Lebanon resident wins seed award

The Oregon Seed Association’s Scholarship Committee recognized two talented young women as recipients of the OSA Memorial Scholarship Award during its 2017 Summer Convention, held in June, at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes in Bend.

Awards to Nicole Cavill and Brenda Birrueta were presented at their respective high school awards ceremonies in May, and recognized by OSA membership.

Brenda Birrueta is from Lebanon, and is the daughter of Celestino and Carmen Birrueta, both longtime employees of Barenbrug USA in Tangent. Brenda just finished her sophomore year of studies at Oregon State University, majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Spanish. With a career focus in Human Resources, she is hoping to find an internship this summer working for a local company in Business Management.

OSA established its Memorial Scholarship award to honor the memories of leaders of the seed industry, and to recognize their commitment and service to the Oregon Seed Association. The Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year to a student that is the child or grandchild of a member employee and is seeking higher education. Students are selected based on academic achievement, as well as extracurricular and community involvement.

Read the article in the Lebanon Express here.

Albany Democrat Herald-At Our Best

at our best

OSU students win fellowships

The Oregon Seed Association Scholarship Committee recognized two Oregon State University as recipients of the Kent Wiley Jr. Fellowship during its mid-winter meeting, held Jan. 10 at the Salem Convention Center.

At the time of the award, Tara Bergland was a first-year graduate student researching the efficacy of plant growth regulator mixtures on seed yield and yield components in tall fescue. She has volunteered at the OSU Dairy Barn, and has done trail maintenance for Corvallis parks. In 2013, while traveling in Tanzania, she was able to see different sides of agriculture, including coffee and sugar cane farms.

Also receiving an award was Lucas Bobadilla. Bobadilla grew up in Brazil on his grandfather’s farm, which shaped his love of agriculture and his desire to improve practices. At the time of the award, he was a first-year graduate student studying the frequency and distribution of Glyphosate-resistant populations of annual ryegrass. In 2015, he spent a year as a research assistant in the weed science lab at University of California, Davis. He previously worked as an intern studying the control of the weed Elesine indica in sugar cane in Brazil. He is a twice-published co-author of research papers.

Read the article in the Albany Democrat-herald here

Ports hail longshore contract extension

The Pacific Maritime Association says it has reached a three-year contract extension with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union hopefully preventing any work slowdowns like one three years ago that damaged agricultural and non-agricultural exports and the U.S. economy.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association have agreed to a three-year extension of their current contract, which was due to expire in 2019.

PMA President James McKenna announced the extension July 28, saying PMA proposed a contract extension earlier in the year with the intent to create long term certainty for West Coast ports and all stakeholders. The PMA negotiates labor agreements on behalf of port operators.

Read more

DLF and Zaad set up new joint venture in South Africa

press DLF

Roskilde, Denmark & Cape Town, South Africa                                                            June 19, 2017

DLF Seeds A/S (“DLF Seeds”) and Zaad Holdings Limited (“Zaad”), announced today that they have formed an alliance and agreed to enter into a joint venture, which shall be effective from July 1, 2017 (“Joint Venture”). The Joint Venture shall be known as DLF Seeds (Pty) Ltd. The objective of the Joint Venture is to expand the marketing and sale of temperate forage, turf grass, clover and alfalfa seed to wholesale customers in the Southern African market by introducing superior genetics and solutions through local testing and technical support.

With the Joint Venture serving as sourcing and supply vehicle, Zaad will continue to distribute and market forage and turf grass seed through its well established Agricol and K2 Klein-Karoo Seed Marketing brands and DLF will continue to serve its wholesale clients.

Truels Damsgaard, CEO of DLF Seeds, commented: “We are looking forward to grow our seed business in Africa with Zaad being a strong partner, not only in South Africa but also in other neighboring African countries. Our new joint venture is a market leader in forage and turf grass seed and holds a strong portfolio, combining the best products from DLF and Zaad.”

Antonie Jacobs, CEO of Zaad said: “With DLF’s dedication and commitment to forage and turf grass seed, our new joint venture will provide access to the latest developments from DLF global research programs and will enable distribution of high quality forage and turf grass seed through our global sales network.”

