WesCom News Service staff

About this column

Small Business Happenings covers Northeast Oregon’s small-business community. The column carries news about business events, startups and owners and employees who earn awards and recognition or make significant gains in their careers.

There is no charge for inclusion in the column, which is editorial in nature and is not ad space or a marketing tool. Products and services will be discussed only in general terms.

Email items to biz@lagrandeobserver.com or call them in to 541-963-3161.

Baker County residents can submit items to news@bakercityherald.com or call them in to 541-523-3673.

BAKER CITY — Baker County’s soil and water conservation districts have scheduled meetings for September.

The public is welcome to attend all meetings, and meals will be available to those who RSVP by calling Tara at 541-523-7121, extension 100.

• Baker Valley: noon Sept. 14 at the USDA Service Center in Baker City.

• Eagle Valley: noon Sept. 25 in Halfway (call the above number for location details).

• Keating: noon Sept. 26 at the USDA Service Center in Baker City.

Dairy producers can enroll for 2018 coverage

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency announced that dairy producers can now enroll for 2018 coverage in the Margin Protection Program.

Secretary Sonny Perdue has utilized additional flexibility this year by providing dairy producers the option of opting out of the program for 2018.

To opt out, a producer should not sign up during the annual registration period. By opting out, a producer would not receive any MPP-Dairy benefits if payments are triggered for 2018. Full details will be included in a subsequent Federal Register Notice. The decision would be for 2018 only, and is not retroactive.

The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy producers when the margin — the difference between the price of milk and feed costs — falls below the coverage level selected by the producer.

MPP-Dairy gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation.
Enrollment ends on Dec. 15 for coverage in calendar year 2018. Participating farmers will remain in the program through
Dec. 31, 2018, and pay a minimum $100 administrative fee for 2018 coverage. Producers have the option of selecting a different coverage level from the previous coverage year during open enrollment.

Dairy operations enrolling in the program must meet conservation compliance provisions and cannot participate in the Livestock Gross Margin Dairy Insurance Program. Producers can mail the appropriate form to their administrative county FSA office, along with applicable fees, without necessitating a trip to the local FSA office.

Annual Heritage Barn Workshop coming to Union

UNION — Restore Oregon, a nonprofit organization advocating for the preservation of historic places, will host its 2017 Annual Heritage Barn Workshop Oct. 7 at Oregon State University’s Eastern Oregon Agriculture Research Center in Union.

The workshop will be held at the center’s 1914 “big red barn,” and will feature some of the state’s most well-versed experts to share their skills and expertise. Barn owners can learn about how to maintain, rehabilitate and adapt heritage barns for modern use, as well as funding options available. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and includes lunch.

Local partners include the Eastern Oregon Visitors Association, OSU Extension Service, Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce, Wallowa County Grain Growers and Baker County Tourism. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at www.restoreoregon.org. For more information, call 503-243-1923.