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Issue Position: Oregon's Farms and Ranches

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A voice for Oregon's farmers and ranchers. Greg Walden was raised on a cherry orchard in The Dalles. His efforts have led to the inclusion of specialty crops in the 2008 Farm Bill, beneficial adjustments to commodity programs, and the improvement of conservation and crop and livestock insurance programs.

Healthy fruits and vegetables in school. Greg Walden's long-time strong support for expanding the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program to Oregon paid off in the 2008 Farm Bill when five elementary and middle schools in Oregon's Second District were chosen to participate in the program, which provides local fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks to school kids throughout the day as a healthy alternative to other snack foods.

Specialized agriculture research. Greg Walden sup­ported the continuation and enhancement of the Spe­cialty Crop Block Grants program in the 2008 Farm Bill. Specialty crop growers, processors and marketers across Oregon are now receiving a $1.5 million boost from this program that will fund 24 tailored re­search projects designed to enhance local agriculture producers' ability to compete in the marketplace and provide consumers with safe, abundant food supplies.

Growing Oregon jobs through increased exports. Free and fair trade agreements that Walden supports would expand trade opportunities and break down barriers to trade in existing markets, benefiting Oregon's diverse mix of agriculture, livestock, and nursery products. Greg Walden stays in close touch with the agriculture community to ensure that any new pacts are good for American farms and communities. Here are two potential new trade opportunities that would pay off for local communities and Oregon farms:

Korea Free Trade Agreeement

* Increase farm exports to Korea by $1.6 billion.
* Eliminates tariffs on wheat, peas, pears, apples, fresh cherries, frozen french fries, dairy, and chipping potatoes.
* Eliminates the tariffs on beef products over a 15-year period. U.S. beef products currently face tariffs of up to 40 percent.
* Eliminates tariffs on all U.S. processed food products in five years.

Columbia Free Trade Agreement

* Eliminates the 15 percent tariff on U.S. tree fruits.
* Eliminates the 5-20 percent tariff on U.S. wheat and wheat products.
* Eliminates the tariff of U.S. prime and choice beef.
* Market for U.S. potatoes in Colombia could increase from $1 million to $3 million per year.


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