Report of the Oregon Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Pendleton

Pendleton, Oregon 

December 9, 2011

79TH Oregon Farm Bureau Conference.

This year’s Oregon Farm Bureau conference has come to an end, after considerable debate and review of the policy for the coming year. Policy was reviewed, new policy voted on, by the House of Delegates, and the financial business of the farm bureau agreed on.  The House of Delegates was packed standing room only, as each Oregon County had sent delegates who stood to debate and vote in a crowded hall. At the back of the meeting room visitors from state and federal agencies listened to the discussions and debates.

Congressman Greg Walden and Kurt Schrader sent video presentations to the house floor, greeting the Oregon Farm Bureau and discussing the coming Farm Bill that is to be drafted in Washington. DC. The congressman both hoped to hear the opinion of the Farm Bureau and individual members. Significant changes will be seen in the coming 2012 Farm Bill.

The American Farm Bureau provided a presentation on the Farm Bill, one of the most significant pieces of legislation from the United States Congress and Senate. The new bill will likely see significant reductions in the payments made to agriculture for crop subsidies, insurance payments and assistance to agriculture. A most important fact about the farm bill, more than 75% of the funds in the bill go to food assistance, food stamps and the Women’s Infants and Children (WIC) programs. Facts from the last Farm Bill   2008 Farm Act: Where Will the Money Go? – Amber Waves November 2008.

 

During the House of Delegates, good breakfasts, lunches and dinners, were provided. At each meal considerable discussion went on regarding policy, farming and ranching, the State of Oregon, and the economy. Farm Bureau members pay close attention to the state of the Nation.

At the end of the conference a great dinner was provided. Awards were given out to many farm bureau members that had provided outstanding service to the Farm Bureau and their communities. Many members have decades of service to their county farm bureaus, the state Farm Bureau and the American farm Bureau.

Here are some Oregon farm and ranch facts that show the value of Oregon agriculture and the Oregon Farm Bureau.

More than 40,000 farms and ranches make up Oregon’s diverse agricultural landscape. These producers generate over $4.5 billion in annual farm gate sales and services from more than 220 different commercial commodities. Many of Oregon’s products are unique; Oregon leads the nation in production of blackberries and several other cranberries; hazelnuts; ryegrass and several other cool season grasses and clover seeds; Christmas trees; Dungeness crab; peppermint; and several nursery products and specialty seeds. Oregon is also a major producer of onions, hops, green beans, blueberries, cherries, pears, and many other specialty products.

Glenn R Archambault.

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