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News Releases
Douglas County Farm Bureau offers scholarships - 01/17/18

Douglas County Farm Bureau is pleased to announce that it will offer up to five $1,000 scholarships for the 2018-2019 school year to students who are pursuing a course of study in agriculture or forestry -- or are the children or grandchildren of a voting member of Douglas County Farm Bureau, in which case any major will be considered.

Applicants must be Douglas County high school graduates, either graduating this year or already enrolled in a higher education institution. Douglas County homeschool students are also eligible to apply.

The selection of winners will be based on merit, financial need, initiative, and demonstration of interest in forestry or agriculture.

Past recipients are eligible to reapply.

The application deadline is March 15, 2018.

For more information and the application, contact Troy or Holly Michaels at 541.825.3760.

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* Note to Editors: "Farm Bureau" is a registered trademark; please capitalize in all cases.

Jenny Freeborn is chair of the Oregon Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. In December Freeborn won the state Discussion Meet, which earned her the chance to compete at the national level.
Jenny Freeborn is chair of the Oregon Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. In December Freeborn won the state Discussion Meet, which earned her the chance to compete at the national level.
Oregon's Freeborn wins 2nd place in National Farm Bureau Discussion Meet (Photo) - 01/10/18

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Oregon's Jenny Freeborn, chair of Oregon Farm Bureau's (OFB) Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Committee, was the second-place winner in the National YF&R Discussion Meet, which took place at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 2018 Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show January 5-10 in Nashville.

"Making the Final Four of this competition was literally a dream come true from me. It's something I've wanted to do since I was 15 years old and participated in an FFA practice discussion meet," said Freeborn. "In 2009, I was in the audience watching the Final Four round in Seattle, and I said to myself, 'I'm going to be on that stage someday.' And yet at the same time, I never thought it would actually happen. When my name was announced for the Final Four, that was both the most shocking and proudest moment of my life."

"Throughout the competition I wore a bracelet that a Polk County Farm Bureau board member gave me. It says, 'Admire someone else's beauty without questioning your own.' That quote was so pertinent, because I was surrounded by incredible, awe-inspiring individuals who had accomplished so much in their lives -- and it's hard for me to place myself among that level of peers. It reminded me not to doubt myself or question my own skills and abilities, that I deserved to be there. I could be in awe of those amazing young farmers and still be one of them," said Freeborn.

In December, Freeborn was elected as chair of the OFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee, a group within Farm Bureau for members between the ages of 16 and 35. Her primary goal as chair is to continue growing the program and getting more young leaders involved and excited about the future of Oregon agriculture.

Freeborn hails from a farm family based in Rickreall with deep roots in Farm Bureau. Her father, Dean Freeborn, is a member of the Oregon Farm Bureau board of directors. Her sister, Kathy Hadley, also served as YF&R chair and made it to the Sweet 16 round of the National YF&R Discussion Meet in 2016. Freeborn credits her sister Kathy for helping her prepare and stay focused throughout the intense competition.

"The night before the Final Four round, I only slept for a little over two hours. I woke up at 3 a.m. and my brain would not shut off. Taking my sister's advice, I tried to keep my mind off of the competition. At that moment, she just happened to text me. From that point on, which was 1 a.m. in Oregon, she stayed up with me the entire night, texting and keeping my mind relaxed and focused. I could not have done made it to the Final Four, or through the contest, without her help, love, and support, and my parents' lifelong dedication to helping me succeed and participate in Farm Bureau," said Freeborn.

As runner-up, Freeborn will receive a Case IH Farmall 50A tractor, courtesy of Case IH.

The Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting in which active discussion and participation are expected. Participants come from all over the country and are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on a predetermined topic, and come up with possible solutions using the tools and programs that Farm Bureau offers. The selected topic is not announced until the end of the prior round, sometimes giving competitors only an hour or two for last-minute preparations.

