FoFF Ballot Measure Endorsements 2018!

The next election is coming up on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 with vote-by-mail beginning in October.

This year, Friends of Family Farmers has taken positions on three key ballot measures, two statewide and one in Portland. We have provided information on our positions below, and encourage you to vote in the November election and get involved. 

No on Measure 103

Ballot Measure 103 is a proposed amendment to Oregon’s Constitution aimed at prohibiting taxes on groceries. But it’s not that simple. Measure 103 comes to us from the grocery industry lobby, which includes huge out-of-state companies like Walmart, Costco, and Kroger. These companies originally set out to block local initiatives against taxes on sugary drinks, but are now trying to lock their low corporate tax rates into Oregon’s Constitution so they can’t ever be changed. But rather than telling voters this, they are pretending there’s a threat of taxes on farmers markets and farm stands to convince voters to support Measure 103. This is incredibly misleading in a state with no sales tax, and the Measure 103 campaign is trying to put farmers’ faces on a measure that would really protect big grocery outlets. Further, Measure 103 is written very broadly and has a wide range of unknown and risky consequences for state funding and tax rates on farms vs. other types of corporations that would be enshrined into the State Constitution. Measure 103 would actually prevent state and local governments from lowering certain taxes and fees for small and mid-sized family farmers who pay higher tax rates than our corporate competitors as it is.

Because Measure 103 is so misleading, and would amend Oregon’s Constitution to permanently lock-in tax exemptions for out-of-state corporations and mega-grocers while claiming to support local farmers, Friends of Family Farmers has joined a coalition of over 175 organizations, small farmers, businesses and community leaders from around the state to oppose Measure 103. Learn more about Measure 103 and add your voice to the growing opposition here. Vote No on Measure 103!

No on Measure 105

Ballot Measure 105 would throw out Oregon’s long-standing anti-racial profiling law, which passed more than 30 years ago with broad bipartisan support. The agenda behind Measure 105 appears to be to encourage the use of scarce local law enforcement resources to enforce harsh, new federal immigration policies and create fear among immigrants and people of color in Oregon. Indeed, the groups behind Measure 105 have been designated as anti-immigrant hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

If Measure 105 passes, we will likely see immigrant families being torn apart, children being detained in jail-like conditions, and long-time Oregon residents being sent to a country they don’t even know because they were brought here as young children years ago. If Measure 105 passes, it could divert local law enforcement resources away from protecting local communities and into aggressive immigration enforcement activities in which immigrants, and people simply perceived to be immigrants, are asked to ‘show me your papers.’

Under Measure 105, local police could stop, detain, or interrogate someone simply because they suspect them to be an undocumented immigrant. This could open the door to serious civil rights violations and more racial profiling of Oregonians. Local police could be asked to use personnel, funds, equipment, and facilities to locate, arrest, and jail people based solely on suspicions about their immigration status. Law abiding immigrants could live in fear of the police and may not report crimes, seek help if they have been victimized, or provide information to the police to help solve cases, for fear that doing so could lead to arrest, deportation, or separation from their families.

And it is the case that many farmers in Oregon – including smaller and labor-intensive organic operations – employ workers both seasonally and year round who are immigrants and people of color who would be negatively impacted by Measure 105. Regardless of their immigration status, our communities, co-workers, and employees should not have to live in fear in Oregon.

For these reasons, Friends of Family Farmers has joined a coalition of over 100 organizations, community groups and businesses opposing Measure 105 because we support the rights of all people in our communities, regardless of their race or national origin. Learn more about Measure 105 and find out how you can get involved in stopping it here. Vote No on Measure 105!

Yes on the Portland Clean Energy Fund – Measure 26-201

The Portland Clean Energy Fund is a city initiative that would create a new a tax on the largest retailers in Portland that would, among other actions to address climate change, provide approximately $4 million annually for “regenerative agriculture and green infrastructure projects that result in sequestration of greenhouse gasses and support sustainable local food production.” In addition to being endorsed by Friends of Family Farmers Measure 26-201 is also being supported by the Portland Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition and the Oregon Food Bank, as well as a number of Portland area farms. More information on Measure 26-201 and a full list of endorsing organizations and businesses can be found here.

In addition to taking proactive steps to address climate change, the measure would provide a new source of funding for good projects that promote local food and regenerative agriculture. Portlanders should Vote YES on Measure 26-201!

