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News Releases
Momentum Grows for May 29 Tractor Convoy Event in Klamath County - 05/22/20

 

Shut Down and Fed Up: Taking a Stand for Ag

Momentum Grows for May 29 Tractor Convoy Event 

For Immediate Release – May 22, 2020
Contact: Scott Seus (541)-892-7387

A federal judge in San Francisco earlier today sided with local water users and the federal government, one week before thousands of farmers, ranchers and business owners plan to rally for their cause in the Klamath Basin.

Judge William Orrick of the U.S. Court for the Northern District of California indicated that he would deny an emergency motion filed by the Yurok Tribe and environmental organizations last week.  The Yurok Tribe filed a case under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) last July.  The parties agreed to stay the case in March 2020 after the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) agreed to an Interim Operating Plan for the Klamath Project to be applicable until September 2022.  Those parties also asked the Court for a temporary restraining order to require Reclamation to release an additional 391 cubic feet per second for flows below Iron Gate Dam – an amount that is over two times what is currently flowing into the Klamath Project A Canal headgates. Judge Orrick concluded the hearing by indicating he will deny the Yurok Tribe’s motion to lift the stay and will not reach the motion for a temporary restraining order. 

“This decision does not add water to the meager allocation we were promised earlier this month,” said Scott Seus, a Klamath Project farmer from Tulelake, California. “However, it does prevent an immediate interruption of the reduced supply we already have.”

In the meantime, local community leaders have made significant progress preparing for next week’s planned water rally. Supporters have responded to event organizers’ “Call to Unity” to join a water rally on May 29th. A planned two-hour tractor convoy will start at 10:00 a.m. next Friday in Merrill, Oregon. The route will wind its way through Klamath Project farmlands, proceed down Klamath Falls’ Main Street and end up in a local farmer’s field near Midland, Oregon. 

“The response from our local community and beyond has been tremendous and very uplifting,” said Bob Gasser, a local businessman who is helping to organize the event. “The local farming and business community is energized, and people are really stepping up to volunteer.”

Farmers and ranchers from throughout California and Oregon are also planning on participating, as are other organizations advocacy groups like Timber Unity. 

The convoy route has been finalized. Federal, state, and local elected officials are being contacted and have committed to participate, and event organizers are planning on one thousand vehicles participating in the convoy. The rally will end in a local farmer's field, where vehicles will park, and each driver will plant a symbolic white cross in the ground. Organizers are working to secure a slate of speakers who will make brief remarks to wrap up the event. Measures will be taken to encourage proper social distancing at the event. 

“Materials have been donated to construct the crosses and make signs, and many local businesses and individuals have pulled out their wallets to help support this effort,” said Mr. Seus.

A Go Fund Me account has been created to allow others to contribute to this cause, as well. It can be accessed on the Shut Down and Fed Up Facebook page

More information on the event can also be found on the convoy website: https://shutdownfedup.org/convoy-for-change/

Event organizers are asking that residents show their support for local farmers by joining the rally at the lineup to start the convoy in Merrill. Alternatively, supporters can join the convoy as it passes through downtown Klamath Falls later in the morning.


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Convoy Planned to Raise Public Awareness of Klamath Water Crisis - 05/20/20

Shut Down and Fed Up: Taking a Stand for Ag

Convoy Planned to Raise Public Awareness of Klamath Water Crisis

For Immediate Release
Contact: Bob Gasser (541) 891-9113

(Merrill, Oregon) - Klamath Irrigation Project family farmers and ranchers, along with community leaders in the rural areas of the Klamath Basin are issuing a “Call to Unity” for supporters to join them in a water rally later this month in southern Oregon. The planned two-hour tractor convoy will start at 10:00 a.m. on May 29th in Merrill, Oregon. The route will wind its way through Klamath Project farmlands, proceed down Klamath Falls’ Main Street and end up in a local farmer’s field near Midland, Oregon. 

“We’re asking farm supporters far and wide to join our movement,” said Bob Gasser, a local businessman who is helping to organize the event. “It’s not going to be limited to just tractors and farm equipment. You can fire up your gravel truck, your logging truck, your pickup truck or even your car, and join us, too.”

The convoy is intended to draw attention to a multi-decade federal water management scheme that has increasingly moved water away from farming and ranching and towards the perceived needs of fish protected under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

“We want to draw public attention to the need to fix the flows and save our farms,” said Mr. Gasser. Hopefully, this will also draw the attention of President Trump and his administration. We know how committed he is in securing America’s food supply and we need him to know that his goal is in danger here in the Basin.”

