Ag Co-op Internships Still Available with CHS Inc!


If you’re looking for an internship where you can apply what you’ve learned in the classroom and gain hands-on, relevant experience, consider CHS.

Choosing an internship with CHS gives you the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned while doing work that makes an immediate impact.
Each year more than 250 students join CHS in a variety of internships ranging from in-the-field sales and agronomy internships to in-office marketing, accounting internships and more. Many of interns return for a second year and land a full-time career in our growing organization.

College juniors and seniors interested in summer internships with CHS Inc. should apply online at by March 1.


Local students awarded scholarships

The Oregon Seed Association’s Scholarship Committee recently recognized eight young men and women as recipients of three distinct awards: five for the Oregon State University/Oregon Seed Association Scholarship, one for the American Seed Trade Association Scholarship Award and two for the William Kent Wiley, Jr. Memorial Fellowship Award.

Tanner Holland, Chase Cochran and Andrew Altishin, three Corvallis residents, were among the recipients selected for these scholarships.

Holland, a freshman at Linn-Benton Community College and Oregon State University majoring in agricultural sciences, received the Oregon State University/Oregon Seed Association Scholarship Award for $1,000. He became interested in agriculture at Crescent Valley High School. Last spring, he decided to dual-enroll in the LBCC/OSU program, where he made the dean’s list his first term. He is most interested in agronomy and plans to pursue a career as a field representative.

Cochran, a junior at OSU, received the American Seed Trade Association Scholarship Award for $1,000. Recently he had the opportunity to intern as a field scout with responsibilities that included soil sampling, moisture tests and disease identification in many crops. This experience confirmed his goal of becoming a field representative for an agricultural company in the Pacific Northwest providing chemicals and fertilizer recommendations to growers, or working as a field representative for a seed production company.

Altishin, an instructor/seed certification specialist for the OSU seed certification service, received the William Kent Wiley Jr. Memorial Fellowship Award for $3,000. He would like to become a full-time service agent in Oregon upon graduation. He has been an assistant superintendent in the golf industry, and prior to that worked on a valley farm, producing grass seed along with some mint, wheat, field beans and corn.

Recipients were invited to receive their awards during OSA’s 2015 Mid-Winter Meeting, held Jan. 13 at the Salem Convention Center.

Read the original article on the Corvallis Gazette-Times here.

Kurt Schrader, West Coast legislators push for Barack Obama to invoke Taft-Hartley Act if labor dispute continues

U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., called for President Barack Obama to invoke the Taft-Hartley Act soon if longshore workers and West Coast port operators can’t reach a resolution on a new contract. (Michael Lloyd/The Oregonian)

Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader and representatives from Washington and California called on President Barack Obama on Thursday to invoke the federal Taft-Hartley Act to resolve congestion at West Coast ports.

“Well, this is clearly the greatest threat our nation faces, except for the stuff that’s going on overseas,” Schrader, D-Oregon, said.

The Taft-Hartley Act would allow President Obama to intervene in the contract negotiation between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, a coalition of 29 West Coast operators including ICTSI Oregon. Schrader and Southwest Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler, a Republican, stressed that the recent withdrawal of Hanjin Shipping Co. from the Port of Portland show that port congestion has reached a breaking point.

“It is time for the Pacific Maritime Association and the ILWU to recognize that the consequences of their actions reverberate far beyond their own personal concerns,” Schrader said. “They need to immediately conclude their negotiations before they do any further harm to the economy.”

More than 40 percent of Oregon’s agriculture products are exported either overseas or across the country. As work at the West Coast ports slowed, farmers started eating the cost of produce and other products not making ships on time.

Earlier Thursday, 350 Oregon agriculture companies sent a letter to Schrader and the rest of Oregon’s federal delegation to push for a conclusion to the negotiations.

“In January alone, Oregon cherry growers lost over $250,000 of export sales directly related to port disruption; if not resolved, it will lead to a sales loss of $5 million in 2015,” Schrader said.

Herrera-Beutler’s district encompasses Southwest Washington’s portion of the Columbia River canal. It also includes Weyerhauser’s Longview facility, where 180 lumber workers were recently laid off. The Oregonian/OregonLive reported in January that the timber company’s officials said the slow West Coast ports were the culprit.

“That might not sound like much in a metropolitan area, but in a small town that’s been struggling to make it economically, it’s everything,” she said.

In labor disputes involving unions, there is not much legislators can do at a state or Congressional level. The Taft-Hartley Act is usually used as a last-ditch effort when the U.S. economy is lagging because of the strife.

Taft-Hartley was a Republican-led response to New Deal legislation that conferred a range of bargaining rights to unions. Taft-Hartley added provisions that tipped the scale back in the direction of employers, adding right-to-work provisions and permitting employers to oppose the unionization of a workplace.