About Zaad:

Zaad operates in the specialised agri-inputs industry and currently owns, develops, imports and distributes a broad range of agri-seeds in Africa, Europe, Middle East and other international markets. The specialised agri-inputs market, and in particular the seed segment in Africa, remains attractive and Zaad is well positioned to benefit from growth opportunities that it offers. Through its extensive sales channels, Zaad and its subsidiaries distribute seed to 28 African countries and has subsidiaries and/or affiliated companies in South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Angola. To learn more, visit

www.agricol.co.za, www.seedmarketing.co.za, www.bakkerbrothers.co.za, www.mayseed.com

About DLF Seeds

DLF Seeds is a global seed company dealing in forage and turf seeds, and other crops. The company is a leading player providing grass and clover seeds to more than 80 countries. DLF Seeds’ headquarters is in Roskilde, Denmark. DLF Seeds has a strong focus on science and plant breeding, with approximately 10% of the company’s 800 employees dedicated to research. The company is owned by a cooperative of 3,200 Danish farmers. To learn more visit www.dlf.com

For more information, contact:

Zaad: Antonie Jacobs , CEO, e-mail: antonie@zaad.co.za  phone:0027 83325 8691

DLF: Stig Oddershede, Communications Manager, e-mail: so@dlf.dk, phone: 0045 40303248

Sprague Pest Solutions Named A Top 100 Company

Spague Pest

Sprague Pest Solutions
Named A Top 100 Company

Tacoma, Wash. (June 19, 2017) – Tacoma-based Sprague Pest Solutions (www.spraguepest.com) moved up three places to the 25th spot on the 2017 Pest Control Technology magazine Top 100 List. The list was included in the magazine’s May issue (www.pctonline.com).

Sprague protects some of the world’s largest food processing and distribution facilities for many of the most recognizable consumer brands from potentially disease-transmitting pests including rodents, ants, cockroaches, bed bugs, nuisance birds, stinging insects, stored product pests, and flies.

The company also offers specialty technical services including risk assessments and audit preparation, heat treatments, commodity fumigations and fumigation alternatives, large-scale bird exclusion and management, and employee and food safety training.

Sprague recently acquired TMC Pest Management in Bakersfield, Calif., marking its expansion into California and giving it the ability to protect food processing, distribution and transportation facilities in California’s agriculture-rich San Juaquin Valley from the threats posed by pests.

“As we expand our footprint along the Pacific Coast, we are proud and humbled to be named to PCT magazine’s Top 100 List once again,” says Alfie Treleven, CEO and president of Sprague Pest Solutions. “Our inclusion on the list is about more than securing a ranking; it reflects nine decades of consistently delivering quality, innovative pest management services to our valued commercial clients, and investing in exceptional people to care for these clients.”

Sprague, a fourth-generation, family-owned company, provides vital preventive and remedial pest management and consulting services to leading food processing, agriculture, healthcare, hospitality and distribution facilities from Washington state to southern California. The company operates service centers across six states including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and California.  

Media Contact

Carrie Thibodeaux
Sprague Pest Solutions
(253) 405-2590 / carriet@spraguepest.com

Canyon Views: From a Field of Weeds to a Field of Dreams

You have all heard of the field of dreams?  Not so very long ago we had a vast field of weeds and grass growing out of a swampy, muddy pool in the center of the play area at Cloverdale Elementary School.

This was supposed to be the main game and activity area designated for our students. The potential for baseball, soccer and other games were obvious and tantalizing for our students, who for years attempted to venture out into the wet morass, often finding themselves sinking into the dark, sticky goo that oozed up their legs as their shoes slowly sunk into the mud.

Having a large usable filed seemed like a hopeless dream that would never come true. The extensive work required to make the field a suitable place for children to play was too expensive.

Eventually, we had to ban students from going near the field so children were confined to a very small play area.

Then, what I consider a miracle occurred.

Tom Lovell, our facilities director, reached out to a few community members and organized a small army of generous volunteers who came together to turn our field of weeds into a beautiful field of dreams.

In addition to Tom’s efforts in organizing and supervising the work on the field, several other folks need to be acknowledged. Gordon and Noah Hilton provided several workers, materials and equipment needed to install the drain tiles. Dennis Bethel donated a backhoe, truck, bulldozers and two of his employees — all at no charge.

Baker donated his tractor, tools and two workers. Mike and Brian Everitt brought in their personal tractor and the equipment needed to prepare the field to plant the grass seed.

Finally, Stacy Kuenzi donated 800 to 1000 pounds of grass seed on behalf of the company she works for, Mountain View Seed.

This is a wonderful example of what a community can do when they come together for a common purpose.

It’s difficult to put into words how grateful we all are for the kindness and generosity of the very special people who transformed our field from a swamp to a field of dreams. A field filled with happy children playing, learning and growing. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you!

Christy Wilkins is the principal of Cloverdale Elementary School in the Cascade School District. She can be reached at 503-749-8050 or cwilkins@cascade.k12.or.us.

See the original article published by the Statesman Journal here.