Dine Out for FoFF through November

All through November, stop by Blossoming Lotus in Portland and Celilo Restaurant in Hood River to Dine Out for FoFF. Enjoy great food and support our work on behalf of Oregon’s family farms!

Blossoming Lotus in Portland

Autumn Squash Gratin from Blossoming Lotus

Blossoming Lotus in Portland is donating a portion of the sales from one of their dishes, the Autumn Squash Gratin with Braised Onions and Brussels Sprout Kraut (pictured on the left), throughout November to Friends of Family Farmers!

Blossoming Lotus serves organic, freshly made, vegan fusion world cuisine with delicious cooked and live food options. Just like FoFF, Blossoming Lotus is dedicated to supporting Oregon’s family farms. Lissa Kane, their Executive Chef, told us that “local farmers bring the freshest, most nutrient-dense food directly to us. With lower transportation costs and fewer emissions, more money stays in the community. And the flavor cannot be beat.” The squash for the Autumn Squash Gratin dish is sourced from Dancing Roots Farm in Corbett.

Blossoming Lotus is located at 1713 NE 15th Ave, Portland, OR 97212 and their hours can be found here.

Celilo Restaurant in Hood River

Seasonal Squash Soup at Celilo Restaurant

Celilo Restaurant and Bar in Hood River is donating $1 for each bowl of the Seasonal Squash Soup, with locally-sourced squash, to Friends of Family Farmers all through November as well!

Ben Stenn is the chef and managing partner of Celilo Restaurant and is also dedicated to supporting Oregon’s family farms: “We love working with local farmers. In our fast paced world today, first person relationships are evermore critical. Our connection to food and the source of our ingredients is the foundation of what we do at Celilo.”

Celilo Restaurant and Bar is located at 16 Oak St, Hood River, OR 97031 and their hours can be found here.

We’re hosting Fall Parties in Bend and Salem: Join us in celebrating family farms!

This year Friends of Family Farmers hosted 19 listening sessions and heard from over 200 farmers all across the state about the top issues facing Oregon’s family farms. Join us for a fun evening and learn more about the solutions Friends of Family Farmers is working on to address issues such as access to land and capital and the growing interest in agritourism.

We traveled all over the state and heard from over 200 farmers about the greatest needs in our local food systems. Now, we want to share what we learned and our proposed solutions with local producers and concerned eaters at our two Fall Parties!

Bring your family and friends to our Bend or Salem Fall Harvest Party! Meet your fellow good food supporters starting at 5:30pm and enjoy a short presentation by Friends of Family Farmers at 6pm.

  • Free event, all ages welcome
  • Raffle with prizes from Patagonia & more
  • Support family farmers & ranchers

These events are free, but please follow the RSVP link below to let us know you’re coming!

Details for the Events:

Local producers voting on the top issues for Friends of Family Farmers to prioritize in the coming years.

Bend Fall Harvest Party
Tuesday, October 16th, 5:30-7:30pm

Dump City Dumplings
384 Upper Terrace Dr,
Bend, Oregon

RSVP for the Bend event here!

Salem Fall Harvest Party
Wednesday, October 17th, 5:30-7:30pm

Vagabond Brewing
2195 Hyacinth St NE,
Salem, Oregon

RSVP for the Salem event here!

 

 

 

InFARMation September 25: Pasture-raised Poultry

Please join us for our next InFARMation at Lagunitas Public House on Tuesday evening, September 25th, from 6-9pm.  Our topic will be Pasture-raised Poultry, and we will get to the bottom of such questions like why pasture-raised poultry costs more, heritage breeds vs. Cornish Cross hens, what the state and federal rules are about chicken processing, why we can only get pasture-raised turkey once a year (and we will have opportunities to sign up for our 2018 Thanksgiving turkey on site!), and why it’s so hard to get pasture-raised chicken and turkey in restaurants.

Our speakers will feature farmers Geoff Scott and John Mathia of Marion Acres Farm.  Their farm story is a fascinating look into what it takes to create a poultry farm from a dream and a vision and a whole lot of hard work.  A. Whole. Lot. Their success story includes starting with 32 broiler chicks just a few years back to building and opening a ODA processing facility on-farm just this summer! They are one of the only local farms providing pasture-raised chicken to Portland restaurants.

Grand Central Bakery strives to provide local and pasture-raised meat to their customers, and has had to face issues of scale, demand, state law and processing issues as they’ve grown from a small cafe & bakery to having ten stores over two states. Piper Davis, co-owner, and Laura Ohm, product director, will give us a behind the scenes look at what sustainable sourcing can and should look like, what the barriers are, and how we as customers can make a difference.

