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News Releases
Watch a video and download a brochure with information for both motorists and farmers about rural road safety at https://OregonFB.org/safety
Watch a video and download a brochure with information for both motorists and farmers about rural road safety at https://OregonFB.org/safety
Oregon Farm Bureau offers video, brochure on sharing the road safely with slow-moving farm equipment (Photo) - 06/29/20

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 


Oregon Farm Bureau offers video, brochure on sharing the road safely with slow-moving farm equipment

June 29, 2020, SALEM, OREGON: For many Oregon farmers who are #StillFarming, July 4 signifies the busiest time of year. Harvest of major crops like grass seed, berries, tree fruits, clover, and wheat is in full swing, and it’s not unusual for a farmer to spend 15-hour days working in the field.

Summer harvest also means that sometimes farmers must drive their large equipment, such as tractors, swathers, combines, and trucks, out onto public roads to move between fields. Farmers do their best to avoid moving equipment during high-traffic times, but during peak harvest, when the fruit is ripe or the hay is at the optimum level of dryness, they often have no choice.

“While driving a slow-moving tractor on a highway is legal and often a necessary part of harvest, it can pose a safety risk without caution, courtesy, and patience,” said Kristie Glaser, vice chair of the OFB Health & Safety Committee. “We’re reminding drivers to slow down, be patient, and use caution when encountering a tractor on the road.”

To help drivers share the road safely with farm equipment, the Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) Health & Safety Committee offers a one-minute video and a free brochure with important tips for both motorists and farmers.

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), in 2017 there were a total of 42 crashes statewide involving farm equipment, resulting in one fatality and 32 non-fatal injuries. This is a significant increase from 2013 when there was a total of 26 crashes involving farm equipment, with no fatalities and 11 non-fatal injuries.

“It’s heartbreaking to hear about injuries or deaths involving tractors that could’ve been avoided if drivers had simply slowed down, or farmers had taken a few simple steps,” said Glaser.

And as driving apps become the norm, more motorists than ever before are using rural roads for everyday travel.

“Our rural roads are no longer being used just for getting agricultural products to market. They’re now being used as backroad commuting highways,” said Glaser. “Too many people underestimate how dangerous it is when you don’t slow down or try to pass a tractor recklessly, or even illegally over a double line or on a curve.”

Most farm equipment is designed to travel at speeds of no more than 25 miles per hour (mph), and must display a reflective, triangular, orange-and-red, slow-moving-vehicle sign if going out on public roads.

It can be surprising just how slow 25 mph is on the highway. A tractor that looks far on the horizon can be directly in front of a fast-moving car within seconds.

“If you’re driving 55 mph on a highway and come upon a tractor that’s moving at 25 mph, it can take only 8 seconds to close a gap the length of a football field. You’ll be right behind that heavy piece of equipment very quickly,” said Glaser.


Safety tips for drivers include:

• If you decide to pass farm equipment on the road, please do so with caution.

• Be watchful of vehicles behind you that may also try to pass.

• If you must enter the oncoming lane of traffic, do not proceed unless you can see clearly ahead of both your vehicle and the vehicle you will pass.

• If there are any curves or hills ahead that may block your view or the view of oncoming vehicles, do not pass.

• Do not pass if you are in a designated “No Passing Zone” or within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevation structure, or tunnel.

• Do not assume that a farm vehicle that pulls to the right side of the road is going to turn right or is letting you pass. Due to the size of some farm implements, the farmer must make wide left-hand turns. If you are unsure, check the operator’s hand signals and look at the left side of the road for gates, driveways, or a place the vehicle might turn.


Safety tips for farmers include:

• Oregon law requires a slow-moving vehicle reflector on any machine that travels the road slower than 25 mph. Always point the triangle up, keep the SMV emblem clean to maximize reflectivity, and replace the emblem when it fades, normally every two to three years.

• Mark the edges of tractors and machines with reflective tape and reflectors. Consider installing retrofit lighting to increase visibility.

• Turn on your lights, but turn off rear spotlights when going onto the road. From a distance, spotlights can be mistaken for headlights.

• Be aware of heavy traffic patterns.

• Consider installing mirrors on equipment so you can see motorists around you. Be careful where the mirrors are placed.

• When moving multiple farm implements down the highway, leave enough space between each vehicle for cars to pass.


Request a copy of the printed OFB Rural Road Safety Brochure by calling 503.399.1701 or emailing a request to ie@oregonfb.org">annemarie@oregonfb.org.

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* Note to Editors: “Farm Bureau” is a registered trademark; please capitalize in all cases.

Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit, general farm organization representing the interests of farming and ranching families in the public and policymaking arenas. First established in Oregon at the county level in 1919 and the state level in 1932, Farm Bureau is organized in all 36 counties.

Oregon Farm Bureau President Barb Iverson comes from a multigenerational family farm from Woodburn, raising industrial hemp, grass seed, squash, vetch seed, hazelnuts, wine and table grapes, and operating the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, which attracts over 160,000 visitors each year. Iverson is OFB’s 17th president.

