About Water Quality and Conservation

In Sherman, Gilliam, Wheeler, Grant, Umatilla & Morrow counties, ranchers have been working to improve water quality and environmental stability for the benefit of wildlife, livestock and the health of the land. Some successes in the last 10 years:

  • 357 off channel watering sites developed
  • 45 push up dams removed or replaced with fish friendly diversions
  • 118 miles of riparian fence installed
  • 9,512 acres of invasive juniper removed

During the period 2008-2011, ranchers nationwide worked with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services to improve water quality – specifically excessive nutrients and organics in surface water and stream bank erosion – on over 880,000 acres.

About Oregon’s Economy

Agriculture and related economic activity accounts for over 12 percent of Oregon’s economy. Agricultural products lead all Oregon exports by volume and rank second by value; and agriculture creates more than 234,000 jobs in the state. The beef industry is one of the top 3 commodities for our state – we are a part of Oregon’s economic recovery and proud of it.

(Source: Oregon Ag Report)

The cattle industry in Oregon alone contributes over $700 million to the state’s economy. Those dollars turn over multiple times in Oregon’s communities – equaling billions of dollars in yearly economic activity in our state, our citizens and our communities.

(Source: 2010 Oregon County and State Agricultural Estimates – OSU Extension, Feb. 2011)

About Efficient Production Practices

Nationally, there are approximately the same number of cattle as was present in the 1950s, but through science based research and management practices, cattlemen are able to produce twice as much beef as in the 50s. Preserving efficient production practices means more efficient operations and a better consumer value for you!

(Source: USDA)

About Bringing Jobs to Oregon’s Recovering Economy

Ranching and the beef industry is not just about jobs on ranch land. As Oregon’s #1 cash commodity, the positive economic impact of the beef industry equals jobs in trans…portation, processing, handling, exporting, marketing, and even translates down to your local grocery store. Cattlemen are a key part of growing Oregon’s economic recovery.

(Source: State of Oregon Agriculture Report)

Did You Know

Beef is easy to love because it tastes so great, but it’s also a naturally nutrient-rich source of ten essential nutrients. The protein in beef helps strengthen and sustain your body. Evidence shows that protein plays an important role in maintaining healthy weight, building muscle and fueling physical activity.

(Source: www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com)

Also, there are 29 lean cuts of beef to help meet nutritional requirements!

(Source: http://www.beefnutrition.org/CMDocs/BeefNutrition/29WaystoLoveLeanBeef.pdf)

Most of the cattle ranches and farms are in arid portions of the state, being too barren to support vegetation. Livestock production provides one of the few alternatives to utilize those arid acres for food production and increase overall positive economic impact to these areas of the state where unemployment is high and economic opportunities are limited. Ranchers are working to keep this land usable and sustainable.

(Source: Oregon State University Rural Studies)

Oregon’s farmers and ranchers have a long history of stewardship, including protecting riparian areas, carefully applying fertilizers and pesticides, and controlling erosion. Many farmers and ranchers have managed their lands to protect water quality without assistance from outside organizations. Others have worked hand in hand with conservation partners to continuously improve conditions on their lands.

In the period 2009-2011, Soil and Water Conservation Districts reported the following projects completed in conjunction with farmers and ranchers:

  • 750 acres of riparian restoration
  • 295,000 feet of fencing to improve vegetation
  • 140 livestock watering facilities developed to discourage heavy use of stream banks

Oregon’s farmers and ranchers are working everyday to conserve, sustain and maintain Oregon’s precious natural resources.

(Source: Oregon Department of Agriculture)

Oregon Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) work with farmers and ranchers to use fertilizer and manure at the right time of year, at the appropriate rate, and in the best location to maximize the value of those nutrients and protect water quality. Storing manure under cover and planning where and when it will be used, helps keep nutrients and bacteria out of the water. Precision fertilizer application systems provide the same water quality benefits and help growers get the most value out of the fertilizer they buy.

In the period of 2009-2011, the following projects were reported by SWCDs in conjunction with farmers and ranchers:

  • 2200 acres of nutrient management
  • 13 comprehensive nutrient management plans
  • 25 manure storage and composting facilities created Partnership and commitment to protecting and preserving natural resources and improving the quality of the land is a value held by Oregon’s agricultural industry including Oregon cattlemen.

(Source: Oregon Department of Agriculture)

In central and eastern Oregon, western juniper has become “too much of a good thing.” Absence of fire has allowed juniper to invasively spread into grasslands, consuming a lot of water, reducing rangeland plants that cover the soil, and in some cases even drying up streams. Many SWCDs have made juniper control a priority working together with ranchers and farmers.

SWCDs reported the following accomplishments during 2009-2011:

  • 13,200 acres of weed and juniper control treatments
  • 50 livestock water facilities (these are in addition to the ones created for riparian restoration)

(Source: Oregon Department of Agriculture)

A key initiative in parts of central and eastern Oregon has been providing benefits to water quality and to ranch land. In many areas of Oregon, ranchers are working with soil and water conservation districts to manage irrigation water applications to maximize water use efficiency.

During 2009-2011, there were:

  • 27 irrigation system upgrades
  • 4,600 acres of efficient irrigation water management
  • 52 pipeline projects (these may be for a canal, lateral, individual sprinkler or livestock watering facility)

(Source: Oregon Department of Agriculture)

Oregon ranchers worked with soil and water conservation districts to monitor plant and insect pests, try new pest control technologies, access biological controls (such as insects that eat noxious weeds) and control noxious weeds and animal pests.

During 2009-2011, 2,400 acres of pest management and biological weed control were completed by ranchers in the state.

(Source: Oregon Department of Agriculture)