Save the date! Oregon Trail Celebration Saturday, May 5

OCTA, our generous Oregon Trail supporters, is bringing a wonderful event to La Grande.  This is a fine opportunity to enjoy learning more about the Oregon Trail and to remind Union County residents of what will be lost if our priceless Trail is defaced by 190′ transmission line towers.


Oregon Trail Event Celebrates 175th Anniversary with Living History

“Artifacts and Tales of the Trail,” a Celebration of the Oregon Trail, will be brought to La Grande May 5 by the Oregon/California Trails Association.  The story of Ezra Meeker’s extraordinary efforts to preserve the trail will be recounted by “Ezra” himself, along with actors narrating trail experiences and reading diary quotes from early travelers. Family possessions brought here on the Oregon Trail will be displayed, and descendants of early Union County settlers will be recognized.  Maps for visiting nearby Oregon Trail sites will be available, with a video of hikes and current information about efforts to preserve the trail.  $15. includes deli lunch and live music by Blue Plate Special.  This is a special opportunity to be entertained while learning about our history.  Join the celebration this Saturday at Huber Auditorium, Badgely Hall, EOU, 9:00 – 3:00.   Questions?  Call 541-678-5634  or 541-963-3562.

George Washington and Religious Freedom

In 1790, to mark the occasion of Rhode Island became the thirteenth state to ratify the Constitution, George Washington made a visit to Newport who welcomed him with open arms.

In anticipation of Washington’s visit to Newport, the members of America’s oldest Jewish congregation prepared a letter welcoming him at a public event. Here is the letter:


Permit the children of the stock of Abraham to approach you with the most cordial affection and esteem for your person and merits ~~ and to join with our fellow citizens in welcoming you to NewPort.

With pleasure we reflect on those days ~~ those days of difficulty, and danger, when the God of Israel, who delivered David from the peril of the sword, ~~ shielded Your head in the day of battle: ~~ and we rejoice to think, that the same Spirit, who rested in the Bosom of the greatly beloved Daniel enabling him to preside over the Provinces of the Babylonish Empire, rests and ever will rest, upon you, enabling you to discharge the arduous duties of Chief Magistrate in these States.


Deprived as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free Citizens, we now with a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty disposer of all events behold a Government, erected by the Majesty of the People ~~ a Government, which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance ~~ but generously affording to all Liberty of conscience, and immunities of Citizenship: ~~ deeming every one, of whatever Nation, tongue, or language equal parts of the great governmental Machine: ~~ This so ample and extensive Federal Union whose basis is Philanthropy, Mutual confidence and Public Virtue, we cannot but acknowledge to be the work of the Great God, who ruleth in the Armies of Heaven, and among the Inhabitants of the Earth, doing whatever seemeth him good.


For all these Blessings of civil and religious liberty which we enjoy under an equal benign administration, we desire to send up our thanks to the Ancient of Days, the great preserver of Men ~~ beseeching him, that the Angel who conducted our forefathers through the wilderness into the promised Land, may graciously conduct you through all the difficulties and dangers of this mortal life: ~~ And, when, like Joshua full of days and full of honour, you are gathered to your Fathers, may you be admitted into the Heavenly Paradise to partake of the water of life, and the tree of immortality.

Done and Signed by order of the Hebrew Congregation in NewPort, Rhode Island August 17th 1790.


Moses Seixas, Warden


George Washington’s response:

To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island

[Newport, R.I., 18 August 1790]




While I receive, with much satisfaction, your Address replete with expressions of affection and esteem; I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you, that I shall always retain a grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced in my visit to Newport, from all classes of Citizens.


The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet, from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good Government, to become a great and a happy people.


The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.


It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my Administration, and fervent wishes for my felicity. May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.


Go: Washington


What’s NE Oregon’s Economic Future?–Be a Part of the Decision-Making Process

This is something of a public notice—I’ve sent an op-ed version of this message to the three main newspapers, but also request that you share this email so we have as much public participation as possible in the CEDS process.


We need your input regarding the region’s values! At a January meeting, CEDS Committee members noted that the region’s guiding values should be defined as part of the regional plan. This survey presents values that may be commonly held within the region, and opens up the question of whether these or other values should be put forward as part of the plan. Please vote on the brief survey of commonly held values at: This survey will close March 21.


The next opportunity to provide input in person will be at county level CEDS meetings. Please take note of the date for meetings that will be held in your county:


Baker County

Wednesday, February 28

Baker County Events Center

5:30-8:30 p.m.


Wallowa County

Wednesday, March 7

Community Connections

5:30-8:30 p.m.


Union County

Wednesday, March 14

Blue Mountain Conference Center

5:30-8:30 p.m.


If you know of anyone who would be interested in participating in the county-level meetings, please invite them to come!


These are the draft goals that we developed based on the last input at the last committee meeting:


  • Diversify the economy and increase the percentage of family wage jobs
  • Increase and formalize regional collaboration focused on economic development
  • Assess, improve and utilize infrastructure needed for economic growth


We’ll be sharing these goals at the county meetings. We’ll be asking participants to develop strategies that are consistent with these goals. If the strategies that they are interested in are not consistent with these goals, we will let them suggest additional goals.


Thank you for your engagement in this process!

“LGBTQ 101” Topic of Next Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Roundtable

ENTERPRISE, Ore. (Jan. 22, 2018) – Rural Oregon’s nonprofit organizations are exploring how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) can build understanding, strengthen mission impact, and ensure public benefit. To this end, NEOEDD is organizing a series of roundtable discussions for regional nonprofit board members and staff to learn, share, and discuss DEI methods and strategies. The next roundtable will be held Feb. 7, 2018; others are planned for May 2, Aug. 1, and Nov. 7, 2018, and Feb. 6, 2019.

