Oregon Organic Farm Threatened With Forced Herbicide Use Reaches Settlement With County

Last weekend we featured two articles (HERE and HERE) describing a controversy involving the forced use of chemical herbicides on an organic farm that according to County officials was out of compliance in controlling noxious weeds that were threatening neighboring farms and crops.

The 2,000 acre organic farm in North Central Oregon is facing what could be an existential threat to its operations after county weed control authorities sent notice mandating that the farm use chemical herbicides to eradicate weed growth.

I attended the public hearing held at the Sherman County seat located in Moro, Oregon. Due to a very high volume of interest expressed by residents and those outside the community, the venue was changed from the County Courthouse to a gymnasium at the Sherman County High School. There was a great deal of uncertainty manifest in this hearing with strongly held opinions on many sides and one can say with near certainty that the publicity generated caused turmoil in this small community. In fact, the concern was so great, that a number of law enforcement officials were dispatched to the area to provide security to address a worry that things might get out of hand. But in the end the two sides reached an agreement that precludes the forced use of herbicides–and offered both a carrot and stick for both parties to strongly consider.

Continue reading

Agricultural Scientist Responds To Oregon County’s Mandate To Apply Herbicides To Organic Farm

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Yesterday I fielded an article concerning a rather distressing mandate by an Oregon county weed control agency seeking to force the application of hazardous herbicides onto a 2,000 acre organic farm owned by Azure Farms. Sherman County Oregon maintains this scorched earth policy is necessary to abate, or more specifically “eradicate”, weeds listed by state statute as noxious.

Now, the scientific community is responding to this overreaching government action by acting in the interests of health and responsible environmental stewardship through advocacy in the hopes that officials in Sherman County will reconsider their mandate.

Dr. Charles Benbrook is a highly credentialed research professor and expert serving on several boards of directors for agribusiness and natural resources organizations. Having read news of Sherman County’s actions, he penned an authoritative response I believe will make informative reading for those concerned by present and future implications in the forced use of herbicides under the rubric of noxious weed eradication, and the damage to organic farming generally arising from such mandates.

Continue reading

Oregon County Mandates 2,000 Acre Organic Farm Sprayed With Chemical Herbicides

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

A 2,000 acre organic farm in central Oregon is facing what could be a be an existential threat to its operations after county weed control authorities sent notice mandating that the farm use chemical herbicides, such as Roundup, to eradicate weed growth.

The mandate would bring to an end nearly 18 years of organic farming, placing a significant loss of organic food to the public.

Azure Farms is a certified organic farm located in Moro, Sherman County, Oregon. The farm produces almost all the organic wheat, field peas, barley, Einkorn, and beef for Azure Standard.

Sherman County could issue a court order on May 22, 2017 to quarantine Azure Farms and possibly to spray the entire farm with poisonous herbicides contaminating them with Milestone, Escort, and Roundup.

Such a unilateral action on the behalf of the few individuals representing county government could set a precedent in damaging perhaps one of the few remaining healthy alternatives to mass-market agribusinesses.

Continue reading

Princess Cruises Hit With Record $40 Million Fine After Knowing Effort To Pollute Waters And Later Cover Up

Continue reading

Poachers Kill Over 20,000 Reindeer in Russia To Send Their Tongues To China

WWF Russia

We have previously discussed how the growing Chinese market for exotic animal parts is wiping out the world’s populations of endangered and threatened animals.  This week the extent of that slaughter was brutally evident in Russia where poachers have killed over 20,000 reindeer . . . only to cut their tongues out and leaving miles of rotting carcasses.

Continue reading

Trump Signs New Law Allowing Hunters To Shoot Hibernating Bears and Wolf Cubs In Dens

Mexican_wolf_pup_(6411046205)In a blow to environmentalists and animal rights supporters, President Donald Trump has signed a new law that revokes the Obama Administration’s rule against “predator control” hunting on Alaska’s refuges.  The rule prevented hunters from killing bears as they hibernated in their dens or killing wolf cubs in dens. It also bars hunting from helicopters.

Continue reading

Kentucky Coal Museum Switches To Solar

290px-the_sunCoal_bituminousWe have been discussing how the Trump Administration seems to be moving aggressively in the opposite direction of much of the world: betting heavily on coal as an energy source as opposed to renewable energy.  One group that does not appear onboard with the shift is the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Benham, KY.  The museum  at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College has switched to solar power.

 
Continue reading