Justin Ashby is meat monger for Flying Fish Company and owner of Tidal Boar Foods, and has worked for several of the higher end groceries in town behind the meat counter. He can speak to us about the challenges for grocery stores in stocking pasture raised meat and about what kinds of questions we should be asking to both find pasture-raised meat by the cut and to encourage grocery stores to offer these kinds of responsibly raised proteins. He has even offered to make a video on how to break down a whole chicken into parts for us.

Doors open at 6pm, speakers start at 6:30. This is a free, all-ages event.  Beer sales will be donated to Friends of Family Farmers.  Please note – food options will be limited: Pasture-raised pork rolls, Spinach and Feta hand pies, quinoa and kale salad. In addition to Lagunitas beer, there will be sodas and water. Parking is on-street, so leave yourselves a bit of extra time for that – folks can be dropped off at the side door on NE 3rd if you’d like. If you would like to volunteer for this or any of our future InFARMations, or if you have any questions, please email Michele@friendsoffamilyfarmers.org.

Save the Date for future InFARMs at Lagunitas Public House: October 9th: Pasture-raised Pork & November 13th: Grass-fed Dairy

Victory! Lost Valley Mega-Dairy Permit Revoked

On June 27th, 2018 it was announced the permit for the Lost Valley mega-dairy was revoked.

Thanks to YOUR action, the Oregon Department of Agriculture formally revoked the permit for the Lost Valley mega-dairy in Eastern Oregon in late June, effectively shutting down this public health and environmental disaster. 

This is huge a win for family farmers, the environment, and public health!

Friends of Family Farmers and a diverse coalition led the fight to stop Lost Valley – we helped generate thousands of public comments against the facility, testified at public hearings, used Oregon’s Public Records Act to expose severe violations, and uncovered shocking photos of cows standing in deep manure.

Lost Valley was initially granted a Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) permit in early 2017 for up to 30,000 cows, making it one of the nation’s largest dairy CAFOs. But Lost Valley’s permit violations and manure spills began almost immediately. Threats to drinking water and manure mismanagement led the Oregon Department of Agriculture to sue Lost Valley in early 2018. But the violations continued. In late June, the agency finally took action to shut the facility down by revoking it’s permit to operate. You can read more about the permit revocation here.

Please make a donation today to support our work. With your help, we will continue to monitor and take action on behalf of family farmers and ranchers!

There is a better way

There is an alternative to industrial-scale CAFOs like Lost Valley: family-scale producers raising animals on pasture. We strongly support producers who are doing it right and our Oregon Pasture Network is a program to support and promote producers who raise their animals on pasture. We believe that sustainable, humane, pasture-raised production is the best way to raise animal products. 

In response to the Lost Valley permit revocation, Friends of Family Farmers along with Food & Water Watch, Oregon Rural Action, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Columbia Riverkeeper, Center for Food Safety, Center for Biological Diversity, Animal Legal Defense Fund, and the Humane Society of the United States commented:

Lost Valley Farm has been a mess since the day it opened its doors. State inspections have documented cows standing ankle-deep in a slurry of their own waste, overflowing manure lagoons and ‘mortality’ boxes. Its violations have put drinking water for local families at risk. The state’s action today follows a renewed call from numerous organizations which sent a letter to Governor Brown last month asking that her administration shut down Lost Valley, along with emails from nearly 3,000 concerned citizens. We applaud the permit revocation as an important victory for animal welfare and against mega-dairy water and air pollution, which pose massive environmental and public health risks in Oregon and across the country.

Tales from the Road – 2018 Listening Session Recap

by Lindsay Trant, Grassroots Organizer

Since December 2017, Natalie Danielson – my fellow FoFF Grassroots Organizer – and I have facilitated Listening Sessions for farmers and ranchers throughout Oregon. We have completed 18 so far and have heard from almost 200 producers along the way who raise vegetables, fruit, animal products, and just about every other crop or product that can be grown in Oregon—all of them operating on a family-scale.

Thanks to all the Granges and other venues that hosted us!

We traveled well over a thousand miles up, down, and across the state. We stayed in a variety of places, ate at some great restaurants, and explored towns I’d never been to before. By far, my favorite part of this was visiting so many of Oregon’s Grange Halls. We tried to host as many of our Listening Sessions as we could at local Granges because they tend to be centrally located for producers. As one farmer said at the Multnomah Grange in Gresham, “I think this is the first time I’ve ever used a Grange for what it was intended for and this feels really good.”

