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Oregon commodity commissions pass the torch

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A new generation of volunteers is emerging within Oregon’s 23 agricultural and commercial fisher commodity commissions:

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While applications are now being accepted for 75 positions that need to be filled, many long-tenured commissioners feel good about leaving matters in the hands of new members. The Oregon Department of Agriculture's Kris Anderson says commissions remain a vital and important player in the success of the state's agriculture and fishery industries:

ANDERSON: "In Oregon, there are 23 commodity commissions. For those who that doesn't resonate with, when you hear the phrase ‘beef, it's what's for dinner', that represents the work of a commodity commission. In Oregon, it's called the Oregon Beef Council." :14

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By forming a commodity commission, growers and handlers agree to assess themselves in order to accomplish things that can't be done by individual producers. Whether positions are filled with new blood or years of experience, commissions undertake projects for research, promotion, or education. So what kind of person makes a good commissioner?:

ANDERSON: "Someone who feels very passionate about improving the conditions- either marketing or production-wise- for their particular commodity. They really need that passion because they are making decisions on behalf of the entire industry sector." :15

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ODA Director Katy Coba is expected to begin making appointments to commodity commissions starting in May. Anyone interested in applying can contact ODA or the individual commodity commission of interest. In Salem, I'm Bruce Pokarney.

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ANDERSON explains how commodity commissions work in Oregon:

"All these commissions have the ability to assess the people who grow or produce the commodity. Then the commissions decide how to use that money. They can use it for research that's related to production, they can use it for marketing or promotion, and they can use it for educational purposes." :20

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