The proponents of measure 15-119 have obviously not considered their goals in light of the realities of a world in which feeding a growing population is soon to become a monumental crisis. Absent irrefutable evidence of harm to humans and animals, a proposal that would decrease or eliminate production is both selfish and short-sighted.
To suggest unnecessary restrictions that would harm not only farmers and ranchers but the entire fragile economy of Jackson County and invite a further layer of onerous government intervention and intrusion is truly unconscionable.
If, indeed, their recommendations are not malicious in intent, remember that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." At best, this proposal is simply based on naiveté and needs to be soundly defeated.
We have been "family farmers" for not only a few years, but generations. Please join us in voting no on Measure 15-119. — Marilyn Frink, Frink Ranch of White City, and Melissa Damon of Damon Livestock in Eagle Point
Independent, safe farming, including the freedom to harvest, sell, and regrow one's own naturally produced seed, is apparently too big a threat to mega-corporate profits and hegemony to be tolerated by Monsanto and affiliates — even in one county of Oregon!
The county initiative to protect farmers' livelihood and our valley's food supply has spurred the out-of-state corporations' obscene dumping of $800,000 — so far — into local TV and radio commercials. Their distortions, omissions and "factoids," based on their own mercenary "research," are attempts to cover up the ugly, well-documented truths about GE agriculture worldwide: financial and legal coercion of farmers; crops rendered worthless; dire health effects in humans and livestock; and the irreversible nature of genetically engineered contamination. Jackson County is now the local battleground. Join the farmers and others who are united across political and economic lines to vote these oligarchs out of our county. Vote yes on 15-119. — Yehudit Shemesh, Ashland
I am a family farmer who supports the passage of measure 15-119 because it protects families, farms and the future of our local economy.
Genetically modified crops in our food system will necessarily expose us to increased herbicide pollution as well as the economic disadvantages of chemical dependence in agriculture. The opposition fails utterly to address this issue, preferring instead to employ disinformation about the purported costs of enforcement that would be nil.
The "herbicide treadmill" brings farms and farmers into a lower estate, putting control of our food system into the hands of mega-corporations who will effectively own local production.
Nearly 60 local organic farms produce over $4.5 million in annual sales (2007 USDA census). Genetically modified crops grown in Jackson County by Swiss Syngenta Corporation have cost family farmers thousands of dollars in lost seed contracts and other knock-on effects.
Vote yes on Measure 15-119 in May. — Andrew Mount, Talent
The Southern Oregon Beekeepers Association has voted overwhelmingly to support the Family Farms Measure (15-119) which would prevent genetically engineered pollen contamination of honey and crops.
In the past decade multiple attacks on the bee's food and health have severely reduced bee health and bee numbers in our valley and our country. We know that some genetically engineered crops and pollen can contain (BT) toxin. And many more GE crops are being developed. Genetically engineered plants with (BT) toxin are classified as pesticides by the USDA. This includes the pollen bees feed to their babies. Would you feed your child baby food labeled as toxic? There are no warning labels written for bees. So to protect our farms and bees from GMO pollen contamination, vote yes on 15-119 to protect our bees and family farms. — Richard Dumanowski, Medford
Bob Sergi has more law enforcement background than any of the other candidates. Bob is not a politician, and what you see is what you get — a very intelligent person with integrity and honesty.
The deputies in Jackson County support him. You will not see him wasting tax dollars, unlike the current administration. He will be available to the deputies, as well as to the public.
His 35 years of devotion to a tough job in law enforcement work have not jaded him. He has not lost his empathy for his fellow workers and the general taxpayers. He has plans to correct a lot of the wasted tax dollars and to hire more deputies. He will create better working relations with Medford law enforcement, thereby making for a better community. — Jim Hughes, Medford
Hope so! It would be a shame after all the effort given by the volunteer managers, helpers, and staff at Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center on behalf of the ACCESS Nutrition Program to ensure people have access to healthy food.
Over the last two years their growing garden contributed over 7,000 pounds of fresh produce to ACCESS emergency food relief pantries. It has been a vital resource since its inception more than nine years ago through the initiative of a group of Rotarians and Rotary First Harvest. In 2012, it became an official ACCESS Food Share Garden with Master Gardeners, Rotarians and residents playing a role in its management.
The garden has growing potential as yet unrealized. For that to happen we need garden volunteers for the site, but more than that, we need to know that the garden has a future. — Nan King, Medford Food Share garden manager
I see that the extreme environmentalists have a new issue. Is it not bad enough that they have done all they can to destroy our forest products industry? Think of all the family wage jobs they have taken away from our loggers and mill workers. Think spotted owl.
Now they are going after our farmers. They present Measure 15-119 as a way to "Protect Family Farms." It only protects their farmers of choice, organic farmers, and takes away the rights of other farmers.
What about the rights of families who have farmed Jackson County for generations? Stop pitting farmers against each other with this frivolous law. As a lifelong Oregonian, it makes me sick that the extreme environmentalists are trying to do this to us again.
Vote No on 15-119. It is a terribly written law, will take away more of our rights and cost the taxpayers money. — Chuck Heauser, Medford
I appreciated Ryan Pfeil's article about the May library ballot measure (15-122). If I were asked to identify one place that truly exemplifies the "heartbeat" of my town, it would be our vibrant and welcoming library.
The Medford library, and its sister branches, are a mainstay in the lives of my family, and the loss of this resource would be devastating. Since my first son was six weeks old, we have attended the library almost every week, and been nurtured as a family by the early literacy programs, the friendly volunteers, the outstanding librarians and the Friends Bookshop. It is a bright spot in our week to experience local art, informational opportunities, and a safe, happy environment that caters to learning and creativity, rather than simply commerce.
Thank you for following Ballot Measure 15-122. I hope fellow readers will support our libraries and vote yes on this measure! — Tiffany Wyatt, Medford