In Freeborn's four rounds of competition, the topics of discussion were:

* Round 1 topic: With a growing demand for US farm products abroad, how can agriculture overcome public skepticism of foreign trade to negotiate new trade agreements and open new world markets?
* Round 2 topic: How can Farm Bureau help members with increasing legal and regulatory obstacles so they can focus on farming and ranching?
* Sweet 16 round topic: How can farmers and ranchers maintain their buying power with the continued trend of input supplier and provider consolidations?
* Final Four round topic: Farmers are a shrinking percentage of the population. How can Farm Bureau help first-generation farmers and ranchers get started in agriculture?

For more information about Farm Bureau and OFB's Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee, visit www.oregonfb.org. If you would like more information about the contest or how to get involved in other YF&R events, please e-mail yfr@oregonfb.org.

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Sharon and Charlie Waterman (center) of Coos-Curry County Farm Bureau were inducted into the OFB Hall of Fame, the organization's highest honor, by OFB President Barry Bushue (left) and EVP Dave Dillon (right).
Sharon and Charlie Waterman (center) of Coos-Curry County Farm Bureau were inducted into the OFB Hall of Fame, the organization's highest honor, by OFB President Barry Bushue (left) and EVP Dave Dillon (right).
Coos County's Sharon and Charlie Waterman Inducted Into Oregon Farm Bureau Hall of Fame (Photo) - 12/22/17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 22, 2017

Coos County's Sharon and Charlie Waterman Inducted Into Oregon Farm Bureau Hall of Fame

Dec. 22, 2017, PENDLETON, OREGON: OFB 1st Vice President Sharon Waterman and Charlie Waterman, both members of Coos-Curry County Farm Bureau, were inducted into the Oregon Farm Bureau Hall of Fame on December 7 during the 85th Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) Annual Meeting in Pendleton.

"For nearly four decades, Sharon and Charlie Waterman have been extraordinary, dedicated leaders within Farm Bureau, both at the county and state level. They have also made true, positive change for Oregon agriculture and their community in Coos County. We're grateful for their dedication and service, and we're honored to induct Sharon and Charlie into Oregon Farm Bureau Hall of Fame," said OFB President Barry Bushue.

The Hall of Fame, established in 1996, is the highest honor given by Oregon Farm Bureau. To be eligible, candidates must be nominated by their County Farm Bureau and must have at least 35 years of active involvement in the organization. Sharon and Charlie Waterman are the 32nd and 33rd members to be inducted into the prestigious OFB Hall of Fame.

"It is such an honor to be inducted into the OFB Hall of Fame," said Sharon Waterman, OFB 1st Vice President. "Oregon Farm Bureau is the grassroots organization that has provided Charlie and me with the contacts and procedures needed to pass legislation; work on agriculture issues at the county, state. and federal levels; and stay abreast of rules and regulations that directly affect our ranch and Oregon agriculture as a whole."

Both Sharon and Charlie were raised in agriculture, and both attended Oregon State University, where they met and fell in love. They married, moved to Charlie's family ranch in Bandon, and together built the ranch into the thriving cattle and sheep operation it is today. This year Waterman Ranch achieved Oregon Century Ranch status for maintaining this successful business for over 100 years.

In Farm Bureau, few have been more active at both the county and state levels. Charlie currently serves as vice president of Coos-Curry County Farm Bureau -- while Sharon is 1st Vice President of Oregon Farm Bureau, after having served as an OFB Board rep for her county for 14 years. She also serves on the OFB Women's Advisory Council and does much to keep Coos-Curry County Farm Bureau organized and energized.

Sharon and Charlie have served on numerous OFB issue advisory committees, including in the areas of livestock, public lands, and fill-and-removal. Sharon is currently chair of the OFB Governmental Affairs Committee and has made numerous trips to Washington D.C. to advocate for Oregon farm and ranch families.

In 2013, Sharon spearheaded a local grassroots campaign to save productive farmground in the Coquille Valley from being turned into wetlands by federal, state, and non-governmental entities.

The effort included posting "Save Family Farms/No Wetlands" signs in the Coquille Valley, an informational meeting that aired on public television, the development of a legislative concept for the land-planning process with local lawmakers, and testifying at the Oregon State Capitol on behalf of local farmers.

This effort was so effective that in 2013, the American Farm Bureau honored Coos-Curry County Farm Bureau with a national County Activity of Excellence Award.

