Search results for 'Diesel'

Goodbye to Diesel

16 Nov

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Our family said goodbye to our dog Diesel on Saturday.  The 15 year old pup just didn’t have it in him for one more winter.  Although I can about guarantee the sucker would have lived for another year or maybe forever.  Only he wouldn’t have done it because he wasn’t in pain, he wouldn’t have done it because his quality of life was great, he would have done it for us because he knew he had become a part of us and a big piece of our growing family and saying goodbye was about too tough to imagine.  

 Diesel playing with Matt and Hoot on Saturday, never wanting to be away from the action. 

Matt got the Chesapeake puppy Diesel, or officially “Dirty Rotten Diesel” for a hunting dog in 2000.  My father in law will tell the story of “D” howling the entire 6 hour trip from southern Oregon to his new home.  Then preceding as a 9 week old puppy to try and attack Matt by going straight for his jugular.  This would not be the last time his killer instincts came out.  He was a tough dog, one that would protect his family with all he had, and one that did what he wanted…sometimes I think he was the biggest pain in the ass dog that will be missed so greatly it doesn’t make sense…then it does.  Because in the end he was a just a lovable dog. He calmed down in his older years, and became that dog that wouldn’t let you go by him without a pet on the head.  He was the dog that would walk right under your hand so you had no choice but to pet him and give him love.  He would bury his head in your lap and just show how much he cared.

He also loved wine…so he was a dog after my own heart.  And you couldn’t keep him away from tomatoes from the garden.  He was a dog that actually smiled (see photo below) when he saw you and lately slept most of his days away. 

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Before all this softy stuff though he was a heck of a hunting dog.  A fierce swimmer who would sit in freezing cold water with Matt just waiting for his gun to fire so he could perform.  He was the dog that would see his dad in camo and gun in his hand and start to go nuts because he knew he was going to have the best day out hunting.

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When he started to slow down we started a yearly tradition of hunting Christmas Day with the old boy. It was when hunting for him had become too big a job, but something he loved so much we had to do at least once a year.   

In his later years when he was too old to hunt Matt would have to sneak out of the house, put his camo on outside and make sure Diesel didn’t see his gun.  Because even when he was deaf, his eyesight was failing and couldn’t walk very well, he never stopped wanting to go jump in that water and chase those birds.

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15 years is a long time and it will take awhile before walking out and looking into the kennel won’t feel like a part of our family is missing.  Hoot walked out today and looked at me asking, “Doggie?” It breaks my heart all over again and even as I write this I can’t help but cry and wish he was still here.  But then I remember that he’s not too far away, laying to rest overlooking our duck pond where he’ll be watching over as the birds come to land every year, peacefully sleeping away.  Plus all the stories that a dog like Diesel will forever bring up, he will be remembered for a  long time.  I cleaned up his dog dish today and put it away, until the next hunting dog comes to join our family.  He will have big paws to fill though, big, curly haired, mean, kind, gentle, fierce and loyal paws. We will miss you D, thank you for being such a great dog for so many great years. 

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 Rest in peace Dirty Rotten Diesel. 

Cap & Trade Testimony

21 Feb

Today I wanted to discuss Cap & Trade and the bill that is currently in the Oregon Legislature in Oregon, House Bill 2020.  While it’s an ongoing conversation in my world, it may not be on everyone’s radar.  Two weeks ago I was asked to come and speak to the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction at the Capitol regarding this issue and how it would hurt farmers here in Oregon. 

My son Hoot got to come watch me testify, which was “really awesome mom!”

It’s a complex issue and I only had 3 minutes to speak to the problems that need to be fixed for us, but I wanted to share my testimony.  The video below is the Natural Resource panel from Feburary 11th.  It begins with Chris Edwards, lobbyist for OFIC, my testimony, followed by another farmer’s.  Then follows up with lots of questions.

https://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=25756&starttime=849&stoptime=2578&autostart=0&embed=1

Tomorrow I will be posting a few things that I wish I had time to include in my testimony and in my answers.

There is still time to comment and have your voice heard on this bill!!  Comments are being taken until March 2nd.  I will post more information on how you can comment tomorrow in my blog.  Below though is my official testimony, if you’re not in the video watching mood….

Brenda Frketich, Oregon Farm Bureau
February 11, 2019

Chair Dembrow, Chair Power, Vice-Chairs Bentz and Brock Smith and members of the committee,

My name is Brenda Frketich.  I am third generation farmer from St. Paul.   My husband and I farm 1000 acres of filberts, grass seed, wheat, clover, vegetables and vegetables seeds.

I am here as a farmer and on behalf of Oregon Farm Bureau in opposition of HB 2020 as currently drafted.  

The first issue is that as farmers and ranchers, we must absorb the full impact of cost increases from fuel and natural gas under HB 2020. 

