Agriculture Committee Report
2017 has been my third year with the Agriculture Committee. We continued traditional events, hit the road for GrangeUp Hall visits, and played an active role in the Oregon State Grange.
In Late November of 2016 we had the rare opportunity to have a table at the Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Portland. This was the 5th occurrence of this conference, which is held every few years, and the first time it has been on the West Coast. Hundreds of women active in agriculture visited with us at our booth.
This year’s Oregon Ag Fest in late April in Salem we had over 50 Granger volunteer slots filled. This helped reduce the exhaustion of the core team of six volunteers, and in 2018 we hope to get more people involved. Approximately 20,000 people attend this family oriented experience, and Vernon 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 organic potting soil we use, arranged by Granger John Knox.
The Ag Committee had a table at the Oregon FFA conference in Redmond. We interacted with hundreds of attendees, handing out Grange information and hundreds of the blue Grange wrist bands while we promoted the Grange. The Oregon Grange again sponsored the FFA Prepared Public Speaking Contest, as we have for over 80 years.
For the second year we had a table at the 17th annual Oregon State University Small Farms Conference. This year Oregon State Grange was a Silver Level Sponsor; with a prime table location and the Grange logo displayed more prominently at the 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, District 4 Ag Chair Jessie Jo Guttridge, 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 Convention this year will have two Agriculture Conferences. On Monday Elise Higley from Our Family Farms will speak about their organization, its history, actions, and goals. Our Family Farms advocates for family farms, seed biodiversity, and protections for small farmers especially in specialty crops.
The second Ag Conference on Thursday morning will have Spencer Creek Granger Genie Harden talking on starting a Farmers Market. Genie has organized and managed a Farmers Market at Spencer Creek Grange, near Eugene, for years, and has helped other groups starting their own markets. Public interest in Farmers Markets and in direct contact with growers is a natural opportunity for Granges, bringing people to the hall.
This year’s Ag Tour visited Florence’s bayside Farmers Market and heard from Steve Wilson who manages this market. He told us about the history and organization of their market. Next we heard about commercial fishing on the Oregon Coast.
The Agriculture Committee looks forward to strengthening our Granges and introducing farmers to The Grange.
Jay Sexton, Director, Oregon State Grange Agriculture Committee
Agriculturalist of the Year
John Eveland and Sally Brewer of Gathering Together Farm and Marys River Grange #685, Philomath received the 2017 award.
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.
67597 Lostine River Rd
Lostine, OR 97857
|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 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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