Beyond Farm Bureau, Charlie and Sharon have been undisputed leaders in agriculture for decades.

Sharon served as chair, and Charlie as a member, of the Coos County Animal Damage Control Advisory Committee. With support from OFB, the committee was able to get legislation passed that created the Coos County Predator Damage Control District. This project funds predation control for local agriculture and timber lands.

Charlie has also served on the board of the Coos Forest Protective Association for over 24 years, including a term as chair; was appointed to the Oregon Sheep Commission in the 1980s and served as chair; and currently serves on the Coos County Planning Commission.

Both served on the Coos County Weed Board.

Charlie also served as president of the Coos County Livestock Association, and both are members of Oregon Cattlemen's Association.

Both have served on the Coos Soil & Water Conservation District, including terms as chair. The Conservation District honored the Watermans with a Cooperators of the Year Award, and they also received Watershed Friendly Stewardship Awards.

Over the years, Sharon has been a member of the Coos County Small Grant Team and Farm Service Agency County Committee -- while Charlie has been a member of the Northwest Farm Credit Services Advisory Committee, Coos BLM RAC, and the Farm Service Agency County Committee.

Charlie served as chair of the Coaledo Drainage District for years, while Sharon handled the secretarial work and bookkeeping for over a decade.

Both have worked with agencies to promote an easier process for drainage districts to maintain drainage and infrastructure.

Both have been instrumental in the writing and passing of crucial bills in the legislature that directly benefit Oregon's natural resource community.

"Simply put, Farm Bureau and Oregon agriculture as a whole have been forever strengthened and improved by the tremendous dedication, outspoken advocacy, and inspirational leadership of Sharon and Charlie Waterman," said OFB President Barry Bushue. "We are proud to add them into the OFB Hall of Fame."

PHOTO: Sharon and Charlie Waterman (center) of Coos-Curry County Farm Bureau were inducted into the OFB Hall of Fame, the organization's highest honor, by OFB President Barry Bushue (left) and EVP Dave Dillon (right).

See press releases of all awards given at the 2017 OFB Annual Meeting: http://bit.ly/2CXEoMx

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* Note to Editors: "Farm Bureau" is a registered trademark; please capitalize in all cases

Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit, general farm organization representing the interests of farming and ranching families in the public and policymaking arenas. First established in Oregon in 1919, Farm Bureau is organized in all 36 counties and has 7,000 farm and ranch family members.

Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue is a third-generation farmer raising pumpkins, u-pick produce, and flowering baskets at a nearly century-old farm near Boring. He is OFB's 15th president.

Joe Steere of Lincoln County Farm Bureau was honored with the 2017 Oregon Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award at the 85th OFB Annual Meeting in Pendleton.
Joe Steere of Lincoln County Farm Bureau was honored with the 2017 Oregon Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award at the 85th OFB Annual Meeting in Pendleton.
Lincoln County's Steere Wins Farm Bureau 2017 Distinguished Service Award (Photo) - 12/22/17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 22, 2017

Lincoln County's Steere Wins Farm Bureau 2017 Distinguished Service Award

Dec. 22 2017, PENDLETON, OREGON: Joe Steere, a farmer, rancher, forester, and member of Lincoln County Farm Bureau, was honored with the 2017 Oregon Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award on December 7 during the 85th Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) Annual Meeting in Pendleton.

"The Distinguished Service Award is one of the top honors Oregon Farm Bureau can give. I can think of few more deserving of this award than Joe Steere. The impact of Joe's service can be felt throughout the state in his influence on water quality policy, forestry policy and research, and countless acres of productive forestland," said OFB President Barry Bushue.

"I was blindsided by this award," said Steere. "I'm grateful for this recognition by my neighbors and peers of the effort and time I have spent trying to keep seat at the 'table of public policy' for agriculture and forestry. As they say, 'You're either at the table -- or you're what's for dinner.'"

An active Farm Bureau member for 32 years, Steere served as Lincoln County Farm Bureau Board member from 1995 to 1998, and since 1999 has performed the duties of county secretary.

He has attended numerous OFB Annual Meetings as a voting delegate, and is a longstanding member of the OFB Water Committee.

