Category Archives: Future of Agriculture

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

Ignoring the Crisis on West Coast Ports

The mainstream media seems to be focusing on analyzing the election for 100th time instead of reporting on a real immediate crisis.  The West Coast Ports, which includes Portland, Tacoma and Los Angeles, are on the verge of complete shutdown if they haven’t already.

The labor union and dock workers have taken the Pacific Northwest economy and the ports hostage. They are leaving apples, pears, potatoes, wheat and hay just sitting on the docks.  All because they don’t want to have to re-negotiate their $229,000 wages and benefits.  Why compromise when you can just cripple the economy and still get paid?

This is an absolute outrage. For those of us in the Pacific Northwest many of our livelihoods are tied to exports and imports. My friend Shelly, who manages the exports for her family’s trucking and straw business, has been blogging about these issues facing her family business. When the ports shutdown so does her business along with many other family businesses.

From a Oregon Department of Agriculture presentation

From a Oregon Department of Agriculture presentation

Oregon farmers & exports contribute significantly to our economy

Oregon farmers & exports contribute significantly to our economy

 

Transportation isn’t sexy. Who wants to talk about boats and trucks? That might mean the media has to acknowledge that capitalism and private companies are the backbone of America, not the government.  It would also expose the massive amount of government regulations that hinder economic efficiency, particularly in the world of transportation.

And NO ONE wants to discuss the corruption of the ILWU.  These people are complete thugs. They stoop to any level to get their way which includes threatening to rape people and destroying property.  They are the ultimate bully.

This could all end tomorrow if President Obama wanted to enforce Taft-Hartley Act.  Reagan and Bush both had to do it order to protect America’s “well-being”.  Yet he also seems to be ignoring the problem and American businesses suffer.


Check out Daughter of a Trucker to keep up to date on transportation issues facing all of us. 

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Filed under Economy, Future of Agriculture, Oregon

Thoughts of Uncertainty about Oregon Agriculture

Our freedom to farm, ranch and forest in Oregon has been eroded at over the last 45 years by legislators and voters swayed by emotional rhetoric not sound facts.  Each law, regulation and ban has challenged our ability to farm, ranch and forest.  We have made the these rules work for us thinking it’ll be the last one.

We have complied with enhanced pesticide regulations, field burning bans, land use restrictions, restricted water use and limited ways to hunt livestock predators.  Not to mention the numerous federal regulations (ESA, CWA) that inhibits the way we manage our farms, ranches and forests.

The most recent mode of action in hindering a farmers ability to farm are crop bans.  In the last regular legislative session, legislators banned the growing of canola.  Just last week in Jackson County, Oregon they banned the growing of all Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

Farmers should have the ability to choose what crops they grow and how they grow it on their farm. The free market should help decide what’s grown, not legislators and voters who have never had to depend on the land to make their living.

At what point is it all enough? How do we overturn the damage that has already been done?  Or have we started down a slippery slope in which there is no way up?

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Filed under Agriculture, Future of Agriculture, Green Agenda