much in question.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to return next Tuesday, with the Senate reconvening Jan. 23. The annual State of the Union address by President Barack Obama, the traditional start of the Congressional season, is scheduled for Jan. 24.

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After long delay, Dungeness crab season opens

January 14, 2012 --

Dungeness crab season opens Jan. 15 on Oregon’s southern coast
By Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

NEWPORT – Commercial and sport Dungeness crabbing opens Jan. 15 from Gold Beach south, making all of the ocean off Oregon now open to crabbing. The ocean commercial Dungeness crab season in Oregon normally opens Dec. 1, but was delayed this year because crab did not meet minimum pre-season quality testing. Fishery managers made the decision in December to delay the season from about Gold Beach (42°26’00” N. Lat.) south to the California border until Jan. 15.

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Farmers warned: We’re all one regulation away from jail or bankruptcy

January 13, 2012 --

By American Farm Bureau Federation

Farmers need to commit their time, energy, money and best thinking if they want to stop the proliferation of federal regulations that threaten their businesses, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce official said today at the American Farm Bureau Federation 93rd Annual Meeting. “This isn’t academic folks,” said Reed Rubinstein, senior counsel for the Chamber of Commerce. “When the federal government exercises its authority, it can send you to jail. We are all one regulation away from being out of business.”

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Bird deaths from wind power prompts new rules

January 12, 2012 --

Windpower has killed 2,000 golden eagles in California & 500 other birds in Virginia proding conservationist to call for new guidelines.
By Oregon Tax News,

New federal rules instructing wind companies on how to better monitor and reduce the number of wildlife deaths from wind turbines are being worked on by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The new guidelines, which have been under consideration for a year, will increase potential fines for wind companies but will remain voluntary—a move that underscores the challenge regulators face trying to balance competing environmental priorities.

Private wind farms are cropping up across the U.S. as part of the Obama Administration’s push to increase wind energy to 20 percent of the nation’s total energy production by 2030. Consequently, the U.S. has doubled its wind energy, now at 43,000 megawatts of power, over the last three years. There are now roughly 500 wind farms operating 35,000 turbines, and wind energy accounts for three percent of U.S. energy output. That increase, however, has come at a high price in the eyes of some conservationists who say the government has made peace with wind farms’ threat to wildlife for the sake of reducing the nation’s carbon footprint.

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