Spague Pest

Media Release
Sprague Pest Solutions Acquires TMC Pest Management: Expands Pacific Coast Footprint
Tacoma, Wash. (May 2, 2017) – Sprague Pest Solutions has acquired TMC Pest Management of Bakersfield, Calif., expanding the fifth-generation company into California and giving it the ability to serve commercial clients from Washington state to Southern California. TMC will operate under the Sprague Pest Solutions brand immediately.

Founded in 1992 by Jeff McCaa, TMC Pest Management focuses nearly 100 percent of its business providing innovative pest management services to commercial-industrial clients. The company specializes in protecting food processing, distribution and transportation outlets in California’s agriculture-rich San Juaquin Valley from the threats posed by disease transmitting pests.

“The TMC culture and commitment to providing innovative, customer-centric pest management services to high-end commercial clients matches ours perfectly,” says Alfie Treleven, CEO/president of Sprague Pest Solutions.

Sprague, the 29th largest (based on revenue) company on PCT’s Top 100 list, has a long history providing the food processing and agriculture industries with cutting-edge pest management and food safety programs. That experience will be valuable as Sprague takes over service on some of the world’s largest food processing and distribution facilities representing some of the most recognizable consumer brands.

“As a company we like to push the thinking of how to design and deliver pest management programs for our clients,” adds Treleven. “If we do our job right we make food safe for millions of people.”

Sprague General Manager Ross Treleven says the acquisition of TMC will strengthen Sprague’s commitment to commercial and industrial pest control in one of the country’s most active commercial pest management regions.

“The Central California market is exactly the space we want to be in and we are very excited about the opportunities the marketplace offers,” he adds.

Bakersfield Service Center Manager Jeff Freeborn says TMC clients can expect the same innovative and top-rated service under Sprague but also enjoy access to additional specialty services including commodity fumigation and bird management – a key emphasis point of Food Safety Modernization Act mandates.

“The Sprague brand represents more than 90 years of expertise and TMC clients will certainly benefit from the resources they bring to the table to design and implement highly effective pest management programs in high-end commercial and industrial accounts,” says Freeborn.

About Sprague Pest Solutions

Sprague Pest Solutions (www.spraguepest.com) was founded in 1926 and provides vital preventive and remedial pest management and consulting services to leading food and beverage processing, healthcare, hospitality, and retail and agriculture facilities in the Pacific Coast and Inter-Mountain regions. 

Media Contact
Carrie Thibodeaux
Sprague Pest Solutions
(253) 405-2590 / carriet@spraguepest.com

Pure Seed Announces Justin S. Balich as New Regional Manager
Pure Seed is proud to announce Justin S. Balich as their new Regional
Manager in the Southwestern zone of the United States.
Justin received his BBA in Entrepreneurship, Management & Economics fromJustin_pureseed
Northwood University where he also played baseball for the Knights. Competing in sports at the
collegiate-level set Justin’s expectations for a high level of responsibility and commitment to the
team. As a student-athlete at Northwood Justin received the 2008 Northwood University
Academic Athlete of the Year Award.

Justin’s previous work experience includes being the Director of
Game and Event Operations for the Fiesta Bowl while beginning his
career 9 years prior as an intern at the Fiesta Bowl. His job duties
included managing the Fiesta Bowl and Cactus Bowl game operations and
logistics. He has also assisted with the event operations for the past three
Super Bowls and College Football Playoff National Championship games.

Justin is an entrepreneurial-minded businessman that enjoys working in teams. He has a
strong personal and professional moral that makes him a great fit to the Pure Seed culture.
Justin’s position with Pure Seed will put him in charge of the company’s cool and warm
season turf program in the Southwestern region of the United States. Justin resides with his
wife Heather in Phoenix, AZ.

Justin can be reached at justin@pureseed.com or 602.316.0336.

Read the Press Release HERE>>>>


pureseedPure Seed is proud to announce Greg Freyermuth as their new Regional Manager in the Southeastern zone of the United States. Greg has extensive knowledge of the seed industry, and will broaden Pure Seed’s ability to service customers throughout the nation.

Greg’s previous experience in the seed industry includes being the Territory Manger for Turf-Seed and Scotts Professional Seed. His familiarity with Pure Seed’s vision and product line gives him the advantage to make an immediate impact for the company. Greg has been strategically located in the Southeastern region of the United States for 30 years where he has created many long-term relationships, and understands the local turfgrass market.

Pure Seed is glad to have Greg join their team.

