On Wednesday, March 27, more than 150 farmers, ranchers and good food supporters from across Oregon came to Salem for our fifth biennial ‘Family Farms Mean Business’ Day at the Capitol. We held policy workshops in the morning where we learned about current issues being debated at the Legislature and heard from Alexis Taylor, Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. At noon, we held a rally on the Capitol steps to advocate for bills to support beginning farmers, farmers markets, a ‘time-out’ on new industrial-sized livestock operations, new incentives for climate friendly agricultural practices, and more.
- SB 727A – Funding for ‘Double Up Food Bucks’ programming to increase access to farmers markets for low-income Oregonians
- Several bills to support beginning farmers including: a proposed beginning farmer tax credit, student loan assistance for beginning farmers, and new and improved beginning farmer loan programs
- Capping industrial greenhouse gas emissions and providing funding for climate-friendly farming practices via passing HB 2020, the Clean Energy Jobs bill
- Establishing a ‘time-out’ on new large-scale industrial confined animal feeding operations to protect the viability of small and mid-sized farms, water, and the environment
In addition to a rally on the Capitol steps, a day-long ‘farmers market’ took place inside the Capitol lobby to help demonstrate the importance of small farms and local food producers, and farmers met with Legislators throughout the day.