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Ag chair now Governor’s COO

August 31, 2016 --

ofs-foodshelterBy Oregonians for Food and Shelter

Oregon’s farm community was hit with some shocking news; Katy Coba would be stepping down as Director of Agriculture to accept the Governor’s appointment of her as the state’s chief operating officer and director of the Department of Administrative Services. The appointment is effective October 1st, but requires confirmation by the Oregon Senate.

Katy’s Eastern Oregon wheat farm roots served her well in her ability to relate with producers on the ground and gave her a passion to promote the industry to both the general public and lawmakers. She strived to create a collaborative environment for both the Department’s staff and the natural resource industry sectors.

Read the full article and discuss it »

California’s big biomass problem

August 29, 2016 --

California-Farm-BureauCalifornia Farm Bureau,

Across California, tens of millions of trees are dead, intense wildfires burn, and orchard and forest waste piles up, as more plants that convert wood waste into electricity close due to expiring contracts with utility companies.

“Nothing has been done to adjust the utility rates at the California Public Utilities Commission to account for the value that biomass has; they are not keeping track of all of the avoided pollution that it affords,” said Allan Krauter, senior administrative analyst for Kern County. “Unless and until the state is willing to make up the difference between the market price and the break-even price, they are going to continue to have a big biomass problem.”

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Environmentalists hinder Endangered Species conversation

August 26, 2016 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The Center for Biological Diversity along with other radical environmental groups threatened to sue the Department of Interior and Fish and Wildlife Service to force action on 417 proposed listings under the Endangered Species Act, all stemming from a massive lawsuit settlement brokered behind closed doors and without stakeholders at the table.

Ethan Lane, Executive Director of the Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Federal Lands, said the behavior of these groups has hampered species recovery by placing arbitrary listing-decision deadlines that leave no time for sound research and science-based decisions.

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Ag steamrolled over monument rush

August 24, 2016 --

Oregon Food and Shelter,

OFS and many of our members are supporting the Owyhee Basin Stewardship Coalition. The coalition asked us to share the following with you:

ourlandourvoice

The Race Is On

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Farm Bureau vets politicians

August 22, 2016 --

1By Oregon Farm Bureau,

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.

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GMO labels are a marketing ploy

August 19, 2016 --

farm-bureua-usaBy American Farm Bureau Federation

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.

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Earth First spikes Oregon logs

August 17, 2016 --

aol-associated-loggersAssociated Oregon Loggers,

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.

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Trade truth vs. the campaign hype

August 15, 2016 --

California-Farm-BureauBy California Farm Bureau,

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.

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Most of the world’s large aquifers at tipping point

August 12, 2016 --

farm-bureua-usaBy American Farm Bureau Federation

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.

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Ag make immigration reform push

August 10, 2016 --

Oregon-Farm-Bureau

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.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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