The goal of our Listening Sessions is to gather input from as many of Oregon’s socially responsible, family-scale producers as we can about what issues they are facing. This is important to us because we want everything we do, every policy we fight for and every program we run, to be supported by Oregon’s family farmers and ranchers.

Recently, after a great discussion of issues facing farmers on the North Coast, one producer laughed and asked “Is it depressing going to all of these listening sessions and hearing about all these problems?” You might think that visiting nearly 20 different venues, and hearing from so many small and mid-sized producers about the most challenging issues they are facing would be kind of a downer…. But, it’s not! This process has actually been incredibly inspiring. In the past 5 months, I have personally met well over 100 producers who are extremely dedicated to producing food for their communities in the most socially and environmentally responsible manner possible, while trying to keep their operations financially viable. These producers make it possible for me to do what I love: Eat and fight for good food! And the insights and experiences these producers shared with us will be invaluable in helping Friends of Family Farmers continue to be the most effective small farm advocacy group in the state.

And this helps underscore why we do what we do. While on the road, I got to hear about some of the positive impacts FoFF’s work has had for family farms in Oregon. For example, I met a landholder at the Beavercreek Listening Session who found the perfect partnership for his farm through our Oregon Farm Link program. Separately, a producer in Banks, when explaining to other producers a policy championed by FoFF back in 2011 called the 1,000 Bird Exemption, said: “My operation would not be where it is today without the 1,000 Bird Exemption. That exemption is how we were able to start our operation.” This farm is now just days away from opening up their own on-farm, licensed poultry processing facility.

While my Listening Session travels were focused on the western side of Oregon, Natalie was mostly on the road East of the Cascades, hearing from producers about the unique issues that farmers and ranchers face in the drier regions of Oregon. For her, it was inspiring to hear from producers seeking to provide food for their communities in areas with small but growing support for local agriculture. One of the best parts of our Listening Sessions is seeing the supportive network of producers getting together to strategize about local issues big and small. For example, in Enterprise a “chicken moving day” was suggested to help a chicken farmer retrieve her flock of very free range chickens out from their favorite tree and to her new property. Now that’s community supported agriculture!

These are just a few of the inspiring stories we’ve heard about how our programs and policy efforts have positively impacted family farms around Oregon. Our team at FoFF is excited to use what we learned from our 2018 Statewide Listening Session Tour as we refine our program work and look towards the 2019 Legislative Session.

Did you miss out on attending one of our 2018 Farmer and Rancher Listening Sessions? It’s not too late to make your voice heard through our Farmer and Rancher Survey. This survey is open until May 31, 2018 and will help us in compiling the final report from our 2018 Listening Session tour.

Natalie facilitated a great Listening Session in Central Point.

Fill Your Pantry – Portland 2017 Was a Big Success!

On December 3rd, 2017, Friends of Family Farmers hosted our 3rd annual Fill Your Pantry at The Redd on Salmon Street in Portland. Ecotrust, which manages The Redd, generously donated the space to help make the event happen. Fill Your Pantry is a one day Farmers market-type event in which community members meet and support their local farmers directly for bulk purchases of produce, meats, honey, preserves and more. Most of the items were ordered online ahead of time which in turn helped farmers and ranchers with planning, harvesting, preparation and loading.

Fill Your Pantry events take place all over the state, organized by different organizations, and have become a financial boon for producers during the slower, winter months. Hundreds of folks attended the Portland event and collectively helped generate over $60,000 in sales that went directly into the pockets of 24 local farms & ranches!

According to farmer Elizabeth Miller from Minto Island Growers, “Fill Your Pantry was an incredibly positive event for our farm. The pre-sale opportunity made for easier preparation and planning and came at a key point in a tough cash flow time of the year. On the day of, spirits were so high among shoppers and other producers. A huge thanks to the FoFF staff for organizing such a successful day for the food community – this is becoming one of our favorite sales opportunities of the season.”

One participant, Nancy Bond, had this to say: “A giant THANK YOU for putting on another successful, fun, beautiful event!! The venue was terrific. You all were super organized (including helping folks park and providing wagons), the vendors had beautiful displays, everyone seemed well organized and prepared, and every customer walked around grinning.

