Value-added producers benefit from grants, according to report

Businesses that receive Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) are less likely to fail and are more likely to hire employees, according to a May 2018 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) report.
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Labor market strengthens further in May

OLYMPIA — Washington’s economy added 8,500 jobs in May and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for May was 4.7 percent, according to the Employment Security Department. The May unemployment rate was slightly lower than the April 2018 unemployment rate of 4.8 percent. “Payroll growth stepped up in May,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Gains were...
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Foster Creek Conservation District to meet June 20

WATERVILLE — Foster Creek Conservation District will hold a board meeting June 20 at 6 p.m. at the Foster Creek Conservation District office, third floor of the Douglas County Courthouse, 203 S. Rainier St., Waterville. For more information, contact district manager Amanda Ward at 888-6372.
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Center for Rural Affairs | Overcoming three types of biases

While many people are familiar with the concept of bias, having a deeper understanding of what it is and how it manifests is often the first step in circumventing negative ramifications.
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Produce safety workshop in Okanogan County

TONASKET — Registration is now open for Bridging the GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices) produce safety workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. June 20 at Apple Cart Fruit, 896 Highway 7, Tonasket. The on-farm “walk and talk” workshop is specifically designed for small- and mid-scale growers to learn about food safety practices that are cost effective and scale appropriate. The workshop will also...
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On Main Street | Couple continues Estes Fruit Stand legacy

By Karen Larsen Empire Press Correspondent Estes Fruit Stand has been a part of the Orondo community for over 40 years now. Started by Jim and Joan Estes in the 1970’s, it was run by Joan after Jim passed away 25 years ago. Several years ago, Joan Estes was ready to retire, and Eliceo Solorio, who managed the Estes orchard for 25 years, looked into the possibility of leasing the orchard....
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CCC announces interest rates for June

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation has announced interest rates for June. The CCC borrowing rate-based charge for June is 2.250 percent, up from 2.125 percent in May. The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during June is 3.250 percent, up from 3.125 percent in May. Interest rates for Farm Storage...
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Skilled trade jobs go unfilled in our robust economy

By Don C. Brunell Millions of college graduates find themselves saddled with crushing debt and more than a third of them won’t be working in their chosen profession. Many will be working for low wages. Meanwhile, there are millions of high-paid jobs are available in the skilled trades — electricians, plumbers, manufacturing workers, pipefitters, mechanics, appliance repair, computer techs,...
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4-H cares for its adopted barn

For the past seven years the Gone Country 4-H Club has held an annual workday at the NCW Fair sheep and goat barn. The group has adopted the barn and, in addition to other work, the members spend a day each spring cleaning it and getting it ready for the next fair. They also often have a special project that they do in the barn that day to make it a little more functional.
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Mansfield Food Bank Finds New Home

The Mansfield Food Bank has relocated to 22 Main Street in Mansfield. It serves approximately 30 families and provides an important community service. The food bank was formerly located at the United Protestant Church for temporary food distribution.
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