For 20 years, federal agencies have been managing the Klamath River by placing priority on salmon and sucker fish populations protected by the ESA. For 20 years, the agencies have used stored water that was intended for local irrigators to set artificially high lake levels (to stabilize sucker populations in Upper Klamath Lake) and send an increasingly large amount of water downstream (intended to flush disease out of the river).  

“Unfortunately, the fish populations have not increased, while the local farming population continues to shrink,” said Mr. Gasser.  “We can fix this problem, but we need our political leaders to hear our voice.”

The 2020 irrigation season is the most challenging water year facing Klamath Project irrigation districts and contractors in at least two decades, if not ever.  Unfortunately, this scenario is becoming the norm.  Federal agency decisions threaten to bankrupt family farms, and send economic and psychological shockwaves throughout every local sector that has been dependent on agriculture for over a century.

As a first step, community leaders have organized the route for the tractor convoy on May 29th. The rally will end in a local farmer's field, where vehicles will park, and each driver will plant a symbolic white cross in the ground.

“This symbolic act will honor those who farmed before us, including the unfortunate families who no longer operate because of the increasingly uncertain water supply,” said Scott Seus, whose family farms near Tulelake, California. “For the remainder of this summer, those crosses will provide a grim reminder to passersby of the fate that awaits our rural communities if things don't change.”

Event organizers are asking that residents show their support for local farmers by joining this unifying rally at the lineup to start the convoy in Merrill. Alternatively, supporters can join the convoy as it passes through downtown Klamath Falls later in the morning. Convoy participants will plant crosses provided by event organizers in support of this effort.                                                                
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REAL Oregon Class 3 got to meet Governor Brown at the State Capitol before the pandemic.
REAL Oregon Class 3 got to meet Governor Brown at the State Capitol before the pandemic.
Resource Education & Agricultural Leadership Program Class 3 Graduates, Class 4 Recruitment Underway (Photo) - 05/19/20

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2020
Contacts: Greg Addington, Director, (541) 892-1409; Lauren Lucht (Class 1), Board Member, (503) 710-7001; Jake Gibbs, Board Chairman, (541) 530-5600

Resource Education & Agricultural Leadership Program (REAL Oregon) Class 3 Graduates, Class 4 Recruitment Underway

Fourth REAL Oregon Class will start in November, Contingencies in Place for Social Distancing

Salem, OR – The Resource Education and Agricultural Leadership Program (REAL Oregon) recently announced the successful completion of Class 3. The final in person session of this cohort, scheduled for March 17 -19 in Boardman, was canceled due to the pandemic and the Governor’s stay-in-place order. However, despite this and other logistical challenges, Class 3 wrapped up their formal training with a virtual fifth and final session.

REAL Oregon Board Chair Jake Gibbs commented on the challenges. “The preference would have been meeting in person in Boardman, that wasn’t possible. We did, however, deliver great online presentations and had excellent class participation in our virtual session.”

REAL Oregon Executive Director Greg Addington noted that while the formality of an actual Class graduation will have to wait, the program is happy to welcome the following outstanding individuals into our growing alumni network.

Randi Bural -Northwest Farm Credit Services

Tricia Chastain - Northwest Farm Credit Services

Allison Cloo - Oregon Aglink

Dave Coates - PCC Airfoils

Jackson Coleman – Coleman Agriculture (pending)

Matthew Cook - Cook Family Farms

Betsy Earls – Weyerhaeuser (pending)

Jeremy Felty - Oregon Small Woodlands Assoc.

Jason Flowers - Flowers Farms

Brennan Garrelts - Lone Rock Resources

Kelley Hamby - Central Oregon Irrigation District

Rob Hamlin - Riddell Farms/Ash Creek Oregon

Matt Hegerberg – Heron Timber (pending)

Gordon Jones - OSU Southern OR Extension

Katie Kissler - Hancock Forest Management

Catherine Kiyokawa - Kiyokawa Family Orchards

Brent Klumph - OSU Research Forests

Heidi Leib - Boise Cascade Wood Products

Nathan Miller - Oregon Department of Agriculture

Jolene Moxon - Modoc Co. (CA) Ag Department

Sean Naumes - Naumes, Inc.

Lisa Patrick - SAGE Center/Port of Morrow

Nicole Ruggiero - Tualatin SWCD

Whitney Henneman - Silver Butte Timber Co.

Susan Schmidlin - Schmidlin Angus Farms

Andrea Sonnen - Oregon Dept. of Agriculture

Nicole Sullivan - TU/Owyhee Watershed Council

Diann Washburn - Oregonians for Food and Shelter

Alexa Weathers - Kerr Supply Company

 If a participant misses one or more sessions for any reason, their graduation status is pending, and they are given up to two years to complete the session they missed with another class.  

