Government Affairs Update
Oregon Cattlemen Association
State Senators Resigning: State Senator Vicki Walker-D (Dist. 7, Eugene) announced her resignation in July to take on a position on the State Board of Parole and Post Prison Supervision. Sen. Walker’s senate seat will be filled by Rep. Chris Edwards of Eugene. Senator Margaret Carter-D (Dist. 22, Portland) also announced her resignation recently to take on the Deputy Director position of Human Service Programs with the Oregon Department of Human Services. Sen. Carter in November would have served 25 years in the Oregon Legislature.
CAFO Comments: The Oregon Department of Agriculture announced the proposal to renew Confined animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit #01-2009 coverage for CAFO operations in Area V and VI. The comment deadline for Area VI is August 24th and Area V is September 7th.
There were some comments issued from the Tillamook area which ODA is responding to. The list of facilities and proposed permit actions is online at: http://oregon.gov/ODA/NRD/area5.shtml (use same address for area6 but insert in place of area5).
Cattlemen say Thanks! There were many participants, partners, and coalition members who helped the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association during the 09 Legislative Session and it was agreed that there would be thank you letters to those deserving which does include some of the legislators.
OCA Legislative Report Card: The Legislative Report Card including all 60 members of the House and 30 members of the Senate has been prepared with the most significant legislation affecting cattle producers in Oregon included as voting criteria. The report card will be available for the Fall Quarterly Meeting in Burns.
From Oregon Department of Agriculture: Facts and Figures brochure – Oregon Agriculture Facts and Figures brochure (2008 data) is available online. This handy brochure provides many of the most common Oregon agricultural statistics and is updated yearly. Download the most current brochure at http://oregon.gov/ODA/docs/pdf/pubs/ff.pdf.
Oregon Ag Facts, Jr. edition – This brochure offers much of the same information as the Oregon Facts & Figures brochure in a fun version for young statisticians. Download and print your own.
First National Sign-up For New Conservation Stewardship Program (USDA) – Continuous Enrollment for Producers Begins Aug. 10. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin continuous sign-up for the new Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) on August 10 with the first signup period cutoff scheduled for September 30. CSP is a voluntary program that encourages agricultural and forestry producers to maintain existing conservation activities and adopt additional ones on their operations.
Departments of Energy and Treasury Now Accepting Applications for Funding for Renewable Energy Projects – With the goal of expanding development of renewable energy projects throughout the United States and creating new jobs, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced they are now accepting applications for a program that will make direct payments in lieu of tax credits to companies that create and place in service renewable energy facilities. The two Departments estimate distributing at least $3 billion in financial support to approximately 5,000 biomass, solar, wind, and other types of renewable energy production facilities, excluding bio-fuels. The funding for this effort is made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
AG. Secretary Vilsack Launches Retooled Loan Assistance For Individuals and Businesses in Struggling Agriculture Industries – Multiple programs will provide relief throughout rural America. Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is undertaking an unprecedented effort to use the department’s administrative flexibility to provide relief to individuals and businesses in struggling agriculture industries. Vilsack has ordered USDA Rural Development and the Farm Service Agency to use all available means to help producers, processors and other small businesses who have been hit by worsening economic conditions.
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