Steere is also a representative of local agriculture interests on the Mid-Coast Oregon Dept. of Agriculture Water Quality Management Area Local Advisory Committee and a longtime board member of the Mid-Coast Watersheds Council.

For the last decade Steere has also represented farmers on the Mid-Coast Basin Total Maximum Daily Load Technical Workgroup.

He is chair of the Association of Concerned Landowners of Lincoln County, serves on the board of trustees for Keep Oregon Green, and was recently nominated regional vice president of the Oregon Cattlemen's Association.

For several years Steere has volunteered in various capacities with the Oregon Small Woodlands Association, serving as president of the Lincoln County Chapter, and in 2014 earning the Volunteer of the Year Award.

Most recently, Steere and his family were key leaders in the Coalition to Defeat Measure 21-177, a ballot initiative in Lincoln County that sought to ban aerial pesticide spraying, give legal rights to trees and rocks, and authorize vigilante enforcement of the ordinance.

Steere, his wife Cathy, and his family manage timber, beef cattle, goat, and hay enterprises on the Lower Siletz River. His day job is Forester for Miami Corporation, a multi-state timber company.

"I'm very proud to present the 2017 OFB Distinguished Service Award to Joe Steere of Lincoln County Farm Bureau," said Bushue.


PHOTO: Joe Steere of Lincoln County Farm Bureau was honored with the 2017 Oregon Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award at the 85th OFB Annual Meeting in Pendleton.

See press releases of all awards given at the 2017 OFB Annual Meeting: http://bit.ly/2CXEoMx

###

* Note to Editors: "Farm Bureau" is a registered trademark; please capitalize in all cases

Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit, general farm organization representing the interests of farming and ranching families in the public and policymaking arenas. First established in Oregon in 1919, Farm Bureau is organized in all 36 counties and has 7,000 farm and ranch family members.

Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue is a third-generation farmer raising pumpkins, u-pick produce, and flowering baskets at a nearly century-old farm near Boring. He is OFB's 15th president

OFB President Barry Bushue (left) gave the 2017 Service to Agriculture Award to Lincoln County Farm Bureau for its grassroots work fighting an aerial spray ban in that county. From left are Bushue; Lincoln CFB's Alan Fujishin, Lorissa Fujishin, Cathy Stee
OFB President Barry Bushue (left) gave the 2017 Service to Agriculture Award to Lincoln County Farm Bureau for its grassroots work fighting an aerial spray ban in that county. From left are Bushue; Lincoln CFB's Alan Fujishin, Lorissa Fujishin, Cathy Stee
Lincoln County Farm Bureau Wins 2017 Service to Agriculture Award (Photo) - 12/22/17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2017

December 22 2017, PENDLETON, OREGON: Lincoln County Farm Bureau was presented the 2017 Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) Service to Agriculture Award by OFB President Barry Bushue on December 7 during the 85th OFB Annual Meeting in Pendleton.

"I have the distinct honor to present the 2017 Service to Agriculture Award to a County Farm Bureau that has reinvented and reenergized itself over the past two years," said OFB President Barry Bushue.

Lincoln County Farm Bureau was a leader in the fight against a countywide ban on aerial spraying, a tool that is safely and responsibly utilized by foresters, farmers, and other professionals to protect the lands under their care.

Lincoln County Ballot Measure 21-177 additionally sought to establish legal rights for nature, such as rocks and trees; supersede state and federal constitutions; and authorize "direct action" enforcement by private citizens -- in other words, vigilantism.

"Lincoln County Farm Bureau assumed an active leadership role in defending the rights of its members and protecting the sustainability of local rural communities by publicly opposing this measure," said Bushue.

Lincoln County Board Member Alan Fujishin said, "It's great to have our members' efforts recognized, but I would also point to the fantastic support we've received from our local community and allies across the state. We've been able to accomplish more, and in a shorter time, with their help."

The task challenged Farm Bureau member families, both individually and collectively, to support and advocate for sound public policy in Oregon, while simultaneously working to educate the public about real agricultural practices -- all within the context of a politically-divisive, emotionally-charged election contest and subsequent legal review.

"These Farm Bureau members demonstrated courage, composure, conviction, and commitment," said Bushue.

