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“Our Ag Story, What’s Yours?”

30 Jan

img_7366A few weeks ago I wrote about how my “business attire” wardrobe may not be as extensive as my non-farmer friends.  Considering as farmers, Shelly Davis and I both wore the same EXACT outfits as the last time we dressed up together…oops!  But the I have to say I really enjoyed everything from the prep for this talk to the actual end result of our keynote for the Dunn Carney Ag Summit entitled, “Our Ag Story, What’s Yours?”.

Shelly shared our transcript on her blog last week, so if you’re interested please click here, or head over to Daughter of a Trucker’s blog to see what we said.

If you’re more of a video type, I have uploaded from Facebook live onto YouTube our keynote.  It’s not great audio, and it is in two parts because the WiFi was being funky.  So if you are patient and you have a low tolerance for video quality, the message is still (in my humble opinion) top notch and spot on!

Part One….

Part Two…

I’ll leave you with this last thought from Shelly,

“The point is advocating on behalf of the entire agriculture industry can be exhausting and take up too much time.  You do it, I do it, we do it because it benefits us, our farm, and more importantly our future farm.”

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Which Farmer should you Believe?

4 Nov

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- www.savehelvetia.org)

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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Hate Mail & Thank Yous

29 Dec

There was an article last week in the Statesman Journal entitled, “Farmers get hate mail, harassment for opposing GMO labels.”  There has been a lot of talk about this since.  I’ve gotten questions, people have apologized, I’ve even heard rumors that we got death threats.  So I wanted to clear up a few things.

First of all it is true that my husband and I both received hate mail.  I got blog comments and emails that were less than friendly in nature, really awful in some respects.  I was told that I was poisoning children, they hoped my farm failed, etc., etc.  So yes, the article was true in that fact.  But what I think the article should have been about, more than hate mail from people who don’t agree, was about the recognition that we all received from Oregon Farm Bureau for standing up even though we knew that getting called “sell-outs” was a possibility.

I honestly can say that I said yes to working with this campaign knowing that food is an emotional issue.  It’s one that people talk about everyday, they are enthralled with, frustrated with, trusting of, and at the same time skeptical of what our food system is today.  So I knew what I was walking in to and I half expected to get some type of backlash.

Here is what I didn’t expect.  I didn’t expect to get so many thank you’s from people I have never met.  I didn’t expect that every time I walked into a meeting with people whom I respect to have them shake my hand in appreciation for standing up.  I didn’t expect to have so many people come to talk to me, just to hear more about this issue.  I knew that it would open up conversations, but I never knew how far that would go.  And I truly didn’t expect to be recognized by Oregon Farm Bureau in receiving their annual Service to Agriculture for my courage during this campaign.  I am truly honored by that.

So while the article didn’t get any comments from us hate mail receivers (wish they would have at least tried to contact me) I wanted to give you my view from the inside looking out.  It isn’t always the whole story when you receive hateful messages, as one of my friends put it, “If nobody is angry with you, you likely haven’t accomplished anything.” (Thanks Josh!)

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