11 February 2011

Get Involved

What is less riveting than pending bills in the lower house of a bicameral chamber? Okay, using bicameral in a sentence, fair enough. Fortunately, the good folks at Friends of Family Farmers keep track of pending legislation here in in Oregon that have real life consequences for the growers, farmers and ranchers who raise our food. Currently, there is a spate of possible new bills pending in the Oregon house that need attention.
Friends of the Family Farmers have given us permission, to reprint the summary from their newsletter, The Barnyard. They also want to extend an invitation to join Family Farmer and Rancher Day at the Capitol on March 15th. And if you can’t make the rally, you can find and contact your law maker here.
We’ve been talking about healthy food-systems for a long time, now is the time to take action so that we can finally work to promote sound policies that keep socially responsible family farmers and ranchers viable in Oregon.
There will be four bills heard on Wednesday, including bills that Legislators took directly from the Agricultural Reclamation Act. Bills to be heard are:

The Family Farmer Act (HB 2222)An attempt to ease some of the burdens faced by Oregon’s agricultural entrepreneurs, while not adding any additional budgetary demands on the state.  HB 2222: 1) Allows poultry producers to lawfully raise, slaughter and sell up to 1000 poultry without having a state-inspected establishment 2) Requires that two seats on the Board of Agriculture be reserved for those producers who market products solely within the state 3) Expands the ability of raw milk producers to sell their milk in order to meet consumer demand 4) And qualifies new farmers and ranchers to receive farm deferment on their property upon establishing and investing in their farm business.

HB 2872 Creates exemption from food establishment license requirements for person that slaughters not more than 1,000 poultry per year and meets other conditions. (included in above bill as well)

The Farm Direct Bill (HB 2336) –  This exempts agricultural producers selling specified agricultural products directly to the general public from state laws regulation produce dealers and food establishments.

HB 2947 This requires State Department of Agriculture to adopt rules establishing standards of identity and quality and labeling requirements for honey sold in Oregon.