The 2017 Oregon Legislative Session Begins

FoFF’s 2015 ‘Family Farms Mean Business’ Rally on the Oregon Capitol steps

The 2017 Oregon Legislative Session began on February 1, and Friends of Family Farmers is working hard on a number of bills aimed at supporting beginning and organic farmers, eliminating subsidies and loopholes that benefit factory farms, and restoring the power of local communities to address problems with genetically engineered crops to protect local farms and agricultural economies.

Several key bills we support have already been introduced, including:

  • HB 2085 – creates a beginning farmer tax credit to encourage landowners to rent land to beginning farmers, with higher rates for organic practices.
  • SB 197 – requires new rules to regulate air contaminant emissions from large dairy operations.
  • HB 2469 – repeals a prohibition on locally enacted protections for farmers at risk of contamination from genetically engineered crops. 
  • HB 2739 – allows farmers whose land has been contaminated by genetically engineered crops to hold the patent-holders of those crops financially liable
  • HB 2038 – funds Oregon’s Farm-to-School program for 2017-19

All of these bills are important for enhancing the viability of, and leveling the playing field for, small and mid-sized family farms in Oregon.

As the 2017 session develops, we also expect to be involved in other important issues. However, Oregon is facing a $1.7 billion funding shortfall that the Legislature must address this year, which will make everything even more challenging. Stay up to date with the latest from the Legislature by signing up to our e-newsletter, The Barnyard.

RSVP Today: April 4 ‘Family Farms Mean Business’ Day of Action and Rally at the State Capitol in Salem

Whether you are a farmer, rancher, or an eater, the April 4 ‘Family Farms Mean Business’ Day of Action and Rally will be a great opportunity to show support for key farm and food system priorities like those above. It is your chance to come to Salem with dozens of others from around the state to learn about the most pressing food and farm issue at the Legislature, and to advocate for small and mid-sized family farms, healthy local food systems and policies that support sustainable agriculture.

Please Save the Date (Tuesday April 4) and RSVP today – you can come for the whole day, or just the mid-day rally. We hope to see you there! Contact ivan@friendsoffamilyfarmers.org for additional details. 

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