In today’s Ag News Roundup, overtime pay for farm workers, consumers becoming leery of some organic labels, drought discussed by Washington lawmakers, free parking at state parks for some Oregon students, and USDA hires more researchers to help local farmers.
Overtime Pay for Farmworkers Discussed by Washington Supreme Court
The Washington Supreme Court has said it will decide if farmworkers must be paid overtime wages. In the past, the court has struck down similar cases. The Washington Farm Bureau and Washington State Dairy Federation warn that hundreds of millions of dollars a year is at stake.
Consumers Less Likely to Choose Organic Wine
According to an Oregon State University-led study, consumers are less likely to pay a premium for organic wines once they fully understand certification standards and organic production practices for making wine. The study can be found online.
Legislators Hoping for Long-term Plans for Drought
Drought emergencies have been declared in 27 watersheds in Washington, and some legislators are urging their fellow lawmakers to be less reactive and instead to plan ahead on how to deal with the conditions. The Legislator’s Water Supply During Drought Joint Committee is working with the departments of Ecology, Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife to formulate a plan.
Oregon Launches Outdoor Program for Students
Oregon State University Extension Service along with Oregon State Parks is offering three one-day parking permits to Outdoor School students who participated in the program during the last school year. Back in 2016, Oregon voters passed Measure 99, stating that all 5th and 6th graders should have the chance to attend an outdoor school program. The free permits will work at any of the 25 state parks.
USDA Adding Researchers to NE Oregon Center
The USDA Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center north of Pendleton is planning to hire three new scientists. The station focuses on improving dryland farming as well as adapting to other changes in overall weather and climate.