Thank You All Again!

21 Nov

Receiving to AgLink award Friday evening was truly incredible!  Thank you again for all those who supported me, and continue to cheer me on!  It’s appreciated more than you will ever know.

Here is the video that was presented along with the award on Friday night.  It turned out great thanks to some big efforts from a lot of folks!  Enjoy!

Also for those of you who could not attend, here is my thank you speech…I know that it goes without saying for many people, but it truly takes a village to accomplish what we have in our industry, and the work isn’t over yet!

I started my blog 5 years ago. It was never meant to go far, it was truly meant to share good farming stories that I told all my friends.  Mostly funny things like what I broke around the farm that day, or about how I regularly dunk my head in hydraulic oil, because if you don’t know me, I’m a huge klutz! 

But those stories have transformed into a glimpse into my life as a farmer, one story at a time, and that’s vitally important for our industry in an environment where people don’t understand what we do or why we do it.

My stories put a face on farming and provide an opportunity for consumers to feel like they know me and can ask the hard questions. The stories on my blog have evolved into conversations and moments of true honesty with urban neighbors about the very real demands of being a farmer and how we are at times unsuccessful. It presents an honest dialogue where people get to hear that sometimes we spray pesticides, and here’s why.

It’s transparency at a level that I believe in many ways is demanded by anyone who happens to have a computer, a laptop or smartphone because that transparency leads to trust. It is our responsibility to educate the consumer, because no one else will do it for us – no one else can tell our story but us. If we don’t tell our story, those who try to do it for us, they’ll get it wrong.

We are under a microscope in many ways and usually the burden of proof is on us. Not just to tell them why, but to beat them to the punch and get our voice out there. While we all sit here tonight supporting a cause such as adopt a farmer, I know I’m preaching to most of the choir here. But I also believe that our ability and willingness to engage is always changing.

They are hungry for our stories, and we as farmers, as only 2% of the population, should answer back. Which may mean something as small as sharing a blog post on Facebook, or something more challenging like having a real conversation at the grocery store about the safe food that we grow, or speaking up to your representative about policy issues that impact our way of life.  Join a commission, participate in your industry!

However you do it, have your voice heard.

Truly thank you to everyone in this room for your involvement in promoting our industry, including tonight’s other honoree Sharon Livingston. 

Thank you to my husband Matt, my parents, my whole family, my great friends, all who have supported me and will continue to work as a team with me to connect agriculture across the rural and urban divide, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, for this recognition!

Ag Connection Award 2016

18 Nov

Tonight I have the great honor of being presented the Oregon AgLink Ag Connection Award for 2016!  
I will be presented the award at a fundraiser dinner auction called Demin & Diamonds. Oregon AgLink is an organization that supports amazing programs including Adopt a Farmer, Farmer Safety Programs, and crop ID signs that you see all over the state. 

I can’t even begin to tell you how much this award means to me. If you look at the list of past recipients of this award and the Agrigulturalist of the Year award, names show up on the list like Dale Buck, Paulette Pyle, Marie Bowers Stagg, Doug Hoffman, Barb Iverson, Barry Bushue…I could go on and on! These people have created a fabric of hard work and determination that has set the stage for all of us farmers to start to bridge the gap between rural and urban folks.  And they did it not because they had to, but because they showed up to answer a call to stand up for agriculture. It’s one of the reasons this event is so exciting, it brings together people who want to work hard not just on their own farm and ranch, but dedicate their time to fighting for our industry. 

So humbly I thank you all for allowing me to be a voice of agriculture on this blog. Thank you for the support and patience!  I hope to see many of you this evening to support these amazing efforts by so many!!

Which Farmer should you Believe?

4 Nov final

I have many people come up to me and say, “I vote with farmers.” Which is great, with all that we do for Oregon’s economy, with all that agriculture provides, it’s no wonder that people appreciate the direction that we want legislation and political races to go.  So what happens when there are conflicting farmers out there.  Unfortunately in Oregon this happens a lot more than I care to admit.  Many times it’s not as public as campaign commercials running back to back, usually it’s done more in the halls of the legislature.

But this year, Measure 97 has once again, brought farmer vs. farmer to confuse and perhaps persuade a certain direction.  I will say here that it’s no surprise to anyone my stance on Measure 97, I’m a NO vote, and I urge you be be as well.  Below is my commercial giving a very short and very small piece of the puzzle of why I believe so strongly that this is not the right sales tax for our state.

But then, you may see another ad, one with a farmer named Don Schoen.

He appears to be a hazelnut farmer by all camera angles provided.  A good friend of mine and fellow agvocate, Anna Scharf did a little researching however and we found some interesting information.  Information that even Mr. Schoen might be interested to read…here are Anna’s findings…

Farmer Don Schoen a farmer from Hillsboro who has about 3,600 hazelnut trees is quoted on the save Helvetia website as saying “My farm is smack-dab in the middle of the proposed urban reserves….. We export about 35% of our crop – the rest is bought by local companies, such as Burgerville, for their hazelnut milkshakes and Oregon Bread, for their hazelnut bread.  I need the certainty of rural reserves in order to continue to invest in a long-term crop like hazelnuts.” (Source-

When Mr. Schoen is advocating for a Yes vote on Measure 97, maybe he should remember that it is NOT just “out of state big business (Monsanto and Wells Fargo)” that will pay; it is also Burgerville who will be TAXED on their gross sales. “All Burgerville locations are within an 80-mile (129-km) radius, mostly in the Portland metropolitan area, and the chain had annual revenue of around $75 million in 2010” (source – Wikipedia). Their “fair 2.5% TAX” would be ~$1.875M.  Oregon Bread (which is produced by Franz Bakery), which Mr. Schoen states also purchases his hazelnuts, is a fourth generation, family-owned baking company based in Portland, OR since 1906.  They are also considered a “Big business” that will be forced to pay their “fair 2.5% TAX” on their over $25M in annual sales. Where will Burgerville and Oregon Bread come up with the money? Consumers of course! Measure 97 the hidden sales tax on consumers!
Get the facts, get educated and VOTE NO on Measure 97

So there you go…farmer vs. farmer, but I’m hoping that you all will vote with this farmer and many others across the state and say NO to Measure 97!!



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