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County Road Safety, House Bill 3213

20 Apr

Next Wednesday (4/24/19) at 5pm there will be a hearing at the capitol on House Bill 3213.  I’m asking for support…here’s why:

As a farmer you can imagine that I live in a fairly rural area.  That said, I’m also only 30 minutes south of Portland, and 30 miles north of Salem.  We are faced with an urban and rural collision, literally and figuratively on our country roadways from folks going through our area to get to and from work.  The problem comes from those who drive freeway speeds on country roads, people who don’t know the turns in the road, or folks who don’t understand how to drive around farm equipment that is going super slow on a 55mph road.

As a volunteer EMT and firefighter I have seen my fair share of accidents on these roads.  Some where folks walked away, many where they didn’t.  Some were due to high speeds, some were due to passing in no passing zones, some were where people were trying to pass a tractor and misjudged the whole scenario.  All of these I don’t take lightly, so the discussion around road safety from a farming perspective is always high on my list, from a rural community member it’s also right up there.

For example, a road just north of where I grew up, which is in our fire district, has seen 10 fatal crashes since last summer.  Let  that sink in.  More than a person a month has died on that road, now coined, “Death Road”.  So what can we do?  The discussion brought a few of us rural community members to the idea of allowing for this roadway to be considered in the program of “Safety Corridors”.  Unfortunately the idea was brought to a halt when it was realized that only state run highways could fall under that program.

So here’s the fix….or at least the step in the right direction….Many thanks to Representative Shelly Boshart Davis who introduced House Bill 3213, which would allow for counties to also handle and maintain safety corridors within the same program that ODOT currently uses.  It’s a process in which a community can lobby to get their road designated.  Once the designation comes, you get signage that goes along with safety corridors and also all traffic tickets automatically double in this corridor.

My hope is that this will enable us out here on the county roads to give other folks who are just driving through a second thought to their speed.  It will help folks realize that this is not the place to pass on a double yellow line, this is not the place to drive 91 mph, this is not the place to go on auto pilot and not pay attention.  And if they don’t realize that, then I hope they are caught red handed and hit in the pocket book.

If you’re interested in supporting this bill I urge you write to your legislator or email support testimony to jct.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov.  And of course if you have any questions please let me know!

FarmHer April 12th, 6:30pm

8 Apr

Hey everyone, some exciting news!  Last fall I hosted the FarmHer team out on the farm and the episode they filmed will be airing this coming Friday April 12th, 6:30pm! Below is the press release from the FarmHer team….

FarmHer Follows Women in Agriculture from Washington to Louisiana in the 2nd Half of Season Three

(NASHVILLE, TENN. — Apr. 5, 2019) FarmHer is back with new episodes on RFD-TV.
Meet a helicopter pilot who crafts Artisan cheeses, head to the hops capital of the U.S. and witness a woman who thought she would never walk again, ranch with all her might. The network’s original series highlights another powerful group of women in its
3rd season with host Marji Guyler-Alaniz at the helm. FarmHer airs Fridays at 9:30 p.m. EST on RFD-TV.

Season 3: Episodes 19: Oregon FarmHer Harvests Piles of Grass Seed & Hazelnuts
Friday, April 12, 2019 at 9:30 p.m. ET
When dust settles on Brenda Frketich’s farm, there are piles of hazelnuts. Take in this year’s harvest in Oregon while learning about another top Pacific Northwest crop: turfgrass.

Here are also a few sneak peak videos to check out while you’re anxiously (at least I am anxious) waiting for the episode this Friday.

We had a wonderful time showing this great crew around the farm here in St. Paul.  I have always said that our doors are always open and this was a wonderful way to bring the farm into living rooms across the US.  It airs on RFDTV, click the link below to find that channel in your area!
http://www.rfdtv.com/link/649370/find-us-in-your-area

Don’t have RFD-TV?  No problem…..
On demand service can be found a bunch of different ways including Roku and Amazon Fire. The apps are either “RFD Country Club” or “Rural TV”.

Some of those apps allow you to sign up for a specific category “Rural Lifestyle” for just $2.99 a month and that’s where you can find FarmHer. You can cancel anytime.

Or you can sign up for full on demand service RFD-TV Country Club at rfdcc.com. It has a monthly fee, but with no contract, so you can cancel anytime.

Questions….as always, just ask!!