The act gave the president the right to intervene in labor disputes that threatened the national interest, requiring employers and employees to reach agreement within 80 days.

The act was passed in 1947 over the veto of President Harry Truman. Presidents have invoked the emergency injunction 35 times, but only three times in the last 35 years. Before President Bush in 2002, President Carter used it in in 1978 in an unsuccessful attempt to end a strike by coal miners and President Reagan used it in 1981 to break the air traffic controllers union.

In 2002, the lockout of longshore workers by West Coast port operators caused congestion that damaged manufacturers, retailers, growers and others who rely on exports and imports. Bush declared operation of West Coast ports was “vital to our economy and to our military,” leading a federal judge to issue an injunction that reopened ports. News reports at the time estimated the 11-day shutdown had cost the economy more than $10 billion.

It ended when President George W. Bush invoked the 1947 Taft-Hartley to order up to an 80-day cooling off period, which led to a settlement shaped by federal mediators. Some expect a replay of those events this year.

Unions still resent Bush’s actions, referring widely to his invocation of the “anti-union Taft-Hartley Act.”

In this case, politicians are saying that the stalled ports are also vital for outside economies.

Amata Coleman Radewagen, the Republican non-voting Congressional delegate from American Samoa, said that her tiny country is dependent on shipped exports because there is no trucking or rail.

“There’s only one lifeline and it is sea shipping,” she said. “Our shelves are bare, our people are getting hungry and the price of goods has skyrocketed.”

Port of Portland Executive Director Bill Wyatt said Wednesday that he expects a lockout in the next few days if the ILWU doesn’t accept the Pacific Maritime Association’s most recent offer, laid out earlier this month.

Already, the West Coast operators announced four days of canceled work at the 29 ports, starting Thursday and ending Tuesday.

Rep. Janice Hahn, D-California, said the suspension of work is as unproductive as some allege the union’s actions of slowing down or stopping work. Hahn’s district includes many longshoremen who work at the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports — the biggest on the West Coast.

Read the original article on Oregon Live here.

Oregon agriculture companies ask for federal intervention in West Coast longshore-port dispute

Oregon Christmas trees earn industry-first sustainability certification

Oregon food and forestry products are shipped all over the world to sustain the agriculture industry. Hundreds of Oregon agriculture companies signed a letter asking for federal intervention in the longshore worker dispute with West Coast port operators. (Molly Harbarger/The Oregonian)

Oregon agriculture companies want the state’s Congressional delegation to push port operators and the longshore workers union to reach an agreement on a new contract.

The Agriculture Transportation Coalition, a lobbying group based in Washington, D.C., sent a letter Thursday to the Oregon’s federal legislators asking them to be more vocal to the port operators association and the longshore union about the harm they are causing and to press President Barack Obama to intervene.

The letter comes two days after the Port of Portland’s container terminal lost nearly 80 percent of its business when Hanjin Shipping Co. withdrew its service. The container terminal handles most of the agricultural products moving between Portland and Oregon’s biggest trade partners in Asia. Hanjin was the only shipping line that traveled to China, Korea and other large Asian consumers of Oregon-grown food.

Port of Portland Executive Director Bill Wyatt said Wednesday that Hanjin likely won’t be replaced for at least two years.

“It is important that you recognize that there is nothing that we produce in Oregon in agriculture and forest products that cannot be sourced from somewhere else,” the letter said. “We can grow and process the best in the world, but if we cannot deliver our Oregon products affordably and dependably, the foreign customers will go somewhere else and may never return.”

Agricultural products — fresh vegetables, hazelnuts, frozen french fries — are a huge part of Oregon’s export economy. As a group, agricultural products come second only to computer and electronics. Wood products also rank in the top 10.

In Oregon, years of tension between the port operator, ICTSI Oregon, and the local longshore union members was layered on top of congestion at 29 West Coast ports during contract negotiations.

A Hanjin Copenhagen ship sat in port four days waiting to be unloaded, while another Hanjin ship steamed up the Columbia River. Portland is an inland port, which makes it more expensive than Seattle or Long Beach, California, to access. However, it served as a vital link for shipping companies and farmers in Oregon, southern and eastern Washington and western Idaho.

State officials worry that now farmers and other small and medium-sized companies that depend on trade with Asia will spend money on trucking and air freight that could have been used to hire more people, invest in land or machinery or expand their businesses.

“This creates tremendous new burdens on all Oregon agriculture and forest products explorers who must now transport all the way up to Puget Sound ports, at considerable cost and delay,” said the letter that included dozens of family farms, insurance companies, manufacturers and industry groups as signatories.

Read the original article on Oregon Live here.