Get your holiday marketing plan in order

LA GRANDE — Local business owners and managers are invited to attend “Spruce Up Your Holiday Marketing Plan,” a free Google webinar, from noon to 1 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Ignite E-Center, 104 Depot St., La Grande. Topics will include: Google My Business listings, online advertising and email marketing. According to organizers, the workshop will be “jam-packed with good information. Come ready to take notes.”

The holiday marketing workshop is hosted by La Grande Main Street Downtown, Ignite and the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District. There is no cost to attend, but reservations are appreciated. For more information, go to


Oregon Farm Bureau comments on Walden’s retirement

SALEM — On Oct. 28, Congressman Greg Walden announced that he will not seek a new term in Congress in the 2020 elections. It goes without saying, and as many in the Farm Bureau family already know, Greg has been a stalwart champion for Oregon agriculture. For us, Congressman Walden will be forever synonymous with Congressional District 2. We applaud and thank Greg for his tireless years in public service and wish him the very best in his next chapter. 


Holiday open house includes snow safety and snowshoe clinic

LA GRANDE — Blue Mountain Outfitters, 1124 Adams Ave., La Grande, is having holiday open house beginning at 6 p.m. Nov. 13. The event will include drinks from Side A Brewing, food from JaxDog Cafe, special deals and giveaways. In addition, the Wallowa Avalanche Center will give a free a snow safety and snowshoe clinic.


Northwest Farm Credit Services reports third-quarter earnings 

SPOKANE, Washington — Northwest Farm Credit Services, an agricultural lending cooperative, announced 2019 third-quarter earnings of $73.4 million, compared to $76.0 million for the same quarter of 2018. Total capital increased 4.1% during the first nine months of the year to $2.6 billion. 

“Our financial performance in 2019 remains strong and on track with our expectations,” said Phil DiPofi, president and CEO. “The majority of our customers across the Pacific Northwest are experiencing a reasonable year despite pockets of continuing trade, political and weather-related challenges.”

Earnings for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2019, were $206.7 million compared to $220.5 million for the same period of the prior year. The nine months ended Sept. 30, 2018, included an additional patronage distribution from CoBank and a larger refund of premiums previously paid to the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation, which were the primary contributors to the change in net income.

Northwest FCS is a $12 billion financial cooperative providing financing and related services to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, commercial fishermen, timber producers, rural homeowners and crop insurance customers in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Northwest FCS is a member of the nationwide Farm Credit System that supports agriculture and rural communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. For more information, go to


List of Oregon’s top 20 agricultural commodities released

SALEM — The Oregon Department of Agriculture announced a list of the state’s top 20 agricultural commodities in 2018. Greenhouse and nursery products remain Oregon’s leading agricultural commodity with an annual value of nearly $1 billion based on data collected by ODA. Sources of data include USDA National Agricultural Statistic Service, Oregon State University, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Wine Board. This is an increase for Oregon’s greenhouse and nursery industry up from $94.7 million last year. Oregon is one of the top three nursery production states in the U.S.

Cattle and calves remain in the second position with a value of production totaling more than $652 million down from $695 million the previous year. Hay value was slightly up and worth more than $590 million. Grass seed and milk switched positions in the line-up with grass seed experiencing an increase of $62 million and milk a decrease of more than $27 million to round up Oregon’s top five agricultural commodities.

The rest of Oregon Ag’s top 10 list contains many of the same commodities as previous years. Hemp is not included in the agricultural commodities list. Before the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was not federally recognized as a legal agricultural commodity, therefore data was not collected.

The top 20 agricultural commodities in 2018 were:

Greenhouse and nursery $995,950,000

Cattle and calves $652,063,000

Hay $590,414,000

Grass seed $517,406,000

Milk $473,297,000

Wheat $298,465,000

Grapes for wine $208,726,000

Potatoes $201,690,000

Blueberries $180,730,000

Pears $140,966,000

Christmas trees $119,979,000

Onions $100,339,000

Hazelnuts $91,800,000

Eggs $85,136,000

Dungeness crab $74,527,000

Cherries $70,835,000

Hops $69,855,000

Apples $55,180,000

Sweet corn $44,492,000

Mint for oil $39,523,000

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