I just wrote 14 legislators that might hear this bill in committee. You can too! It is important now because the Farm Bureau has come out pro-canola. Feel free to use all or part of this message. See below for details on who to contact.
Please support House Bill 2427: Willamette Valley Canola Ban
My name is Hank Keogh. I was born and raised in Oregon, and I am now an organic vegetable seed farmer. I support legislation to prohibit the production of canola in the Willamette Valley.
We need a hearing on this canola ban bill because the Oregon Department of Agriculture has done a very poor job of handling the issue, incurring lawsuits from seed farmers, and ignoring research on the impacts of canola paid for by taxpayers and conducted by Oregon State University. In addition, planting time for canola is coming. If no action is taken to prevent this, canola will be planted and begin to spread and contaminate our crops.
Canola is a big problem for three different agricultural industries in Oregon: Specialty Vegetable Seeds worth $50 million, Fresh Vegetables at $30 million, and Clover Seed at $20 million. Canola directly crosses with seed crops, incubates and spreads pests and diseases to neighboring fresh vegetable and seed fields, and also contaminates clover seed through physical seed mixing. Canola is a subsidized commodity crop and adequate control measures would make it unprofitable. These three established industries, with a combined annual value of $100 million are being threatened by the possibility of canola worth less than $3 million. There is no co-existence.
Specialty vegetable seed is an established industry that pays healthy taxes and creates and keeps good jobs. Canola is subsidized $.05 per pound and requires minimal labor.
I am a farmer and the Farm Bureau does NOT represent me on this issue.
Please support a ban on canola in the Willamette Valley.
Senate Rural Communities and Economic Development
Arnie Roblan, Chair
Herman Baertschiger Jr., Vice-Chair
Ginny Burdick (Senate President Pro Tempore)
House Agriculture and Natural Resources
Brad Witt, Chair
Sal Esquivel, Vice-Chair
Caddy McKeown, Vice-Chair
Find your senators’ emails here: http://www.leg.state.or.us/senate/
Find you representatives’ emails here: http://www.leg.state.or.us/house/