 

Strong Family Roots

4 Apr

Roots.  As a farmer I can appreciate the strength behind these tiny little lines that connect plants into the soil.  They bring nutrients up to the green leaves, they allow for our beautiful views and our strong crops.  But while those ideas run strong in what I want to touch on today, those aren’t exactly the roots I’m talking about.  Today I wanted to tell you about my family roots, arguably they may just be the strongest I have ever known, they are what have kept me grounded, kept our family solid, and yet allowed us all to also have wings and to succeed.  These roots AND wings didn’t come from just anywhere, they came straight from Marlin and Arlene Hammond.

This is a photo of our “family tree”.  All 66 of us, starting in the middle with Marlin & Arlene

I call them grandpa and grandma, they are also often referred to as “the greats” in our house.  And this year they both celebrated their 95th birthdays, and their 75th wedding anniversary.

Which is something to be treasured, and more importantly something to celebrate!  So that’s just what we did last weekend.  Our family (all wearing matching blue t-shirts in the photos) all got together with friends from the community where Marlin and Arlene have spent their days.  Lots of catching up, eating cake, laughter over old stories, and just being thankful for our wonderful family that started with just these two love birds back in 1944.

Grandpa & Grandma on their wedding day in 1944.

Marlin and Arlene went to high school together, but never dated until after graduating. They both came from hard working families, farming families, and they continued that legacy.  Having many talents however grandpa was more of a jack of all trades.  Doing construction, selling real estate.  And grandma herself started her own fabric shop in Woodburn.  These two were as traditional as they come, and yet innovative and not afraid to work hard for what they wanted.  And they also get a kick out of life at every stage.  I think the one thing I always think of when I think of them is how they know how to laugh, boy oh boy do we laugh together!  It might help that my kids are at a general “if you’re not laughing then you’d probably be crying” stage of child management.  But I learned a lot of that from these two.  For example…this was the only photo I took on this fun celebration day….it’s horrible but it’s also hilarious…

I had the pleasure of sitting down one afternoon with my grandma to ask her about marriage and advice for married couples.  I was officiating the wedding of a good friend and my cousin and I thought who better to start them off on the right foot than grandpa and grandma who had been married (at that time) for 73 years.

So in honor of their 75th I thought I would pass it along to all of you.

So while you are both just starting this journey of marriage, and I know you will get a LOT of advice as the years go by.  But I thought it would be only fitting to ask the longest married couple in our family if they had any words of wisdom for the shortest married couple in our family.  So I sat down Marlin & Arlene, who have been married for 73 years to find out what the secret is to making marriage & love last.  I wanted advice for you as newlyweds, when you hit year 25, and then once you get to year 73! 

Their first year was a bit unorthodox, grandpa was in the war and gone basically the entire time, grandma says it still gives her chills to think about how hard that time was.  She said for the first years, don’t worry about all the nitty gritty.  Something will always cause a trouble or a problem, so you might as well make the most of it.  She also showed me a letter from a friend in 1944 that she often thought of, it says that in marriage everything is 50-50 but sometimes things can get 60-40 or worse, but they can be righted always.

So what about at 25 years into marriage?  They said that they hit a time where they got to really enjoy life again, to reconnect, new careers and dreams were able to get started again.  At the end of 25 years, they realized that marriage is full of seasons, and you have to keep your commitment strong so you can both enjoy the dividends of that lifelong investment in love.

And finally after 73 year down the path of marriage…when I asked what that is like, grandma just said, “To take care of each other, to have created such a happy home, to have someone to talk with, reminisce with and share all those memories.  It’s just marvelous!”  When you get there, you get to spend your whole life with your person, it’s completely worth all of it.  I want to also add that grandpa and grandma were friends for years before they ever dated, which I think means you two are also off to very similar and very good start.

These two have created a legacy that will extent well beyond their lives, my life and as we know for now at least into the 5th generation.  I can’t imagine all that they have seen in their lifetime.  I can hardly believe what I have seen in only a third of that time.  But what I do know is that the roots and the wings that we have all gotten from them will prove timeless, even as the years pass by.Here are two articles with a few great stories:
Hammonds Celebrate 75 Years Together
Engagements: Marlin & Arlene Hammond

**A special thanks to cousin Brock for all the awesome photos that I borrowed.  To Kristen for all the work on the graphic designs for T-shirts.  And for everyone in the fam for all the help organizing, cutting cake, setting up and taking down!  Family efforts for sure!

 

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