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 OREGON WOMEN FOR AGRICULTURE TAKE POSITION ON IMMIGRATION REFORM

PRESS RELEASE: OWA 3/21/06

OWA Annual State Convention met March 16-18 at the Shilo Inn, Newport and
on and around the famous bay front.

NEWPORT, OR --  Oregon Women for Agriculture adopted a position statement
relating to immigration reform at their 35th annual state convention on
March 18 stating, "Any legislation Congress considers concerning
immigration reform must include a temporary guest worker program for
agriculture."
 
During discussion, the members stressed that the word "temporary" is a
critical part of the message.
The group also elected new officers: President Judy McClaughry, of
Brooks, Ore., vice-president Tricia Chastain of Salem, Ore.; and
re-elected corresponding secretary Shireen Malpass, of Harrisburg, Ore.
 
Hosted by OWA's Marion/Clackamas County Chapter, the event focused on
marine and coastal exploration with the theme, "From Barns to Beaches."
The event took the group into an array of educational spotlights
including many guest speakers and on-site tours and exhibits.

Guests and speakers included Chris Waugh discussing the secrets of
professional communications;  Marci Murray of Oregon Cranberry Farmers
Alliance; Fawn Custer, with OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center; and Nick
Furman, Executive Director of the Oregon Dungeness Crab and Albacore
Commission.

During the diverse agenda and program, Marci Murray spoke to the group
about the importance of cranberry production in Oregon agriculture.
Murray and her husband have a 175 acre cranberry farm in Bandon, Oregon.
Murray is the Chairman of the Oregon Cranberry Farmers Alliance. The
group learned what a diverse crop cranberries are as well as sampling
dried cranberries. Murray also instructed the women about how cranberries
are grown and harvested.

Fawn Custer, instructor at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, discussed
and described various animal and plant invasive species. Chris Waugh, of
Otter Rock, Ore. told of creative ways and techniques of business
communication.

Banquet speaker, Nick Furman, executive director of the Oregon Dungeness
Crab Commission, informed and entertained the women with facts and
stories about Dungeness crab and its importance to Oregon agriculture and
economy.

The group also toured Pacific Seafood processing facility and saw the
equipment and learned of the process for crab, whitefish, salmon, halibut
and shrimp from sea to market. Pacific Seafood is the number three
processor in the world. There are several facilities in Oregon. In
addition to the Pacific Seafood tour, OWA took a trip up the Yaquina Bay
to the Oregon Oyster Farm. At the oyster farm, owner, Mr. Lin,
entertained them with his fun ways of describing how an oyster is born
and all that comes along with the process of the delectable shelled
creature from water to table.
 
The usual annual business meeting was held and OWA discussed their annual
budget, educational programs and events; some policy changes and one
resolutions. Look for the Oregon Women for Agriculture at Ag Fest  and
the Oregon State Fair this year. There are several other events planned
that will be announced later.

Oregon Women for Agriculture is a 36-year-old statewide organization
whose goal is to educate its members and the public about issues
important to agriculture. Funds raised support Summer Ag Institute, Ag in
the Classroom, scholarships for students studying agriculture, and most
recently the support of Get Oregonized, a text book published for 3rd and
4th grade students formatted with the regions and history of Oregon. OWA
also benefits general education projects.
 

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