REAL Oregon is a collaboration of industry and other groups throughout the state that have recognized the importance of developing and grooming natural resource leaders now and in the future. In addition to one of a kind networking opportunities and learning more about the state, the program will bring current and future leaders together from agriculture, fishing, and forestry sectors in a series of five statewide sessions starting this fall. The annual leadership development program will expose this cross-section of representatives to the diversity of Oregon’s geography, economy, and cultures through training in board governance, communication skills, conflict resolution, government interaction, public policy work, critical thinking, media relations, professional presentations, public speaking, relationship building and other areas.

Planning for Class 4 – November 2020

To adjust for the COVID-19 situation, some changes have been made to the schedule and policies related to Class 4. REAL Oregon board member and curriculum chair, Lauren Lucht said these changes will not take away from the programming or this distinctive opportunity. “The COVID situation has created challenges to be sure, but it has also created opportunities and could, in fact, make for an even more unique and rewarding experience for participants”. Lucht noted that the application deadline is July 24, 2020 and interested candidates should visit the REAL Oregon website (www.realoregon.net) for more information.

Addington said the program’s directors will continually monitor the situation as we move into the fall and will follow appropriate guidelines from the CDC, OHA, and the State of Oregon. “In anticipation of welcoming our 4th cohort this fall we have adopted the following program changes”.

·         25 participants will be the target for Class 4

·         Participants will be responsible for their own lodging costs

·         Participant tuition for Class 4 will be $2,000 (tuition assistance may be available)

·         Participants may be responsible for their own travel to tour sites

·         Additional changes may be implemented to align with State and local county COVID related health and safety recommendations or requirements.

Gibbs added that the value of the program may never be greater. “We are living in a unique and uncertain time. The need for enhancing and growing our leadership skills and networks are more evident today than ever. The REAL Oregon board of directors and our committed sponsors continue to recognize the value and importance of this program. While class 4 may look a little different than previous classes, our mission remains intact”.

For more information visit www.realoregon.net or contact Greg Addington at 541-892-1409 or eg@addingtonconsulting.net" target="_blank">greg@addingtonconsulting.net

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Oregon Farm Bureau seeks calendar photos (Photo) - 05/14/20

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2020

Oregon Farm Bureau seeks calendar photos

Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) invites the public to submit their best photos of agriculture for the 2021 Oregon’s Bounty Calendar.

The award-winning calendar celebrates all aspects of Oregon agriculture: the products, the people, the production, the landscape, the enjoyment, anything that depicts the beauty, technology, culture, enjoyment, or tradition of family farming and ranching in this state.  

“Spring is a great time to look for photo opportunities in Oregon agriculture,” said OFB Communications Director Anne Marie Moss. “Fields and orchards are blooming, farmers markets have opened, and there’s lots of spring activity happening on farms and ranches. Farm Bureau members are #StillFarming and #StillRanching, working hard to provide food and other ag products for society in these challenging times.”

Horizontal-format, high-resolution images — both close-ups and panoramic views — are sought of all types of agriculture in all seasons.

Subject ideas include close-ups of ag products, planting/harvesting crops, ranching scenes, panoramic views of farmland, people enjoying Oregon ag products, farm animals, portraits of Farm Bureau members, farming/ranching scenes from all seasons, to name just a few ideas.

The deadline for entries is Sept. 15.

Participants do not need to be Farm Bureau members and there is no limit to the number of photos that can be submitted.

Photographers with images selected for month pages in Oregon’s Bounty will receive a photo credit in the 2021 calendar, which is mailed to 64,000 families across the state, along with copies of the calendar. Everyone who submits a photo will receive a complimentary copy of the 2021 calendar ($20 value).

Photos can be emailed to ie@oregonfb.org">annemarie@oregonfb.org. Find instructions for uploading or mailing in images at OregonFB.org/calendar. Also find examples of previous Oregon’s Bounty Calendars, photo specifications, and contest rules at OregonFB.org/calendar.

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 at the county level in 1919 and the state level in 1932, Farm Bureau is organized in all 36 counties.

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“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 at the county level in 1919 and the state level in 1932, Farm Bureau is organized in all 36 counties.

Oregon Farm Bureau President Barb Iverson comes from a multigenerational family farm from Woodburn, raising industrial hemp, grass seed, squash, vetch seed, hazelnuts, wine and table grapes, and operating the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, which attracts over 160,000 visitors each year. Iverson is OFB’s 17th president.

 

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