Farmer Firefighters

The neighbor farmer had a fire this week. It was the first fire of Harvest 2016 and probably will not be the last. The farmer firefighters arrived quickly to help out.

I was cutting a turf type fescue field when I turned the corner and saw smoke. I immediately called my dad and then my uncle. My dad was not near our truck. However my uncle was near his and when I said “Fire” and where it was he responded with “On our way!”

Farmer Firefighters

View from the edge of our Fescue field right after it started

All local farmers have at least one water truck. Our hot dry summers and crisp dry grass straw increase the fire risk. Our water trucks are the best insurance to protect our crops and equipment.

Farmer Firefighters

Our Water Truck, I love this truck.

Farmer Firefighters

My Uncle’s Water truck

 

The farmer of the field was already heading down the lane with his water truck. My uncle was the next to arrive. The fire department didn’t arrive until at least 10 minutes after my uncle.

The local fire departments are volunteer. It takes some time for them to get on their way. This is not a criticism, it is just the way it is.

Often times the farmers have the fire under control or out by the time the departments arrive. Farmer firefighters are crucial to our rural farming communities. When possible we help protect our neighbors’ equipment and crops.

 

Farmer Firefighters

View from my windrower

Farmer Firefighters

The view from the other side. We were concerned it was near our wheat field.

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Filed under Farming, Grass Seed

The Sunshine Sprint

The last two springs the sunshine has been abundant. We were able to get done with our spring fertilizing by mid March. But this year the sunshine has been hit and miss. Since January we have had 20 inches of rain and nearly 8 inches in March.

Now every time the sun shines for more than a day we sprint to get everything done that we can in good weather!

We had a brief break in the rain in February. We were able to fertilize our wheat and plant Austrian Winter Peas and turf type fescue during this period.

Me planting Peas at the end of February

 

Peas are coated to protect from disease & pests

But then the rain came back and decided to dump another two inches this month.

Currently, we have a stretch of good weather in front of us. We have to get as much done as possible while it lasts. Basically, the sunshine sprint.


I started the week fertilizing the peas that I planted the month before during the nice weather. Now my husband is working on fertilizing annual ryegrass while I drive truck.

Let’s hope the stretch of nice weather lasts for a bit. Things need to waken up, dry out and grow!

 

Fertilizer Buggy

 

Marie Bowers

Typically my husband runs the buggy, but he was sick at the beginning of the week. I do love driving equipment!

Marie Bowers

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Filed under Agriculture, Farming, Grass Seed

The Portland Legislature

Oregon, Portland, USA

The Portland Legislature is making it very clear that we live in the state of Portland, not the state of Oregon.

A current minimum wage proposal of $14.75 for Portland, $13.50 for urban/rural mix counties & $12.50 for RURAL counties has one last hurdle to clear this week, The Oregon House of Representatives. Talk about a state divided.

3 Tier Min Wage
NOBODY wants this proposal except the people who graduated from Portland State with a Philosophy Degree and are confused about why they cannot make a living. Try getting a degree with an actual job attached to it. Heard it works well.

However, the Portland legislature is cramming this minimum wage proposal down the throats of everyone outside of Portland. They are telling us we will “like it” because it is less bad than the alternative. The alternative is that we are being threatened with  two statewide ballot initiatives; $13.50 for entire state or $15 for entire state.

NEWS FLASH: A bad bill is still a bad bill.

The Portland Legislature & the Governor have decided small business and family farms are worth the sacrifice in order to avoid this “threat” and most importantly to please their donors. It is no secret that the unions bankroll the leadership in the Oregon Legislature, they also are the same group backing and pushing the ballot initiatives. Governor Brown received a $100,000 campaign donation from the unions a week before she unveiled her minimum wage proposal.

Oregon Governor knows Minimum wage is bad

People from all sides of the state who are opposed to this minimum wage proposal testified, sent emails, showed up and talked face to face with legislators. We told them “This is not workable for small business.” “This is not workable for local food”. “This is not workable for family farmers.”  “We are moving to Idaho.” “This is not workable for the foundation of Oregon.” 

But they failed to believe us versus Portland.

The Portland legislature all told us this is the only way to “avoid an extreme ballot measure.” They said they understood us and they “are trying to make provisions for small business & farmers.”  This way “we can fix it in 2017.” I was specifically told, “I am convinced that if the measure got to the ballot it would pass strongly.  I view the choice as one between two bad choices.” 

So if you know the ballot initiative is bad and if you know bill in the legislature is bad, then why don’t we fight it all together? How about we use this discussion for a bipartisan effort to educate Oregonians about economics? There are so many opportunities for both sides of the aisle to come together and discuss Oregon’s economic strengths & weaknesses. Let’s talk about what options are available for the legislature to help promote (not mandate) family wage jobs and economic growth in this state.

But Nope. “Screw you Oregon. Portland is the state.”

 

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Filed under Economy, Future of Agriculture, Legislature, Oregon, Rural