Pages tagged "Events"
Wednesday April 21, 2021, 5:30-7:00pm
Thank you so much to the 34 farmers that took the time to fill out our nomination forms! (Nominations for the Living Soil Awards 2021 closed at 11:59 pm on April 1). The selection committee is reviewing applications and finalists will be notified of the next steps on Thursday, April 8th. RSVP for the live ceremony on Zoom on 4/21.
Join Cultivate Oregon and OPN’s parent organization Friends of Family Farmers in celebrating our state’s “HERO”s (holistic, ecological, regenerative operators) through the 2021 Living Soil Awards! This award will honor farmers and ranchers of all scales around the state who are currently putting a premium on soil health through their practices and philosophies. This award will feature both recognition and a cash prize for farmers, and is designed to give a platform to these leaders in Oregon agriculture and encourage more folks to follow in their footsteps.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Celebrate Soil Health and Responsible Land Stewardship with the Living Soil Awards
[February 25, 2021] Join Friends of Family Farmers and Cultivate Oregon in celebrating our state’s "HERO"s (holistic, ecological, regenerative operators) through the 2021 Living Soil Awards! This award will honor farmers and ranchers of all scales around the state who are currently putting a premium on soil health through their practices and philosophies. This award will feature both recognition and a cash prize for farmers, and is designed to give a platform to these leaders in Oregon agriculture and encourage more folks to follow in their footsteps.
Soil Health has always been important to farmers. It brings numerous agronomic benefits including increased soil moisture holding capacity, reduced soil erosion, reduced need for chemical inputs, and much more. Although the benefits of these practices for agriculture are many, they are by no means new. Indigenous farmers have known for millennia that caring for the soil as a living entity is important to sustain a healthy, productive food system and today’s regenerative agriculture movement is bringing many of these principles to new audiences. A focus on soil health also has the potential to increase the climate resilience of Oregon’s farms. Research from US Dept. Agriculture has shown that the potential of soil carbon sequestration in agricultural land could be a huge opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint of our state and nation and world. Governor Brown’s Oregon Climate Action Plan specifically calls on the carbon sequestration potential of these working lands to impact the future of Oregon’s climate. The U.S. Congress is working to achieve support in the Farm Bill to support a new program that might deal with many facets of a national carbon sequestration effort on working lands.
With all this renewed interest in soil health in working lands, the goal of the Living Soil Awards is to lift up the voices of the farmers and ranchers who have already implemented these techniques, show that it is possible on any scale, and create a community of practice surrounding this type of farming. Friends of Family Farmers and Cultivate Oregon acknowledge that we are one effort within a movement that was not begun by these policy initiatives. We want to bring folks from across Oregon’s working landscape together to celebrate what is happening here in our state and inspire other producers to adopt or expand their soil health initiatives.
Nominations are now open until April 1. Self nominations are welcome and applications will be reviewed by a committee and based on the level of implementation of good practices at the farm, framed by the NRCS guidelines for soil health. Finalists will be visited by the selection committee to learn more, and awards will be presented in a virtual ceremony on April 21, 2021.
Join the Emerging Futures Network Zoom meeting and get a sneak-peak at our November Virtual Soil Symposium
Join the Emerging Futures Network Zoom meeting tomorrow (Oct 7th at 5:30pm PST) and get a sneak peek at our November Virtual Soil Symposium, "Enabling Regenerative Agriculture: Getting Paid for Promoting Soil Health." Here is the Zoom link to use.
Hear from three of Cultivate Oregon's Steering Committee members- Chris Hardy (Founder of Hardy Seeds), Dr. Ray Seidler, Rhianna Simms MS.Ed - and the Food Solutions Project team at Emerging Futures for an hour zoom talk on:
- What is Regenerative Agriculture?
- Local Framework and what’s going on in our Rogue Valley
- What’s happening and why you want to attend the Soil Symposium 2020 in November
$25 gift certificate from Falafel Republic will be raffled off on the Oct 7th zoom call.
You can RSVP on Facebook and share with your friends here. For more information, view their newsletter and event flyer in your browser (and be able to click on active links) here.
Everyone is welcome to attend this free event.
