Congressman Greg Walden

Representing the 2nd District of Oregon

Oregon's Farms and Ranches

Oregon's farms and ranches: Increasing jobs and opportunities

Providing Certainty for Oregon’s Farmers and Ranchers

A voice for Oregon’s farmers and ranchers. Greg Walden spent his early years on a cherry orchard in The Dalles. His efforts for farmers, ranchers, and orchardists have led to the inclusion of specialty crops in the Farm Bill, increased funding for agricultural research, beneficial adjustments to commodity programs, and the improvement of conservation and crop and livestock insurance programs.

Stopping federal regulations that threaten to put farmers and ranchers out of business. The federal government is involved in too many aspects of our lives, and new regulations from the bureaucracy threaten to kill farming and ranching jobs every day. When the FDA proposed onerous water quality and food safety standards that could have put onion and fruit growers out of business and prevented small brewers from selling their spent grains to cattlemen, Greg Walden worked with his colleagues from the Pacific Northwest to get the FDA to pullback on rules that didn’t pass the “common-sense” test. And when the EPA proposed new Clean Water Act rules that could lead to the agency regulating stock ponds and irrigation ditches, Greg Walden helped to lead the charge to push back on the EPA, leading to the House of Representatives passing legislation sending the EPA back to the drawing board. Our rural economies are under enough stress without even more red tape coming from Washington, D.C.

Passage of a five year Farm Bill. Greg Walden helped to lead the passage a five year farm bill that provides support for Oregon’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities while reforming programs to save taxpayer dollars.

“This reform-minded legislation ensures an adequate safety net for producers, while also reducing spending by $16 billion dollars. We reduce fraud in the food stamp program and we increase assistance for food banks. This plan contains strong support for vital agriculture research that fights disease and pests in everything from onions to pears to potatoes. And it permanently reauthorizes and provides retroactive disaster funding for livestock producers, like those who lost grazing land and livestock to fires across eastern and southern Oregon. This legislation also provides some regulatory relief, both for our foresters and our farmers.” – Greg Walden

Highlights of the Plan

·    Fully funds PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) payments to Oregon counties through 2014.

·    Saves $16 billion in mandatory spending, including reforms to the food stamp program and ending direct payments to growers.

·    Provides full funding for disaster assistance for livestock producers, including retroactive funding for ranchers impacted by wildfires across eastern Oregon in 2012

·    Reauthorizes and provides strong support for competitive specialty crop research that has a proven track record of a high return on investment.

·    Reduces fraud and waste in nutrition programs and helps ensure that those who receive food stamps are actually eligible for them, while providing additional $205 million for food banks.

·    Consolidates 23 duplicative conservation programs into 13, cutting red tape and saving taxpayer dollars.

·    Requires FDA to analyze the economic impact of proposed food safety rules that would dramatically impact Oregon’s fruit and vegetable growers.

·    Provides regulatory relief to foresters facing overreaching EPA regulations on forest roads.

·    Requires the Department of Labor to consult with USDA and report to Congress on the abusive use of “hot good orders”, like those used against Oregon blueberry growers during the summer of 2012 and recently overturned in court.

For more information on the plan, courtesy of the House Agriculture Committee, please click here.