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Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program (OAHP)

Overview

Oregon’s well-managed agricultural lands are the cornerstone of the state’s rural communities. They support valuable fish and wildlife habitats and enhance other natural resources. Yet farms and ranches are increasingly challenged by fragmentation of farmland, conversion of farmland to non-farm uses, complex regulations, and planning for generational transfers.

The State Legislature established the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program (OAHP) in 2017 to help address these challenges. The program provides voluntary incentives to farmers and ranchers to support practices that maintain or enhance both agriculture and natural resources such as fish and wildlife on agricultural lands. OAHP was developed by a collaboration of organizations representing natural resource conservation and agriculture, including farmer and rancher representatives.

OAHP Grants

The fall 2022 grant cycle for OAHP is now closed. Award decisions were made at the April 25-26, 2023 board meeting.

OWEB strongly recommends that applicants submit their grant applications at least 24 hours prior to the application deadline. OWEB’s online grant applications include a verification step that will flag missing and incomplete information in the application. Verifying and submitting your grant application at least 24 hours in advance allows time for applicants to correct errors that are found during verification. All applications must be successfully submitted through OWEB’s online grant application system by 5 pm on the application due date. No exceptions will be made.

Applications are accepted once per year and are submitted entirely through our online system. Deadlines will be posted once each grant offering opens.

  1. Obtain a login (username and password).
    If your organization already has an OGMS login, skip to step 2. An OGMS login is required to access the online grant application. Only one login per organization is allowed. If no login exists for an organization, please email Leilani Sullivan to request one. Include the following in your email:
    • ​Organization name and address
    • Grantee Contact Information: name, title, email address, and phone number for the person who will receive all communication from OWEB and sign any grant agreements.
    • Payee Contact Information: name, email address, and phone number for the person who keeps records and submits payment requests and documentation.
    • FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number). OWEB may enter into agreements only with legally established entities. OWEB will review potential applicants prior to creating an OGMS login.
    • ​Per federal guidance, all OWEB grantees must be registered at the System for Award Management (SAM) before receiving a grant agreement. Entities will received a non-proprietary identifier (called the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI).) This identifier is assigned by SAM (sam.gov is a free service) and entities must update their registration annually.
  2. Log in to the Online Application.
    Guidance to help you fill out the application is always available in the top navigation bar of the online application. An application template is also available after you log in and choose "Create a New Application."

Please contact Taylor Larson​ with questions.


Program Materials

Meetings

To view past meeting recordings, visit OWEB's YouTube page.

OWEB encourages written or verbal public comment on any application.

Written Comment
Nicole Bettinardi​​​
775 Summer Street NE Suite 360
Salem, OR 97301-1290

OWEB will set a specific deadline for the submission of written comment. Please subscribe to GovDelivery​ for all OAHP and OWEB updates.

Verbal Comment
Individuals who wish to provide in-person verbal comments at the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Commission meeting will be requested to fill out a form at the meeting with their names and the topic they wish to comment on. Requests to provide comments virtually at an OAHC meeting should be sent to Nicole Bettinardi​ at least 3 days before the meeting.​​​​​​​​

Verbal comments:

  • Limited to three minutes
  • Will be heard in the public comment period
  • Provide the following information for virtual verbal comments:
    • Your first and last name,
    • The topic of your comment, and
    • The phone number you will use when calling the meeting. Also, note if the phone is a landline and you prefer to be scheduled for public comment early to avoid long-distance phone call charges.
​​

Written comments and requests to make verbal comments may also be sent through the public comment form​ on the OWEB website.

Public speaking can be an intimidating experience. These tips are provided to help you prepare and communicate effectively.

Arrive early.
OAHP Commission meetings begin at 8:00 a​m. and usually proceed through the agenda items in order. However, in special cases, the Commission may take items out of order. Also, if the Commission​ is aware that you are going to speak on a specific agenda item, they may request that you testify during that agenda item rather than at the more general public comment session.

Fill out a Comment Request Card.
There will be a table with printed copies of the staff reports usually in the back of the room. On this table are Comment Request Cards; please fill out one of these yellow forms and hand it to a designated OWEB employee. When it is your time to speak, you will be called forward by one of the co-chairs.

Begin by stating your name.
Start your testimony with, "For the record, [insert name], from [your affiliation]." Speak into the microphone. We suggest that you don’t provide the Commission with printed materials.

Make a specific request.
You should be able to state your request in one clear, declarative sentence. All of the points you make in your testimony should support this request. For example, if you want them to move your grant application "above the line," state so directly, and provide reasons why they should do so.

Make it interesting.
Realize that Commission members are people and have been sitting in a meeting for hours. They may hear many different (sometimes contradictory) ideas. In addition to facts, tell a story about real people and show the Commission why they should listen to your perspective.

Practice.
Write out what you’re going to say and practice it aloud several times until you can do it smoothly. You might try using a digital device (cell phone, etc.) to record yourself so you can hear yourself speak. Do you speak in a monotone? Do you repeat fillers (um..., and...,so...)? The best message can lose its message through poor delivery.

Keep it short (3 minutes).
Substance, not length, determines the value of testimony. While the Commission asks that testimony be kept to 3 minutes or less, if you aim for less, you may have time to answer a question or two from the Commission. If your statement is unclear and takes more than five minutes, you may be asked to conclude before you are finished with your comments.

Avoid repetition.
If others have raised the same points, simply endorse what they have said rather than repeating prior testimony in detail. If you come as a group, designate a spokesperson who can take the lead to introduce the issue and other members of the group. Group members are generally given the same amount of time as an individual speaker, but they may be asked to limit their time​ to accommodate all who are interested in speaking to the Commission.​



Oregon Agriculture Heritage Commission

Visit the OAHP Commissioner Biographies page for a current list of OAHP Commissioners.

There are 12 members appointed by OWEB (ORS 541.986):​

  • Four members, who actively farm or ranch varied types of agricultural commodities from geographically diverse areas of this state, are recommended by the State Board of Agriculture.
  • One member is recommended by the Director of the Oregon State University Extension Service. 
  • Two members, who have expertise regarding fish and wildlife habitat, are recommended by the State Fish and Wildlife Commission.
  • One member, who has expertise in agricultural water quality, is recommended by the State Board of Agriculture.
  • One member, who has expertise in conservation easements and similar land transfers, is recommended by the Land Conservation and Development Commission.
  • One member, who is a representative of natural resource value interests, is selected by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.
  • One member, who is a representative of Indian tribal interests, is selected by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.
  • One member,​ who is an ex officio of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.​

Contact

Please direct questions, comments, or requests to Program Coordinator, Taylor Larson, 971-701-3248.
For questions about Conservation Easement Grants, please contact Robin Meacher, 971-301-1578.