Nomination deadline for Chamber board nears

LA GRANDE — The Union County Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for positions on its board of directors. Members of the board serve a three-year term beginning January 2020 and commit to attend monthly board and committee meetings, participate in Chamber-hosted activities and demonstrate passion for Union County. Applicants must be a member-in-good-standing and must be nominated by another member-in-good-standing.

Nominations must be submitted to the Union County Chamber executive director by 5 p.m. Sept. 13. For more details on the nominating and voting process or to submit a nomination, call the Chamber at 541-963-8588 or stop by the Chamber office, 207 Depot St., La Grande.

Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Program announces honorees for 2019

SALEM — Two Northeast Oregon families are being honored this year with Oregon Century Farm or Ranch status for remaining operational and within the same family for at least 100 years. Successful applicants receiving this honor in 2019 include the Saunders Ranch in Baker County and the Wilfred Hamann Farm in Union County. The Saunders Ranch was founded in 1915 by George G.B. Saunders. The applicant is Walter S. Saunders Jr. The Wilfred Hamann Farm was founded in 1918 by Arthur Hamann. The applicant is Wilfred Hamann. 

Honorees receive a certificate signed by the governor and director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Historic roadside signs are imprinted with the founder’s name and the year the ranch or farm was established. To read about each family’s unique history, go to

The Oregon Century Farm and Ranch Program is administered through the Oregon Farm Bureau Foundation for Education. Founded in 1958, the program is one of the oldest agricultural heritage programs in the nation. It is supported by a partnership among the Oregon Farm Bureau, the State Historic Preservation Office and OSU University Archive and by generous donations of Oregonians. Learn more at

Sign up for USDA Market Facilitation Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Market Facilitation Program, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program to assist farmers who continue to suffer from damages because of unjustified trade retaliation from foreign nations, is now open for sign-ups. Through MFP, USDA will provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to impacted producers, part of a broader trade relief package announced in late July. MFP payments will be made to producers of certain non-specialty and specialty crops as well as dairy and hog producers. The sign-up period ends Dec. 6.

SAIF to pay customers $160 million in dividends

SALEM — The State Accident Insurance Fund’s board of directors declared a $120 million primary dividend to be paid to policyholders based on their premium, and a $40 million safety performance dividend to be paid based on each policyholder’s safety results. SAIF determines whether a policyholder dividend is appropriate based on capital levels, claim trends and the overall economic environment. This year SAIF has seen strong investment returns and favorable trends in injury prevention and claim cost containment.

“As a not-for-profit with a public mission to make workers’ comp available and affordable, paying dividends is an important part of the value we offer Oregon employers,” said Kerry Barnett, president and CEO of SAIF.

The safety performance dividend rewards policyholders for their claims experience for policies whose annual term ended in 2018, based on a scale ranging from zero to 10.6% of their standard premium. There are more than 48,000 policyholders eligible for SAIF’s primary dividend. Of those, nearly 94% are also eligible to receive all or a portion of the additional safety performance dividend. Checks will be mailed in October to eligible employers. For more information, go to

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