Cultivate Oregon is excited to announce our virtual symposium, Enabling Regenerative Agriculture: Getting Paid For Improving Soil Health, scheduled for November 10th and 17th of 2020. Our symposium will educate farmers, orchardists, vintners, ranchers, landowners, managers, philanthropists, decision-makers, state agency personnel, and others on how farmers can get financial rewards for producing healthy soil. The discussion will feature current incentive programs for farmers, a summary of best practices for sustainable agriculture, details about how to access Carbon Marketplaces, and details about how to earn financial incentives for building healthy soils.
We're here at the 10th Organic Seed Growers Conference today! Amy Wong and Chris Hardy will be participating in a panel from 2:00pm - 3:30pm in the Alumni Center/Room 111, for "In the Trenches and in State Capitals: Legislative Work to Protect Organic Seed." Please join us!
Details: Given the federal policy shortcomings related to the oversight of GMOs and the protection of organic seed, advocacy groups have been promoting state-based initiatives to fill federal gaps. This panel includes policy leaders who will share updates, stories, and lessons learned with an eye toward strengthening policy and legislative efforts at the state level. Topics include liability for GE contamination; protecting the Willamette Valley from commercial canola cultivation in high-value organic seed production areas; ballot measures to ban GE crops in Southern Oregon; resisting cultural appropriation in New Mexico; and other community organizing examples that aim to protect the viability and integrity of organic seed. This session will provide an opportunity for audience members to discuss other ways to educate, inspire, and advocate for organic seed in their communities and beyond. https://seedalliance.org/conference-workshop-details
$10 suggested donation at the door. Amy van Saun from Center for Food Safety will be speaking at the PDX event, and a representative from Cultivate Oregon will host a Q&A section at the Hood River event. Please stay for the talks and Q&As, and find our table to learn more about this years legislation from our coalition partners and friends.
Modified is the award-winning new documentary about the filmmaker and her mother embarking on a very personal and poignant investigative journey. Shot over a span of ten years, the film follows the ongoing struggle to label GMOs, exposing the cozy relationship between the biotech industry and governments. The film is anchored in the intimate story of the filmmaker's relationship to her mom, a prolific gardener, seed saver, and food activist who battled cancer while the film production was underway. Interweaving the personal and the political, the film uses family archives, animations, and mouth-watering vignettes from the filmmaker's award-winning PBS cooking show to create a moving account of family legacy, grassroots activism, and the journey for a more sustainable and transparent food system. Details about the film: www.modifiedthefilm.com
A big thank you to those who came out for our Spring Seed Swap on Saturday. It was nice to have time to chat with the pros about the ins and outs of seed saving and growing food in general. A huge thank you to Hardy Seeds, Duane Elvin and his mom— Baker Creek’s Local Advisors—and Evan of Portland Seedhouse for all of the great seeds.
Our Winter Newsletter is here! -- If you're not on our mailing list yet, you can sign up here to start receiving our quarterly newsletter.
Subject: Cultivate Oregon 2018 Winter Newsletter
Our Winter 2018 Newsletter is finally here. We've got a few updates for you about what we've been up to, as well has information on upcoming events.
Cultivate Oregon spent the fall creating a new website and it is now live. Many thanks to the hard work of our Media Director, Laura Jean; our web designers—Code Nation; Naomi Binzen for sharing her gorgeous photos; and a special donor who made the project possible. Photo below.
We are also excited to announce that after a couple of false starts we are finally hosting a screening of Taggart Siegel’s SEED: The Untold Story in conjunction with Portland's KBOO, Bee Friendly Portland, and The Pollinator Project. Join us for the show on March 8th, 7-9pm at the Clinton Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202. Suggested donation of $10 but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. There will be conversation afterwards with Film Director Taggart Siegel and folks from the Pollinator Collective and Cultivate Oregon, so stick around.
DINA Magazine said of SEED that it is: “Ambitious...a triumph...enhanced by a diversity that mirrors the film’s central message: that maintaining diversity in our seed stocks is crucial to our survival. This special film brings a revival of consciousness around seeds.” Learn more at Seed the Movie.
Like gardeners all over the world, a favorite winter pastime is leafing through seed catalogs dreaming of our next garden. Join us for another Cultivate Oregon seed swap on March 24th. More details will be posted on the website soon.
The future of the regenerative agriculture movement is healthy soil. Our friends in Southern Oregon, Our Family Farms, are hosting an incredible six-part series called The Future of Soil. You can sign up for all six sessions or one of more. The series launch is this Sunday, February 4th from 6 to 8pm at the Talent Community Center, 104 E. Main Street, Talent, Oregon. Register and learn more at Our Family Farms.
