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Senator’s bill would start a trade war

July 31, 2015 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Senator Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced legislation that fails to fix mandatory Country-of-Origin labeling, driving the United States even closer to the forthcoming trade war with Canada and Mexico. With four decisions against the law, the World Trade Organization will soon allow Canada and Mexico to impose over $3 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs annually on an array of U.S. commodities. Philip Ellis, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president, said Senator Stabenow’s amendment does not address all the issues with the program, and therefore is not a viable solution.

Read the full article and discuss it »

House passes Klamath water bill

July 29, 2015 --

waldenpressBy Congressman Greg Walden,

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed—on a bipartisan vote—a plan offered by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) to help protect water users on the Klamath Project in Oregon and California.

The proposal would confer applicant status on these users, ensuring that they are included in Endangered Species Act consultations that could affect operations of the water project they rely upon. While the Bureau has—in its own words—treated the users “in a manner similar to applicants” since the 1990s, it has not granted them the protections and input the full applicant status would provide.

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Rep. Clem: Farm to School

July 27, 2015 --

clem-david-daveThe Farm to School Bill, SB 5507, has been signed by the Governor.  Below are comments from State Representative Brain Clem Press Release .

Farm to School Program to expand Statewide with new allocation
By State Representatiev Brain Clem

The bill contains an expansion of the Farm to School program championed by State Rep. Brian Clem (D-Salem). Since 2007, the Farm to School program has been helping schools offset the costs of purchasing local fruits and vegetables for their school lunches. The new allocation of money will allow the program to move from serving 19 school districts to every K-12 school in the state.

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Cattlemen lay out national agenda

July 24, 2015 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Over 600 cattlemen and women gathered in Denver, Colo., this week to discuss the policy priorities for the cattle industry for the upcoming year. Throughout the meeting, the various policy committees reviewed expiring policies and discussed proposed policy brought forward from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s state affiliates. According to Philip Ellis, NCBA President and Chugwater, Wyo., cattleman, the leadership of the association renewed their dedication to the policy priorities for 2015.

“The Cattle Industry Summer Conference is the time when our producer members are able to gather and tackle the business of the association,” said Ellis. “From continuing and renewing current and expiring policy, to discussing and passing policy to tackle the upcoming and emerging issues, this is our chance to work together to ensure NCBA remains on the forefront representing our membership.”

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Opposition mounts to Wyden’s Land Grant Act

July 22, 2015 --

By American Forest Resource Council

The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the Oregon and California Land Grant Act of 2015 (S. 132), legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden to change the management of O&C timberlands administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The committee also held a hearing on the National Forest Ecosystem Improvement Act of 2015, legislation introduced by U.S. Senator John Barrasso to expedite ecosystem restoration projects on National Forests across the country.

Representing Western Oregon forest products manufacturers, American Forest Resource Council (AFRC) President Tom Partin highlighted how the Wyden O&C proposal lacks balance and won’t address the needs of rural, forested communities. S. 132 is identical to Senator Wyden’s proposal from last year (S. 1784), which was opposed by Oregon’s forest products industry and the affected counties in Western Oregon.

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Alert over stream buffer plan

July 20, 2015 --

Oregon-Farm-Bureau
By Oregon Farm Bureau

Next Thursday, July 23, the Board of Forestry will make a final decision on western Oregon stream buffers in response to small temp. changes observed following timber harvest (0.7 degrees Celsius). Although these temperature changes are insignificant, short-lived, and lack scientific proof that they harm fish, federal agencies and environmentalists are pressing for no-cut buffers five times larger than currently required.

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House Ag passes food label bill

July 17, 2015 --

farm-bureua-usaBy American Farm Bureau Federation

With the House Agriculture Committee’s passage of the bipartisan Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599), lawmakers are taking an important step toward greater clarity on food labeling, according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. The measure will clarify the FDA as the nation’s foremost authority on food safety and create a voluntary labeling program run by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, the same agency that administers the USDA Organic Program.

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Oregon awards wolf-impact funds

July 15, 2015 --

Oregon Department of Agriculture

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has approved $81,300 in funding distributed to nine counties east of the Cascade Mountains as part of the Oregon Wolf Depredation Compensation and Financial Assistance County Block Grant Program. Funds for 2015 have been distributed for actual livestock losses or injuries caused by wolves, for missing livestock above the normal historical levels in areas of known wolf activity, for proactive efforts to prevent wolf and livestock interactions, and for county wolf program implementation.

According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon’s wolf population increased in both distribution and abundance in 2014. By December, Oregon’s minimum wolf population was 77 wolves. Nine packs were documented and known wolf packs occurred in parts of Baker, Jackson, Klamath, Umatilla, Union, and Wallowa counties. In addition, six new pairs of wolves were confirmed in Oregon; five within the Eastern Wolf Management Zone and one within the Western Wolf Management Zone.

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Hot summer, drought impact fishing

July 13, 2015 --

odfwBy Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Summer conditions have come early to Oregon, and in many places fish like trout, salmon, steelhead and sturgeon are struggling with low water levels and high water temperatures.

“Normally we see these kinds of conditions later in the summer, not in late June and early July,” said Rick Hargrave, ODFW Information and Education Division Administrator. In response, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking anglers to take precautions when fishing during these drought conditions.

“When streams get too warm, fish are stressed and as a result the fishing goes downhill fast,” said Rick Hargrave, ODFW Information and Education Division Administrator. “Fish stop biting or retreat to deeper, cooler water where they are harder to catch.”

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Conventional farm more sustainable than organic?

July 10, 2015 --

National Corn Growers Association

When you look at the facts, conventional agriculture scores higher than organic on sustainability. What system generates these results? The new Responsibly Grown labeling system developed by Whole Foods.

According to a multitude of media reports, the system will rank produce on a variety of criteria including water use, pesticide use and sustainability. Then, the data will be used to award produce selections with a label of “good,” “better” or “best.”

For one example, from Fox News, click here.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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