Through our partnership work with the Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB), we have decided to focus on the issue of cap and trade policy. More specifically, we are examining the differences in opinion between members of the OFB and members of the Oregon legislation, who are more in favor of the policy than the OFB overall. Our engagement project will consist of two-way, one-on-one conversation style engagement between the Oregon legislature and the OFB. It is important that these two sides take on the perspective of the other and are able to find commonalities among their different areas of expertise. This is why input and feedback is so important for us – we want to make sure that we achieve these goals for the project. Below is feedback that we have received to date, as well as our plan to receive additional input going forward.
- Throughout the semester, Professor Jim Proctor
- Throughout the course of our engagement work, we have received feedback from our professor, Jim Proctor regarding the details and structure of our project, as well as how we could handle the partnership work in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This feedback has helped us devise goals and expectations for our partnership work, as well as understand that even a proposed project will still have a great impact on the environmental studies community. Through this, we have been able to still secure contact from the OFB and create a vision for what our ideal engagement scene would be.
- April 3, 2020: Virtual Interview with OFB President Barb Iverson
- We conducted an online interview with OFB president Barb Iverson, where we were able to discuss our idea of a cap and trade project with her. Most importantly, Barb stressed that we needed to work towards compromise and middle ground. She also provided some of her opinions regarding cap and trade, as well as how these opinions differ among members of the OFB. This will allow us to see specific viewpoints within what we want to do and anticipate what topics or specifics may come up during the conversations between the OFB and the Oregon legislation. With the feedback that Barb provided, we have responded by creating goals for the project that emphasize working towards future policies that will benefit both the OFB and the Oregon legislation, while not looking to get a specific outcome that would favor either side.
- Future input: Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN)
- In the future, we will be exchanging input with the members of the Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) engagement project. PCUN and the OFB are a good match for input because they have many conflicting policies. This is especially seen because the OFB has a socio-economic advantage when discussing policy, so there is a difference in the perspective of the two organizations. Additionally, the OFB mostly represents farmers and farm families, while PCUN represents farmworkers. Being able to view an organization that would disagree with some of the things that OFB stands for will be an ideal way to make sure our engagement project tends to a diversity of opinions.
- Future input: Oregon legislature
- Finally, we would like to receive feedback from within the Oregon legislature, as they are a key component of what we want to accomplish in our project. One potential way to do this would be to email one of the members of the House of Representatives or Senate, as all of them have their own website and email that could be a method of contact. Being able to ask their opinion on cap and trade, as well as the feasibility and interest level of engagement with the farming community would be an ideal way to strengthen our project.