Cultivate Oregon's non-profit fiscal sponsor, Earth Island Institute, appeared in the #1 spot on People Magazine's "25 Ways to Give Back to Give Others A Better Tomorrow" list! We’re thrilled to see all of the 70+ environmental and social justice-minded Earth Island projects getting a national shout-out! Earth Island also received impeccable ratings from all of the major charity rating agencies. Consider making a donation! Photo below.
Cultivate Oregon enjoyed meeting more Portland non-profit leaders at NAO's (Nonprofit Association of Oregon) workshop "Building a Board that Works" in December. Trainer Andy Robinson did a fantastic job of laying out the process for cultivating a board that can help nonprofits thrive. If you do nonprofit work in Oregon, consider joining and using NAO’s resources.
Our new website.
March 8th showing of Seed: The Untold Story
Earth Island Instutite appeared in #1 spot on People's Magazine's "25 Ways to Give Back to Give Others a Better Tomorrw" List!
We're looking to build our team and reconnect with more of our old friends from the Yes on 92 campaign; the Jackson and Josephine County campaigns to ban the cultivation of GE crops; and the Community Rights Benton Food Freedom campaign. If you're interested in helping write stories, conduct interviews, network, fundraise, and other fun projects to help build local seed and food system resiliency get in touch with us on our contact page, or email us at [email protected]. Please also take a moment to invite your friends to join us online and sign up for this quarterly newsletter.
Here's to the new year and to our precious soil and seeds!
- Cultivate Oregon Team
Our Fall Newsletter is here! -- with some minor corrections. If you're not on our mailing list yet, you can sign up here to start receiving our quarterly newsletter.
Subject: News from Cultivate Oregon
Hello! It’s been awhile since you last heard from us, but Cultivate Oregon’s volunteer Steering Committee has been at work furthering our mission of championing regenerative agriculture and protecting traditional seeds from genetically engineered (GE) contamination. Below you’ll hear about what we’ve been up to and what we have planned. As we continue to grow we invite you to join us —we’re currently looking for additional volunteers and supporters. Feel free to be in touch or let us know that you want to volunteer at [email protected].
Along with our coalition partners, Cultivate Oregon participated in the 2017 legislative session in Salem. The coalition put forth two pieces of legislation aimed to address GE issues—H.B. 2739, which also had a Senate version, S.B. 1037, and H.B. 2739. Thank you to those who responded to the action alerts that we sent out—especially those that sent in personal testimony and traveled to Salem with the coalition. We were recently reminded by a legislator that while form letters can be useful, personal constituent testimony is truly what makes a difference.
As some background, in 2014, voters in both Josephine and Jackson counties, by significant majorities, passed ballot measures to ban the cultivation of GE seeds. However, during the 2013 special summer session, Oregon legislators included the GE seed issue in legislation (S.B. 683) that was used as leverage to pass the “Grand Bargain” related to PERS (retirement) issues. As part of this political compromise, which was otherwise unrelated to agriculture, S.B. 683 put into place a statewide prohibition that prevents any county or local jurisdiction from regulating GE seeds. (If Multnomah County voted to ban the cultivation of GE seeds, it could not go into effect.)
The Jackson County vote was fortunately exempted from S.B. 683 because the ballot initiative was filed by January 13, 2013—a political carve out made during the bargaining process. But Josephine County wasn’t included, and as a result, the county’s 58% affirmative vote was barred from going into effect simply because their citizen’s initiative was filed at a later date.
The coalition decided to pursue a legislative fix.
H.B. 2739 and S.B. 1037, the “Local Control” bills, sought to overturn this preemption to correct the disenfranchisement of Josephine County voters, and restore the right of Oregon counties to make choices about their agricultural needs. While the bills were assigned to committees, Rules and Environment & Natural Resources respectively, they did not pass. Opponents declined to restore local control, nor honor the vote in Josephine County, because of concerns about a “patchwork” of regulations throughout the state. However, the same opponents have failed to support any meaningful advances to statewide regulation.
In light of this discrepancy—no local control and no statewide legislation—the coalition also sought to create independent protection from GE contamination for Oregon farmers.