Read the entire press release here.>>>Pure Seed Hires New Regional Manager

Little Brick Pastoral celebrates story of Australian agriculture with Lego farmer minifig

lego farmer

PHOTO Like our farmers, no job is too big or too small for the Lego Farmer. SUPPLIED: LITTLE BRICK PASTORAL

A tiny plastic farmer wearing a wide-brimmed hat and green overalls is doing his bit to raise awareness of Australian agriculture.

He is the Lego Farmer, 4.5cm tall and becoming quite a national, if not international, celebrity as he sows the message of agriculture in schools and via social media.

The farmer spends his day working hard, fixing machinery, baling hay, checking the harvest, planting crops or hanging out with his working dog.

And his ‘home’ is with Little Brick Pastoral, a blog started by agribusiness graduate Aimee Snowden, who lives on her family’s irrigation farm at Tocumwal, in the southern Riverina in New South Wales.


The Lego Farmer busies himself bundling hay SUPPLIED: LITTLE BRICK PASTORAL

Born and raised on the land, Ms Snowden was keen to share her love of agriculture, and decided to combine it with her passion for photography and her sense of fun.

Like so many adults, the joy of playing with the colourful plastic bricks never really left her and, in September 2014, she decided to experiment with a minifigurine, or ‘minifig’, and her camera.

Ms Snowden first posed her farmer among a germinating crop and — like the crop — the Lego Farmer’s popularity has grown and grown.

“When I first started, I thought it would be a bit of fun,” she said.

“But after a little while, I realised it had a lot of potential as a way to start a conversation around production and farming in a different way.

“I don’t want farmers to be portrayed in a negative way. I want it to be positive. That is my main driver.”

The Lego Farmer's first photoshoot SUPPLIED: LITTLE BRICK PASTORAL UPDATED THU FEB 09 13:06:15 EST 2017 Email Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Aimee Snowden launched the Lego Farmer in 2014 with this photo of the farmer in the sprouting clover.

The Lego Farmer’s first photoshoot
Aimee Snowden launched the Lego Farmer in 2014 with this photo of the farmer in the sprouting clover.

Capturing new audiences and sharing farming message

Ms Snowden said using the toy enabled her to capture a wider audience — parents and their kids, city residents who may have grown up in the country, and people who loved Lego.

She said she first noticed how engaged children were with the little plastic farmer while attending an exhibition of the building blocks in Melbourne.

“We shared the story of oats with a tactile display and we found there was such an interest from kids, and even the adults,” Ms Snowden said.

“It creates interaction and a conversation with kids and their parents.”

Teaming up to teach

In September, during the Year of the Pulse, Little Brick Pastoral teamed up with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to create a teaching resource.

Ms Snowden developed 12 agricultural characters and together with the DPI, produced On the Pulse, a kit containing classroom activities designed for primary school-aged children.

Little Brick Pastoral is hoping to be involved in developing more educational resources for primary schools.

Little Brick Pastoral is hoping to be involved in developing more educational resources for primary schools.

Its goal was to connect students with where their food comes from, teach them about careers in the industry, and increase their agricultural literacy using minifigs as a storytelling tool.

The initial rollout of 200 kits was very popular and Ms Snowden said while feedback on its success was still to come, she hoped there would be more opportunity to work with schools.

“It was very well received. The kits went quickly and we know there is a strong interest, and the DPI would like to continue working with us,” she said.

Ms Snowden would like to see characters like the Lego Farmer highlighting the various careers in agriculture — from paddock to plate — in classrooms around the country.

However, individual state curriculums mean liaising with various education boards.

“Because my background is not in education, I need to partner with people who can provide that input,” she explained.

Spreading the message and the photo love

In the meantime, Ms Snowden continues to use her blog to tell the story of farming in Australia.

Apart from increasing awareness and offering an insight into the Lego Farmer’s life, Little Brick Pastoral provides access to up-to-date information about agriculture in Australia.

oday is International Day of Rural Women - October 15... And we are celebrating the diversity of roles played by rural women in the agricultural industries and our regional communities.


It provides industry links to resources designed to help other farmers, students, teachers and representative groups.

But the farmer’s fame is not restricted to the blog — he has almost 8,000 followers on Facebook, uses Twitter, and shares photos on Instagram where other Lego photographers congregate.

And yes, there is a female Lego farmer too, although most of her time is spent behind the scenes.

“Women play an important role in all agriculture and in fact, they make up 43 per cent of the world’s agricultural labour force,” Ms Snowden said.

She said that quite often, due to ratio and perspective, two characters in the frame could “overcomplicate” the image — and then there were the sudden gusts of wind and other environmental factors.

Ms Snowden and the Lego Farmer are not affiliated with the famous toy maker, but were involved in the #BuildAustralia campaign.

Read the article by Jennifer King on ABC News HERE