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Oregon celebrates National Agriculture Week 2013

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Oregonians may not always realize it, but they have a strong connection to agriculture in their daily lives. That’s one of the key messages for this year’s National Agriculture Week:  (NOTE: National Agriculture Week runs March 17-23)

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Oregonians should be proud of the state’s farmers and ranchers who provide food and fiber for all of us, says Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba. And this is the time of year to celebrate those contributions:

COBA:  “National Agriculture Week is a time we can all pause and reflect all things agriculture, which is very, very exciting. It’s just a great time of year. It’s spring, it’s planting season, and it’s time to give thanks and get ready for a new year.”  :16

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The annual celebration of agriculture comes with a number of messages about its importance to the economy and the environment. Are those messages moving the needle in the public’s understanding of ag? Coba believes so, and she bases it on what she is hearing and seeing at the State Capitol right now:

COBA:  “We’ve got quite a few new legislators. There’s just an all-around strong interest in agriculture and wanting to know how they can support agriculture, wanting to make sure Oregon agriculture can be successful, and can continue to contribute to our economy.”  :16

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Responsible for 1 in 10 Oregon jobs, contributing 15 percent to the state’s economic output, and a sector that continues to expand, Coba is optimistic about Oregon agriculture and hopes that National Ag Week can somehow be celebrated 52 weeks a year. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

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COBA is feeling good about the present and future of Oregon agriculture:

“We’ve got some great opportunities going on in Oregon. We’ve really seen the industry rebound since the recession. We’re seeing that rebound happen on so many different fronts.”  :11

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COBA says Oregonians have good reason to celebrate agriculture because of it’s positive impact on the state :

“Based on a recent study by Oregon State University, we are up to about 15 percent in terms of our contribution to Oregon’s economy, 1 in 10 jobs, it’s growing and I only see the future continuing to be very bright for agriculture.”  :16

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