The farmers, ranchers, and foresters gave presentations and public testimony before local industry groups, civic groups, sports groups, retirement communities, senior centers, city councils, and the Lincoln County Commission.

They wrote letters to the editor, provided voter pamphlet statements, gave media interviews, created promotional material, and did door-to-door canvassing.

These Farm Bureau families represented their businesses, the industry, and the organization online through countless, and oftentimes very heated, discussions on social media.

The threat of Measure 21-177 spurred Lincoln County Farm Bureau to action. However, it also helped members recognize the growing chasm between rural and urban residents regarding the value of agriculture, the realities of farming and forestry practices, and the public perception of farmers and foresters.

To better connect with the community, Lincoln County Farm Bureau volunteers partnered with OSU Extension and others to offer a public tour of local farms and forests. Members also worked with OSU Extension to offer public workshops on Pasture & Grazing Management, Timber Management, and Fruit Tree & Berry Pruning.

The County Farm Bureau also assisted the New Lincoln County Fair, participating in a Farm Bureau Booth and supporting rodeo events and 4-H activities. The organization plans to continue to raise the profile of local agriculture and build new relationships within the county.

"Today members in Lincoln County are organized, energized, engaged, and passionate about Farm Bureau. They've experienced what can be accomplished when farmers, ranchers, foresters, and fishermen work together toward a common goal," said Bushue.

"I am proud and honored to recognize Lincoln County Farm Bureau with the 2017 Service to Agriculture Award," said Bushue.


PHOTO: OFB President Barry Bushue (left) gave the 2017 Service to Agriculture Award to Lincoln County Farm Bureau for its grassroots work fighting an aerial spray ban in that county. From left are Bushue; Lincoln CFB's Alan Fujishin, Lorissa Fujishin, Cathy Steere, Joe Steere; and OFB EVP Dave Dillon.

See press releases of all awards given at the 2017 OFB Annual Meeting: http://bit.ly/2CXEoMx


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* Note to Editors: "Farm Bureau" is a registered trademark; please capitalize in all cases

Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit, general farm organization representing the interests of farming and ranching families in the public and policymaking arenas. First established in Oregon in 1919, Farm Bureau is organized in all 36 counties and has 7,000 farm and ranch family members.

Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue is a third-generation farmer raising pumpkins, u-pick produce, and flowering baskets at a nearly century-old farm near Boring. He is OFB's 15th president.

The 2017 OFB County Farm Bureau Action Award went to Jefferson County Farm Bureau for its excellent work advocating on behalf of Central Oregon irrigators in the spotted frog issue. From left are OFB Membership Committee Chair Logan Kerns, and Jefferson C
The 2017 OFB County Farm Bureau Action Award went to Jefferson County Farm Bureau for its excellent work advocating on behalf of Central Oregon irrigators in the spotted frog issue. From left are OFB Membership Committee Chair Logan Kerns, and Jefferson C
Jefferson County Farm Bureau Wins 2017 County Action Award (Photo) - 12/22/17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2017

Jefferson County Farm Bureau Wins 2017 Oregon Farm Bureau County Action Award

December 22 2017, PENDLETON, OREGON: Jefferson County Farm Bureau was honored with the 2017 County Farm Bureau Action Award on December 7 during the 85th Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) Annual Meeting in Pendleton.

The award is given to a County Farm Bureau that has developed a successful, innovative project or program in the political or public education arena within the last two years.

"This award was tailor-made for the proactive, grassroots initiative by Jefferson County Farm Bureau we recognize this year," said Logan Kerns, chair of the OFB Membership & Recognition Committee. "Without the leadership, hard work, and determination of Jefferson County Farm Bureau, the livelihood of countless farm families in Central Oregon would have been seriously threatened."

In 2015, two lawsuits filed by environmental groups sought to change the operations of water distribution out of Crescent Lake and Wickiup and Crane Prairie Reservoirs to protect habitat for the spotted frog. These lawsuits posed a huge threat for farms and ranches in the North Unit Irrigation District.

Jefferson County Farm Bureau immediately got organized and took action. A core group of 10 volunteers recruited and mobilized a grassroots team of 150 farmers, ranchers, business owners, public officials, local citizens, and other allies to fight back.

