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News Release
Oregon Dept. of Ag, Farm Bureau, Marion Co. Sheriff's, ODOT to host press conference about sharing rural roads safely with farm equipment on 6/20 in Gervais - 06/18/19

MEDIA ALERT: Oregon Dept. of Ag, Farm Bureau, Marion Co. Sheriff’s, ODOT to host press conference about sharing rural roads safely with farm equipment on 6/20 in Gervais

What: The Oregon Department of Agriculture, Marion County Farm Bureau, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and Oregon Department of Transportation will host a press conference to highlight the importance of drivers sharing the road safely with large, slow-moving farm equipment.

When: Thursday, June 20 at 12:30 p.m.

Where: Pearmine Farms, 12223 River Rd NE, Gervais, OR 97026 (directly across from Salem Missionary Baptist Church on River Rd.)

Why: As summer harvest ramps up in the Willamette Valley, large, slow-moving farm equipment must sometimes drive on public roads to move between fields. Meanwhile, there are more cars than ever before on rural roads because of smartphone driving apps and more people taking advantage of farm stands, u-picks, and agritourism events. Summer is also the time when major construction takes place on interstate highways, causing drivers to look for alternative routes. Both motorists and farmers are encouraged to exercise caution, courtesy, and patience to keep everyone safe as farm equipment moves down the road.

The Oregon Legislature is also poised to pass HB 3213, which will establish safety corridors on certain county roads. Marion County Farm Bureau members Molly McCargar and Brenda Frketich were driving forces behind the legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Shelly Boshart Davis, a farmer and member of Linn County Farm Bureau.

In less than a year, there have been 12 fatalities on McKay Road, a rural road in Marion County, alone.  

Press conference schedule: Press conference will begin at 12:30 p.m. with statements by:

  • Alexis Taylor, director, Oregon Department of Agriculture
  • Molly McCargar, farmer and member of Marion County Farm Bureau
  • Brenda Frketich, farmer and member of Marion County Farm Bureau
  • Ethan Griffith, senior deputy sheriff, Marion County Sheriff's Office 
  • Louis Torres, public information officer, Oregon Department of Transportation 

*** Video footage opportunity: There will be an opportunity to take video footage of a large tractor driving down a road immediately following the speakers. ***

Event contact: Anne Marie Moss, cell: 503-551-4799, annemarie@oregonfb.org

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