Agriculture Committee Report
This has been a good year for the Agriculture Committee. In my second year with the committee we tried new activities, continued traditional events, and played a more active role in the Oregon State Grange.
As in previous years the Ag Committee participated in the Oregon Ag Fest in March in Salem. Over 20,000 people attend this family oriented experience and Vern and Paula Herrick, of the Ag Committee, prepare over 5000 seedlings for the Grange to hand out to interested children and adults. Teufel Products Company donates the potting soil we use, supporting this Grange outreach.
The Ag Committee had a table at the Oregon FFA conference in Corvallis. We interacted with hundreds of attendees, and promoted the Grange.
This year the Ag Committee participated in State Grange Committee Conferences at Abernethy, Beaver Homes, Elmira, Fruitdale, Terrebonne, and Pleasant Grove. These were the first Ag Committee Conferences in some time and we enjoyed visiting granges and explaining our committee’s activities.
Our most ambitious new effort was to table at the 16th annual Oregon State University Small Farms Conference. Over 900 attendees, with many young farmers, young families, and perfect future grange members attend this annual event. District 6 Ag Chair June Colony, and I, spent many hours chatting with these small farmers and handing out contact and meeting information for granges close to the attendees homes.
Our State Session this year will have three Agriculture Conferences. On Monday a speaker from Oregon’s Friends of Family Farmers will speak about their organization. Friends of Family Farmers advocates for sensible policies, programs, and regulations that protect and expand the ability of Oregon’s family farmers to run successful land-based enterprises while providing safe and nutritious food for all Oregonians. They share many goals and concerns with the Grange. We had 32 Grangers attend.
Our Second Ag Conference on Wednesday morning was organized by Derrell Witty from Hurricane Creek Grange. The speaker was John Stephenson from US Fish and Wildlife and he spoke on Wolves of Western Oregon. This very interesting talk was attended by 32 Grangers.
The Third Ag Conference on Thursday morning features the organization called Healthy Forests Healthy Communities. They support action to achieve a comprehensive and permanent solution to restore the health of our rural communities and federal forest lands. This conference had 22 people attend.
Starting off the Sate Session this year, the Ag Tour visited one of Quail Run Winery’s Vineyards, followed by a highly successful organic family farm which operates a diverse farm including Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm boxes, a bakery, farmer’s markets, and a farm stand. Lastly we visited Rogue Creamery – makers of world renowned cheeses.
It was my pleasure to award the 2016 Agriculturalist of the Year to Gregory Bartels of Tigard Grange. Unfortunately Gregory was unable to attend to accept his award as he was attending a farm conference in his area of specialization: Christmas Trees.
The Agriculture Committee is looking forward to the bright future of Oregon Agriculture and the Oregon State Grange.
Jay Sexton, Director Oregon State Grange Agriculture Committee
Agriculturalist of the Year
This recognition is available to any Oregon Grange member who is actively engaged in farming, ranching, forestry, fisheries, agribusiness, agricultural education, or rural development. Every Subordinate/Community Grange is encouraged to submit the names of qualified candidates from their Grange, and each Subordinate/Community Grange may certify as many applicants as they feel are qualified.
Applicants must be Grange members in good standing and the application must be certified by a Subordinate/Community Grange. The completed application must be signed by the Master of your Subordinate/Community Grange.
The applicant must also submit an essay of 500 to 700 words on the importance of agriculture and its relationship to their vision for the Grange. The applicant may also briefly describe their involvement in Subordinate/Community, Pomona, and State Grange activities in their essay. Although the essay is important to help the judges understand the applicant, this is in no way an essay contest. It is the information conveyed in the essay that is considered by the judges. One annual winner will be selected based on the applicant’s involvement in agriculture and their accomplishments.
Applications must be sent to the State Agriculture Director postmarked no later than June 1.
A three-person panel appointed by the Agriculture Committee and the State Master will review and rank the applicants based on the written application and essay.
The winner will be announced and receive a plaque at the State Grange Convention in June.
232 N 8th St
Philomath, OR 97370
|District 1||Jason Couch
117 W. 1st St
Phoenix, OR 97535
|District 2||Randi Embree
548 Drift Creek Rd. NE
Silverton, OR 97381
|District 4||Jessie Jo Guttridge
24775 S. Springwater Rd
Estacada, OR 97023
|District 5||Jess Holler
11518 SE View Top Ln
Prineville, OR 97754-9081
|District 6||June Colony
67497 Lostine River Rd
Lostine, OR 97857
|At Large||Vernon and Paula Herrick
88088 Millican Rd
Springfield, OR 97478
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