"Our ultimate goal was to unify local residents and help educate others about the fact that if farmers don't have water for agriculture in the North Unit Irrigation District, our community as a whole will suffer greatly. The impacts will be catastrophic to the livelihoods of those that work and live in Jefferson County," said Mickey Killingsworth of Jefferson County Farm Bureau.

Also critical was bringing community and legislator awareness about how these lawsuits threatened the region's major agricultural commodities, which include carrot seed, garlic seed, grass seed, peppermint, alfalfa, wheat, potatoes, and livestock. Jefferson County farmers raise 50 percent of the world's hybrid carrot seed supply, and 75 percent of U.S. hybrid carrot seed supply. This important international market, and others, would be impacted without sufficient access to water, along with the health of the local farming community.

During the peak of the campaign, Jefferson County Farm Bureau leaders met for biweekly planning meetings, and Farm Bureau members wrote frequent letters to the editor, describing how their family farms and ranches -- along with the rural economy as a whole -- would be impacted by limited access to water.

"This grassroots team was well informed and very engaged. In fact, an emailed OFB Action Alert about the spotted frog broke a record for the most responses, with hundreds of farmers submitting comments in opposition," said Kerns.

Jefferson County Farm Bureau also proactively reached out to groups and individuals outside of agriculture and successfully built a wide network of diverse allies.

"Among the outcomes we're most proud of are gaining the support for irrigators by Governor Kate Brown, and filling a court house in Eugene with farmers during a hearing about the lawsuits," said Killingsworth.

The county also organized tours of irrigated farms and ranches, inviting lawmakers, community leaders, environmental groups, the media, and others. Farmers were able to demonstrative their commitment to water conservation and their investment in water efficiency technology.

Jefferson County Farm Bureau leaders also organized meetings with Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden to discuss the issue and make clear agriculture's concerns.

The outreach effort has continued in 2017, with more farm tours and a call to action to write letters to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Dept. about the newly developed Habitat Conservation Plan -- describing what it would mean for local agriculture and business.

"This grassroots effort saw Jefferson County Farm Bureau members take the lead with passionate engagement and overt pride in being grassroots," said Kerns. "We are proud to present the 2017 County Farm Bureau Action Award to Jefferson County Farm Bureau."


PHOTO: The 2017 OFB County Farm Bureau Action Award went to Jefferson County Farm Bureau for its excellent work advocating on behalf of Central Oregon irrigators in the spotted frog issue. From left are OFB Membership Committee Chair Logan Kerns, and Jefferson CFB members Ray Austin, President Sue Vanek, Mickey Killingsworth, Ed Chotard, Paul Clowers, and Gary Harris.

See press releases of all awards given at the 2017 OFB Annual Meeting: http://bit.ly/2CXEoMx

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* Note to Editors: "Farm Bureau" is a registered trademark; please capitalize in all cases

Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit, general farm organization representing the interests of farming and ranching families in the public and policymaking arenas. First established in Oregon in 1919, Farm Bureau is organized in all 36 counties and has 7,000 farm and ranch family members.

Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue is a third-generation farmer raising pumpkins, u-pick produce, and flowering baskets at a nearly century-old farm near Boring. He is OFB's 15th president.

The 2017 Outstanding County Farm Bureau Secretary Award went to Gabrielle Johnson of Harney County Farm Bureau. The award was presented by by Harney CFB President Rusty Inglis (left) and OFB Membership Comm. Chair Logan Kerns (right).
The 2017 Outstanding County Farm Bureau Secretary Award went to Gabrielle Johnson of Harney County Farm Bureau. The award was presented by by Harney CFB President Rusty Inglis (left) and OFB Membership Comm. Chair Logan Kerns (right).
Harney County's Johnson Wins Outstanding County Farm Bureau Secretary Award (Photo) - 12/22/17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2017

December 22, 2017, PENDLETON, OREGON: Gabrielle Johnson of Harney County Farm Bureau, was honored with the 2017 Outstanding County Farm Bureau Secretary Award on December 7 during the 85th Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) Annual Meeting in Pendleton. The award was presented by Harney County Farm Bureau President Rusty Inglis.