In conjunction with the Portland Fill Your Pantry, Friends of Family Farmers also partnered with the Culinary Breeding Network and OSU’s Squash Project to host Oregon’s first Sagra, or local food festival, to celebrate the abundance and diversity of winter squash grown in our state. Local chefs gave out samples of tasty dishes made with different squashes prepared in a wide variety of ways. There was a squash ‘butchery’ demonstration, kids activities, and OSU researchers were there to talk all things squash. For more background, information, recipes and videos, check
out
www.eatwintersquash.com.

 

2017 Portland Fill Your Pantry Vendor Criteria and Application Now Available!

2017 Fill Your Pantry – Portland  

Application Information

Our next Fill Your Pantry Community Bulk Buying Event will be held December 3, 2017 in Portland. For this one-day event, we will offer a very wide assortment of products from which area households can truly stock their pantries for the winter.

If your farm or ranch would like to be a vendor at this year’s Portland Fill Your Pantry, you can find our Application Form here. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Please review the criteria we will be using to determine which farms and ranches will be chosen to participate below.

2017 Portland Fill Your Pantry Vendor Criteria

Preference for choosing FYP vendors will be based on a point system consisting or some or all of the following:

  • You are or have been a financial contributor to FoFF
  • Number of FoFF events you’ve participated in or volunteered for, such as Rally Day or inFARM speaker
  • You have a limited number of other marketing channels  
  • FoFF’s need to ensure that we have a well balanced diversity of products and farmers participating

In addition, to participate in Fill Your Pantry as a vendor, you must:

for grains, veggies, fruit, nuts, honey & preserves…

..use socially & environmentally responsible growing practices

..only offer products 100% grown & processed on your farm or ranch

..sell and label applicable products in accordance with Oregon’s Farm Direct laws. See here and here for requirements. 

..be able to provide proof of product liability insurance

for animal products

..use socially & environmentally responsible production practices

..only offer products 100% raised on your farm or ranch

..hold all applicable licenses or certifications needed for selling or handling animal products

..priority preference will be given to Oregon Pasture Network members (find out how to apply by clicking here

..be able to provide proof of product liability insurance

Muckboots in the Capitol – Oregon Legislative Update – June 2017

Farmers, ranchers, chefs, farmers’ market representatives, local food supporters and school kids rallying on the Capitol steps at the April 2017 Family Farms Mean Business Day at the Oregon Capitol

The 2017 Oregon Legislative session is nearing its end, required to finish business by early July. But with little more than a month left to work, and in a session that has been dominated by the specter of a budget shortfall of over $1 billion, there is still no agreement on state funding and many important pieces of legislation.

As a result of the state’s current budget scenario, many good programs and policy ideas are facing significant cuts or elimination. Meanwhile, fierce debates rage over whether to raise taxes, curb spending – or both – to make up the budget shortfall the state is facing. It is unclear whether these issues will be sorted out by early July, or whether a ‘special session’ to sort them out will be needed later in the year.

In the midst of this, a few key issues remain on the table and your support is critical to helping make sure they move forward. We hope you will take a few minutes to contact your State Legislators at this key time to support the following bills:

Oregon’s Farm to School Program gets healthy local farm products into school meal programs across the state.

HB 2038 – Full funding ($5.6 million) for Oregon’s Farm to School Program. This bill passed the House Agriculture Committee way back on April 4, but still awaits action in the Ways and Means committee. Ways and Means will determine whether and how much funding will be available for this program over the next two years. Though popular, Farm to School is in jeopardy this year – Governor Kate Brown proposed no funding for it in her budget, and Legislators are also considering substantial cuts or no funding at all.

Please contact your Legislators today to advocate for fully funding Farm to School at current levels with $5.6 million.

Genetically engineered canola is not welcome in some parts of Oregon, where it can cross pollinate with and contaminate valuable seed crops, putting many farms at risk.

HB 2739 – This bill would protect farmers who have experienced financial losses due to contamination from genetically engineered (GE) crops. It would allow farmers to be compensated by GE crop patent-holders when their products have crossed property lines and caused financial damage. It was advanced by the House Judiciary Committee in mid-April, and had a public hearing in the House Rules committee on May 23. Read FoFF’s testimony in support of HB 2739 to the Rules Committee here.

With time running out on the session, now is a critical time to contact your State Legislators in support of HB 2739 and holding GE patent-holders accountable when they cause farmers financial harm. One other piece of information on this bill: it would cost the state no money.

The average age of farmers in Oregon is now nearly 60 years old. We must take steps to ensure the next generation of farmers has access to land.

