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Editor's note

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Joe Beach

Joe Beach

A fair amount of this edition of The Other Oregon focuses on agricultural issues. Agriculture is a place where rural and urban come together. Everyone eats.

Farm organizations have been encouraging their members to share their stories with the public. The idea is simple. If the public hears the facts from a farmer, they will gain a better understanding of agriculture and the people who produce food.

We have two pieces featuring young Oregon farmers who have been engaging the nonfarming public in different ways. They each have compelling stories.

Nella Mae Parks has written a number of stories and essays for The Other Oregon.

Nella Mae is a young farmer, wife and mother from Union County. College educated, her original aspirations were of leaving home and changing the world. But, as she wrote in her first essay for The Other Oregon, she discovered that the best place to start changing the world was her tiny hometown of Cove, population 500.

She engages customers who buy from her farm, and through her writing in various publications.

In this edition she describes how her farm is on the frontlines of climate change. 

Rural Oregonians are not of one mind on this or any issue. Nonetheless, she fairly describes how drought, heat, and smoke from wildfires took a toll this summer.

Derrick Josi is a dairy farmer in Tillamook County. In 2016 he started a blog to help educate people about the industry. He has since amassed a large following on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where he posts videos depicting daily life on the farm.

In his just-released first book, “An Industry Worth Fighting For,” Josi tackles many of the same hot-button issues he has spent years addressing for his internet audience.

“This book is for anyone who wants to learn more about dairy farming and agriculture from someone who actually farms instead of someone with an opinion who has never stepped foot on a farm,” Josi said.

Two farmers with compelling stories to share about their business. You won’t find better sources.

- Joe Beach

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