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Top Oregon Ag headlines of 2018

2nd round of trade loss payments

December 28, 2018 --

National Association of Wheat Growers,

USDA Launches Second Round of Trade Mitigation Payments; NAWG’s Response

President Trump announced the Administration would be fulfilling the second half of assistance through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to help farmers impacted by the trade war between the United States and China. USDA Secretary Perdue subsequently announced details of the program. In anticipation of this announcement, NAWG met with senior officials at USDA and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and sent a letter to USDA reminding them of the ongoing damaging impacts that these tariffs have had on wheat growers and noting that a second round of assistance to producers is justified.

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Ag surprises in new Legislative agenda

December 26, 2018 --

By Oregon for Food and Shelter,

As we look toward the 2019 Legislative Session, there are a couple of things we pay close attention to in December and early January. The first is the release of pre-filed bills which should be available online in the next couple of weeks, and the second is the release of committee appointments. Both the House and Senate released those this week, and there were a few surprises.

With Democrats gaining seats in both chambers, there was new pressure on leadership as to who would get to hold committee chairmanships. Committee assignments are much more political art than science, but generally, the longest tenured legislators are given more deference. That is why it so surprising when a long time legislator, Rep. Jeff Barker (D- Aloha), was removed as Chair from the powerful House Judiciary Committee. He was replaced by House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson (D- Portland), and there is rampant speculation as to why. While we may never know the exact reason, Rep. Barker is well known as one of the more moderate members of his caucus, and this may signal a shift to the left for the House Democrats.

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Farmer Christmas cartoon

Ranchers say No to Fund’s Blank Check

December 21, 2018 --

Cattlemen Oppose “Blank Check” for Land and Water Conservation Fund
By National Cattlemen Beef Association,

Ethan Lane, Executive Director of the Public Lands Council and NCBA Federal Lands, released the following statement regarding the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF):

“Like the rest of America, Congress is eager to get home for the holidays. Ranchers are hoping for the passage of a public lands package before lawmakers leave town, but they strongly oppose the hasty effort to permanently reauthorize the LWCF and give a blank check to federal bureaucrats. Despite the exaggerated claims of ‘green decoy’ groups, the LWCF already has enough money in it to fund projects for more than 20 years without any Congressional intervention. The American people deserve a voice in how those funds are spent.”

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Farm Bill a big help for Oregon hemp

December 19, 2018 --

By Oregonians for Food and Shelter,

There was big news for agriculture recently, as Congress passed the Farm Bill with large majorities in both the House and Senate. The bill now goes to President Trump who is expected to sign the sweeping legislation. Oregon’s entire congressional delegation, minus Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland), voted in favor of the bill.

While it’s called the “Farm Bill,” it includes everything from nutrition assistance to conservation programs to changes to the controlled substances act which will make hemp legal in the U.S..

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Cheers for Farm Bill passage

December 18, 2018 --

By National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Kevin Kester issued the following statement regarding U.S. House and Senate passage of the 2018 Farm Bill conference report:

“America’s cattlemen and women want common sense and certainty from Congress this holiday season and throughout the year – today they received that through the passage of the Farm Bill. Certainty that a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank will be authorized and funded. Certainty that important conservation programs will be reauthorized and funded. And certainty that trade promotion and access to foreign markets will remain a priority in the years to come.

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Cougar walks in SOU campus

December 17, 2018 --

By Oregon Sportsmen Association,

A large cougar wandering the Southern Oregon University campus at night escaped apparently unharmed after Ashland police officers fired at it, yet the city’s police chief decided to allow shooting of any cougars spotted in populated areas during the daytime, but only with his prior approval, according to the Mail Tribune.

Two cougars were spotted on campus near the Hannon Library late at night, but only the smaller animal fled during attempts by police and safety officers to scare them away by making noise. An officer fired a shot at the larger animal and it fled.

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Ranchers give OK to Sage Grouse changes

December 14, 2018 --

By National Cattlemen’s Beef Association,

Livestock Producers Praise Modification to Sage Grouse Land Use Plans

Ethan Lane, Executive Director of the Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Federal Lands, released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s modified state-by-state Resource Management Plan Amendments and Final Environmental Impact Statements contributing to the ongoing effort to overhaul the Obama-era sage grouse plans:

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Oregon Farm Burea responds to new water rule

December 12, 2018 --

By Oregon Farm Bureau Federation

Oregon Farm Bureau Federation President Sharon Waterman witnessed the signing of the new Clean Water Rule at the EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C. today, along with presidents from other State Farm Bureaus from across the nation.

The following statement may be attributed to Oregon Farm Bureau Federation President Sharon Waterman:

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