The Outstanding County Secretary Award recognizes effort and dedication above and beyond the normal duties of a secretary serving a County Farm Bureau.

"I am very honored to recognize Gabrielle with this award," said Harney County Farm Bureau President Rusty Inglis. "Her dedication and hard work benefit Harney County Farm Bureau in so many ways."

Johnson juggles not only the many duties of Harney County Farm Bureau secretary -- which in her case includes preparing reports, taking board minutes, responding to emails, organizing mailings, receiving scholarship applications, handling meeting logistics, among other essential tasks -- but she also serves as the organization's treasurer.

Thanks to her attention to detail, Johnson keeps Harney County Farm Bureau fiscally sound and on budget by keeping a close eye on financial transactions, paying the bills, presenting regular financial reports to the board, and tending to the bank accounts as if they were her own, said Inglis.

"In fact, Gabrielle does such an excellent job in so many capacities, some of us refer to her as 'the county president in disguise,'" said Inglis.

On top of her work for Farm Bureau, Johnson is a volunteer at her church, secretary for Harney County Little League, and is coordinator for the High Desert Youth Range Camp, as well as the Science in the Sagebrush Steppe College Range Camp.

"Gabrielle believes in supporting youth, she believes in her community, and she believes in Farm Bureau," said Inglis.

Above all this, Johnson is a caring mother and a loving wife.

PHOTO: The 2017 Outstanding County Farm Bureau Secretary Award went to Gabrielle Johnson of Harney County Farm Bureau. The award was presented by by Harney CFB President Rusty Inglis (left) and OFB Membership Comm. Chair Logan Kerns (right).

See press releases of all awards given at the 2017 OFB Annual Meeting: http://bit.ly/2CXEoMx

###

* Note to Editors: "Farm Bureau" is a registered trademark; please capitalize in all cases

Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit, general farm organization representing the interests of farming and ranching families in the public and policymaking arenas. First established in Oregon in 1919, Farm Bureau is organized in all 36 counties and has 7,000 farm and ranch family members.

Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue is a third-generation farmer raising a variety of vegetables and berries at a nearly century-old farm near Boring, Oregon. He is OFB's 15th president.

Oregon Farm Bureau: Tax Reform Package Good for Oregon Ag - 12/22/17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SALEM, OREGON, December 22, 2017 -- The tax reform package passed by Congress and awaiting the president's signature includes many provisions that will help Oregon's farm and ranch families.

"This bill lowers taxes for the vast majority of our agricultural families," said Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue.

Bushue points out that the bill simplifies rate structures and eliminates the death tax for estates under $11 million while maintaining annual indexing for inflation, which covers nearly all family ag operations. The bill preserves important tools, such as cash accounting, stepped-up basis, deductions for business interest, and carry forward of net operating losses.

The bill also continues and improves Section 179 bonus deprecation, also known as immediate expensing, through 2022. In some recent years, Section 179 was not re-authorized until literally days before the end of a calendar year, meaning farm and ranch families did not have time to make investments that benefitted from the policy. Farmers and ranchers will now be able to write off costs of qualifying purchases up to $1 million for small businesses (up from $500,000). The bill also allows use of Section 179 for qualifying used equipment, not just new.

Said Bushue, "We thank Congressman Greg Walden for his work on this bill, and his success in restoring key provisions like state tax deductibility. This was a huge lift and we know family agriculture will see the benefits for many years to come. Beyond the ag-specific benefits of this bill, we are happy to see good the economic policy it implements. The bill brings corporate tax rates closer to those of our competitor nations, and should encourage greater capital investment in the United States."

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* Note to Editors: "Farm Bureau" is a registered trademark; please capitalize in all cases.

The state's largest general farm organization, Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing the interests of the state's farmers and ranchers in the public and policymaking arenas. First established in Oregon in 1919, Farm Bureau is organized in all 36 counties and has nearly 7,000 member families professionally engaged in agriculture.

Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue is a third-generation farmer raising pumpkins, u-pick produce, and flowering baskets at a nearly century-old farm near Boring, Oregon. He is OFB's 15th president.