The aim of H.B. 2739, the “Liability” bill, was to implement a mechanism to aid farmers whose crops become contaminated by GE technology. The first-of-its-kind bill sought to put the liability for GE contamination on the patent holder of the contaminating seed, not the farmer who planted it. Since Oregon has no statewide regulation of GE crops, and has disenfranchised all counties (except Jackson) from making decisions about GE farming, conventional and organic farmers whose crops are contaminated have no simple recourse. If an organic farmer’s crop is contaminated, it can no longer be sold, and most farmers cannot afford to pursue legal remedies for such harm. Further, since one-way GE contamination often cannot be eradicated, the harm to an organic farm can be permanent. H.B. 2739 also was assigned to committee, Rules, and received a hearing, but was never voted on and died at the end of the busy session.
The opposition purports that GE contamination is not an issue in Oregon, and therefore, until there is a problem, there is no need for liability. However, there have been instances of GE contamination in Oregon; wheat in 2013, as well as ongoing GE bentgrass contamination that is the result of an escape from a GE field trial. The bottom line is that GE farmers should not be able to contaminate other farms with impunity and we will continue to advocate for protections from GE contamination.
- In addition to our legislative efforts, Cultivate Oregon hosted two events. In December we produced a Winter Solstice Square Dance in Hood River. The event built awareness around responsible food and farming and the importance of seed biodiversity. The event was sponsored by local farms and organic food companies. Diverse community members gathered to celebrate the winter solstice at the local Grange through community building and old timey rituals like dancing, breaking bread, and having fun! We hope to hold more events like this in the future.
- In July we offered a Winter Garden Seed Swap where we provided a fantastic selection of Oregon open-pollinated organic seeds, as well as homegrown seeds, geared towards winter gardens. We also had soil and plantable containers on hand so participants were able to get a jump-start on their cold weather sustenance. It was a lovely, sunny afternoon and we enjoyed hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones too.
- On September 13, Cultivate Oregon attended the Oregon Organic Coalition Awards for Excellence Luncheon where our friend and coalition member, Dr. Ray Seidler, was honored as Scientist of the Year! During the 1980s, Dr. Seidler was the Chief EPA scientist involved in monitoring the first ever microorganism GMO releases into the open environment. Since retiring, Dr. Seidler has presented numerous talks on health and environmental risk assessment issues pertaining to GE crops, impacts of pesticides on beneficial life forms and on endocrine disruptors. He has also testified many times before the Oregon legislature on bills impacting these subjects, and has also served as a scientific expert in legal matters involving GE issues. Cultivate Oregon is thankful that Dr. Seidler is committed to protecting organic farmers in Oregon.
- Cultivate Oregon attended the Earth Island Institute (EII) Project Directors Summit September 15-17 in the Marin Headlands, which was organized by our fiscal sponsor, EII. It was inspiring to be amidst over 70 non-profit projects, largely focused on environmental, social justice, and equity issues. We are continually grateful for the support and guidance that we receive from the EII community.
- Cultivate Oregon will be tabling at the Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir shows in Portland on October 6 and 7 at 7:30pm at The Old Church. Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir is a New York City-based radical performance community. They are anti-consumerist gospel shouters and Earth loving urban activists who have worked with communities all over the world defending community, life, and imagination.
- Details will be forthcoming for a fall screening of SEED! – The Untold Story, in Portland, along with organic popcorn, hot cider, and more seed swapping
- Cultivate Oregon is also excited to be partnering with Jerry Hunter, Urban Agriculturalist of Multnomah County’s Office of Sustainability, to present on-farm events next season.
- Lastly, stay tuned for an updated website later this fall or early winter.
Thank you for reading and we look forward to connecting with you soon. Lastly, as part of our long-term planning, we are looking for grant and foundation money, and part of this process includes upgrading our website. Please consider make a small donation to help up with this project, as well as our legislative and event outreach. Donate here.
– The Cultivate Oregon Steering Committee
Please join Cultivate Oregon for a winter garden seed swap!
When: Sunday, July 16th 2 to 5pm
Where: The Garden and Carriage House, Portland OR.
Grow a winter garden to harvest from or to overwinter for an early spring harvest. We’ll share seed varieties especially well-suited for the Pacific Northwest. Cultivate Oregon will have seeds on hand to distribute, but feel free to bring some to share and swap. We’ll also have a limited amount of supplies to plant seeds and will discuss when to plant the sprouted starts and how to harvest from a winter garden.