It’s difficult to assign the “cost” of cap-and-trade to the average family farm.  However Farm Bureau surveyed their members to get an idea of the indirect costs, those responses are summarized on OLIS…AND they are significant

My family farm would likely pay more than a $5500 increase in the price of fuel alone.  Which is a 15% increase in our total fuel bill for our farm, in just the first year!  I know other farmers would experience similar increases in fuel prices. Considering farms are natural sequesters of carbon already, this bill neglects to even touch the benefits that we already provide to the environment, only punishing us instead.

Those who use natural gas to operate peppermint distilleries, greenhouses, hop and hazelnut driers could see a 13% increase in their natural gas rates in 2021.  And what about 2035 and beyond? 

In December, the Carbon Policy Office presented an option to exempt ag fuels (or dyed diesel) from the cap to mitigate some of these increases.  This was a first step in helping to alleviate some of the price impacts but now it is NOT included in this bill.

Our family farm operates on slim margins and as price takers.  We can’t just pass on the increased costs of production to consumers.  So we are saddled with the full costs of cap-and-trade—making us less competitive with growers across the nation and world.  Without safeguards to keep farmers from absorbing these costs, it will be incredibly difficult to keep families farming in Oregon. 

This also makes it much less likely that the farmland stays in production, and much more likely that farms are parceled and sold to development that won’t have the environmental benefits associated with keeping it in farming. 

Our second issue is with how the incentive and offset programs are structured in the bill.

As written, I think you’ll see many farmers that could have participated in the offset or incentive programs will now avoid them.  We’ve talked to California Farm Bureau, and offsets don’t really work in dynamic agricultural landscapes, especially with how diverse Oregon agriculture is.

Oregon Farm Bureau worked for months with state and federal agencies to craft workable incentive programs with sideboards spelled out in statute.  Section 31 doesn’t reflect that work. I’ve participated in some of the federal conservation programs that offered incentives for soil health programs and irrigation water conservation, but I know that farmers are concerned that the incentives in HB 2020 won’t be accessible or affordable.  California Farm Bureau said that administrative requirements kept farmers from even participating.  My fear is we will see the same thing here in Oregon.

It’s important that any voluntary investments are made available to all of agriculture and don’t penalize early adopters.  OSU should also be a partner in this effort.

The bill doesn’t include any of the policy fixes that we worked on with the Governor’s Carbon Policy Office in 2018 and will result in unnecessary costs for family farms.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.

Goodbye Old Farm Dog

30 Apr

The life of a farm dog is an open prairie made for adventures, it’s chasing coyotes and nutria, it’s protecting your family and the farm. It rarely involves fences he can’t climb through or creeks he can’t swim across. It’s pick-up bed rides with the wind on his face. It’s about that look and excitement when your farmer throws down their tailgate and yells, “Load up Boy”. It’s about chasing field mice all harvest and laying in that hot summer sun. Being a farm dog is a no boundary, leash free kind of freedom that…unfortunately, just can’t last forever.

Because being a farm dog also means getting old in those same fields and across those same acres that you ran across all your life. It means waiting for help when that tailgate goes down, because your days of jumping have turned into getting lifted up to go for an occasional ride. It’s saying goodbye to the miles and hello to just a simple walk to the shop and back. And when even that got too tough, it’s trusting your farmer to know when it’s time to say goodbye.

I got Yukon when he was two years old, I was lucky to get to spend 12 of his 14 years as his farmer. For a long time he took care of me, for a long time I took care of him and for the whole time we were inseparable. A few days ago, he looked at me as he struggled to get up off his pillow. And this time, even for me, he just couldn’t do it. All those fields, all those runs, many days off on adventures I’d never even know about; and here he was, needing my mercy, needing me to let him go.

The loss of a dog is heartbreaking, they are a part of your family, of your hearts and home. And Yukon or Kon as he was often called, was no different. He spent many of his days letting the kids jump all over him and he in turn loved them and protected them. I like to think that he held on just long enough to meet Miss Millie, to pass on a little love to her as she completed our family.

Yukon, it will be some time before I round the kitchen corner and don’t expect to see your dopey face looking back at me laying in the laundry room on your bed. And in those moments is when all of the good memories will come on back like yesterday. I’ll probably get a little and sometimes a lot sad, but in the end, just like when you were sitting right there with your floppy ears and sweet big eyes, you’ll make me smile and probably laugh. Because really what is a farm dog’s legacy worth if you can’t sit and have a nice good laugh about the best dog this farmer ever had.

As Hoot said when we laid you to rest, “Well, now Yukon can go and run with Diesel, I bet he likes that.” Yeah, I bet he really does.

Thanks for growing old with us Yukon Jack. Rest In Peace old boy.

April 2004 – April 2018.

A few good memories:

https://nuttygrass.com/2013/12/23/the-goose-debacle/

https://nuttygrass.com/2013/05/03/the-challenge/

https://nuttygrass.com/2013/11/08/some-crazy-weather/

https://nuttygrass.com/2012/07/25/1st-day-of-combining-grass-seed-2012/

https://nuttygrass.com/2013/01/11/a-walk-with-the-dogs/

https://nuttygrass.com/2012/04/21/the-hunt-is-on/

https://nuttygrass.com/2012/03/10/wild-goose-chasingis-it-working/

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