Oregon Farm Bureau Scholarship Program Awards $24K to Students - 06/25/20

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2020
Contact: Holly Michaels, OFBF Memorial Scholarship Coordinator, ship@oregonfb.org">scholarship@oregonfb.org

Oregon Farm Bureau scholarship recipients announced

June 25, 2020 The Oregon Farm Bureau Memorial Scholarship Program, administered through the Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation, is pleased to announce the scholarship recipients for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Thanks to generous program supporters, 17 scholarships were awarded this year for a total of $24,000 given to students.
 
"We appreciate the contributions of our donors and friends who make it possible for these young people to pursue a career in the agriculture industry. Your gifts help to keep Oregon agriculture viable," said Holly Michaels, OFBF Memorial Scholarship Coordinator.

The following students have been identified to receive a $2,000 scholarship (6):

Katie Sherer
Tillamook County
Biological/Biosystems Engineering
Oregon State University
Sponsor:  Norman Stauffer Memorial Endowment

Elizabeth Brentano
Marion County
Horticulture
Oregon State University
Sponsor:  John Rossner Memorial Endowment

John Stables Jr.
Yamhill County
Range Science & Management
Oregon State University
Sponsor:  John Rossner Memorial Endowment

Elizabeth Kenagy
Douglas County
Agricultural Business & Management
Oregon State University
Sponsor:  John Rossner Memorial Endowment

Kaitlyn Schumacher
Linn County
Accounting & Finance
Oregon State University
Sponsor:  John Rossner Memorial Endowment

Macy Roselle
Umatilla County
Agricultural Business & Management
Oklahoma State University
Sponsors:  Oregon Mint Commission
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians
Tillamook County Farm Bureau (In Honor of Dale & Jackie Buck)

The following students have been identified to receive a $1,500 scholarship (2):

Moriah Michaels
Douglas County
Agricultural Business & Management
University of Idaho
Sponsor:  Multnomah County Farm Bureau (In Memory of Marie Garre)

Matthew Orem
Morrow County
Farm & Ranch Management
Blue Mountain Community College
Sponsor:  Multnomah County Farm Bureau

The following students have been identified to receive a $1,000 scholarship (8):

Eric Rencken
Umatilla County
Agricultural Business & Management
University of Idaho
Sponsor:  Wilco

Sarah Michaels
Douglas County
Nutrition & Dietetics
University of Idaho
Sponsor:  Douglas County Farm Bureau

Gracelyn Krahn
Linn County
Animal Science
Linn-Benton Community College
Sponsor:  Norman Stauffer Memorial Endowment

Charles Harris
Washington County
Electrical & Agricultural Engineering
Linn-Benton Community College
Sponsor:  Yamhill County Farm Bureau (In Memory of John Rossner)

Alexis Thomas
Linn County
Agronomy & Crop Science
Brigham Young University
Sponsor:  Tillamook Creamery

Megan Hufford
Union County
Agricultural Production Operations
University of Idaho
Sponsor:  Anonymous Donor

Amanda Fox
Lane County
Animal Science
Oregon State University
Sponsor:  Norman Stauffer Memorial Endowment

The following student has been identified to receive the OFB Associate Member Scholarship, which was funded by COUNTRY Financial ($1,000):

Justin Thomas
Washington County
Engineering
Oregon State University


Thank you to the 2020-2021 Oregon Farm Bureau Memorial Scholarship Sponsors:

Norman Stauffer Memorial Endowment, John Rossner Memorial Endowment, Tillamook County Farm Bureau, Tillamook Creamery, Oregon Mint Commission, Douglas County Farm Bureau, Yamhill County Farm Bureau, Multnomah County Farm Bureau, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Wilco, Anonymous Donor, and COUNTRY Financial.

Contributions of $499 or less were received from many scholarship supporters (Linn County Farm Bureau, Polk County Farm Bureau, and many individuals in memory of Gary Johnson) and during our annual fundraiser at OFB Annual Convention.  

Thanks to these, along with the scholarship sponsors listed above and many generous Oregon Farm Bureau members who contributed with their Membership Dues, this scholarship program was able to award 17 scholarships for a total of $24,000!

OFBFMS Gift Sale/Raffle Donors & Helpers:

Dan Meeker, Troy & Holly Michaels, Pam Zweifel, Kent Smith, Lindsay Heiser, Kent & Nancy Searles, Werner Gourmet Meat, Rosenburg Builders Supply, Tillamook Farmers Co-op, Debbie D’s Jerky & Sausage Factory, Douglas County Farmer’s Co-op, Dave Dillon, and Carol Leuthold.


The Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation, through its Oregon Farm Bureau Memorial Scholarship Project, offers scholarships to individuals preparing to continue their education through a junior college, or a four-year college or university, with plans to study in an agricultural related major. Children and grandchildren of voting members of Oregon Farm Bureau are eligible regardless of their major. Contributions are received throughout the year in support of the OFB Memorial Scholarship Project.

The Foundation is a 501 (c )(3) Oregon non-profit organization.  Mail your contributions to:  Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation (memo:  Scholarships), 1320 Capitol St. NE, Suite 200, Salem, OR  97301. 

For more information, contact Holly Michaels, OFBF Memorial Scholarship Coordinator, at ship@oregonfb.org">scholarship@oregonfb.org

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