HB 2085 – This bill would establish a new beginning farmer tax credit in Oregon to encourage landowners to lease or rent land to beginning farmers and ranchers. In the House Revenue Committee, HB 2085 has not yet received a hearing and is at risk of falling to the wayside as the state grapples with how to make up for a nearly $1.4 billion funding gap. Similar tax credit programs aimed at helping beginning farmers and ranchers with access to land already exist in Iowa and Nebraska. And with news that Minnesota has just created a similar beginning farmer tax credit, it is a reminder that it is not too late for the Oregon Legislature to act on HB 2085.

The Joint Committee on Tax Credits began meeting on June 2, so now is a critical time to contact your State Legislators in support of HB 2085 to create a beginning farmer tax credit in Oregon.

OSU Statewide Public Service Programs like Extension and Agricultural Experiment Stations support farms of all types.

SB 805/SB 5524 – These bills would provide funding ($9.4 million) to maintain current service levels for the Oregon Statewide Public Service Programs, including Extension and Agricultural Research. In 2015, the Oregon Legislature made significant new investments in these programs, which has led to new work in support of small farms, on-farm conservation, and more. However, Oregon’s budget crisis has put the 2015 investments at risk. SB 805 passed its original committee earlier in the session and funding decisions are now taking place in the Joint Ways and Means Committee. Read Friends of Family Farmers’ April 17 testimony in support of continued service level funding for OSU Extension and Agricultural Research Programs.

Please contact your State Legislators today to support funding necessary to maintain current service levels ($9.4 million) for the OSU Statewide Public Service Programs.

FoFF Testifies at the Oregon Board of Agriculture

A meeting of the Oregon Board of Agriculture in 2016.

On May 11, FoFF presented a series of updates on our legislative work to the Oregon Board of Agriculture, which advises the Oregon Department of Agriculture on policy issues. We were invited to be on a panel to talk about current legislative issues with several other agriculture organizations. Our presentation included details about not only the bills above, but other legislation we’ve worked on this year that either died earlier in the session (like overdue air quality rules for large concentrated animal feeding operations), or have moved forward (like new rules for farm direct egg sales and commercial cider production on farm land). Read our May 11 Board of Agriculture testimony to learn more about the status of all of the bills we’ve worked on this session.

The next meetings of the Oregon Board of Agriculture will take place September 19-21 in Klamath Falls, and November 28-30 in Portland.

Family Farms Mean Business Event Draws Farmers, Local Food Supporters to Oregon Capitol

Local chefs and farmers celebrating local, sustainable agriculture at the 2017 Family Farms Mean Business Day at the Capitol in Salem.

On Tuesday, April 4, Friends of Family Farmers held our fourth ‘Family Farms Mean Business’ Day at the State Capitol in Salem. The event drew over 100 farmers, ranchers, students and local food supporters to the Capitol building to talk with legislators and rally in support of efforts important to Oregon’s small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers and family-scale sustainable agriculture.

Gratefull Gardens from McMinnville helped represent the importance of Community Supported Agriculture at the 2017 Family Farms Mean Business Farmers Market inside the State Capitol.

The event included a ‘farmers market’ inside the Capitol in which local producers gave out free samples and talked with legislators about the importance of farm-direct agriculture and strong local food systems.

Alexis Taylor, Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture delivered opening remarks to policy workshop attendees at the Family Farms Mean Business Day in Salem

Morning policy workshops drew dozens of local farmers and farm supporters from across Oregon, with welcome remarks delivered by Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Alexis Taylor.

Farmers, ranchers, chefs, farmers’ market representatives, local food supporters and school kids rallying on the Capitol steps at the April 2017 Family Farms Mean Business Day at the Oregon Capitol

In the afternoon, event attendees met with Legislators from across Oregon to talk about bills to support beginning farmers, address problems with poorly regulated genetically engineered crops, provide funding for Oregon’s Farm-to-School program and regulate air emissions from the growing number of ‘mega’ dairies coming to Oregon, including a recently approved 30,000-cow confinement dairy operation in eastern Oregon.

We’d like to thank everyone who came to Salem for this great event.

A list of priority bills that Friends of Family Farmers is supporting this year in Salem can be found here.

Please contact your State Legislators to let them know you support these bills as well.

Additional Materials:

SB 1037 Fact Sheet – Local control over genetically engineered crops

SB 197 Fact Sheet – Air pollution rules for large dairy operations

HB 2739 Fact Sheet – Patent-holder liability for financial harm to farmers caused by genetically engineered crops

HB 2038 Fact Sheet – Funding Oregon’s Farm-to-School Program