The Feb. 7 session will be held at the Island City Hall, 10605 Island Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including lunch. The title is “LGBTQ 101,” and will be led by Meg Bowen, quality director at Winding Waters Clinic in Enterprise, and Stef Duncan and Kyrie Weaver of Safe Harbors in Enterprise. Bowen has worked in health care and primary care for more than 30 years and is a Pacific Northwest native. Duncan has worked as a domestic violence and sexual assault victims’ advocate for the past eight years, the last three of which as an LGBTQ-specific advocate in Wallowa County.

Sessions in October and December of last year focused on assessing an organization’s progress in addressing DEI generally, within programs and at the governance level. The February roundtable focuses on a specific element of DEI: how denying human rights to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, or queer members of our community not only threatens those individuals in obvious ways, but is also detrimental to everyone in the community.

“A community that is not safe for all of its members isn’t safe for any of its members,” notes Bowen. “This roundtable will offer history and also present-day implications of fear and bigotry.”

The cost to attend is $25 per person per roundtable discussion. Scholarships are available; please inquire at NEOEDD, 541-426-3598. Registration link: or via NEOEDD’s website

This program is available thanks to a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust.


# # #




NEOEDD Provides GrantReady Training in Wallowa and Baker Counties

ENTERPRISE, Ore. (Jan. 3, 2018) – Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) offers GrantReady on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., in two locations:


  • 20 and 27 and Feb. 3 and 10 in Enterprise
  • April 7-28 in Baker City (locations TBD)


GrantReady organizational development and grant-writing training provides tools and skills needed to help nonprofits become more competitive for grant funding, and better prepared to operate and evaluate their programs and projects.


GrantReady consists of four training sessions for volunteers and staff members of nonprofit organizations. Topics include:

  • Organizational and project budgeting
  • Components of a grant proposal
  • Funding plan
  • Evaluation methods
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
  • Board relations
  • Foundation site visits
  • Grant reporting

Lunch will be provided. The cost for the series is $100 for the first participant from each nonprofit, with a discounted rate of $50 for each additional participant. Registration links can be found on the NEOEDD website:


“Participants will also meet staff from several foundations, who will provide insights into their foundations and what they are looking for in a grant proposal,” says NEOEDD Executive Director Lisa Dawson. “This is a great opportunity for them to begin to make personal contacts in the nonprofit world.”


What past participants have said about GrantReady:

  • “Learning about the different types of grants, (i.e., “Capacity Building,” etc.) was invaluable. Learning the correct budget submission for a grant proposal. Learning about “In-Kind” costs to add to the budget package.  Really, there is so much I learned from your class that I can’t praise it enough. I could not learn this same information any other way.”
  • “The resource packets are phenomenally helpful.”
  • “I benefitted from listening to other nonprofits in the class as they discussed their issues. Priceless.”
  • “The feedback on my grant proposal was invaluable. What a terrific opportunity to learn exactly what a grantor is looking for gives me confidence that I can propose a successful grant package.”
  • “All of the slides and handouts are going in my permanent files. Their content is excellent in directing my energy in the right direction. And I really appreciate the resources, such as the list of grant awarding businesses.”


This program is available thanks to a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust.


Actual registration links (instead of NEOEDD page)




The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District’s mission is to provide resources and facilitate quality decision-making for the benefit of entrepreneurs, businesses and communities in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties. Learn more about its programs and business support at


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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Roundtables


Explore Internal and External Opportunities

ENTERPRISE, Ore. (Nov. 22, 2017) – Rural Oregon’s nonprofit organizations are exploring how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) can build understanding, strengthen mission impact, and ensure public benefit. To this end, NEOEDD is organizing a series of roundtable discussions for regional nonprofit board and staff to learn, share, and discuss DEI methods and strategies. The next roundtable will be held Dec. 6, 2017; others are planned for Feb. 7, May 2, Aug. 1, and Nov. 7, 2018, and Feb. 6, 2019.

The Dec. 6 session will be held in the library’s Cook Meeting Room, 2006 4th St. in La Grande, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including lunch, and will be led by Andrea Cano, a seasoned facilitator and intercultural specialist who has worked with Oregon Humanities, Meyer Memorial Trust, Oregon Solutions, Nonprofit Association of Oregon, Providence Center for Health Care Ethics, and the Immigration and Refugee Center for Oregon. She recently completed a six-year, governor-appointed post on the State of Oregon’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs, and co-chaired the governance process for the New Portlander Policy Commission. “Andrea was excellent about including and drawing out everyone there,” wrote one participant from the October roundtable.

Fourteen people participated in the first DEI nonprofit roundtable in October. The December session will focus on assessing an organization’s progress in addressing DEI within programs and at the governance level. The assessment will be followed by a discussion of approaches, strategies and sequences to implement different elements of DEI.

“We are all struggling to operationalize DEI,” wrote one October participant. “The other attendees offer a wealth of knowledge to share!”
The cost to attend is $25 per person per roundtable discussion; with a series price of $125. Scholarships are available; please inquire at NEOEDD, 541-426-3598. Registration link:

This program is available thanks to a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust.


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Women in Ag Conference 2017

This conference will be telecast in La Grande at the OSU Extension office, 10507 N McAlister Rd

A live panel will feature Stephanie Rovey, Rovey Farms; and Kristy Athens, author of Get Your Pitchfork On!: The Real Dirt on Country Living

Contact Robin Maille for more information, 541-963-1010




Registration is open!

November 18, 2017
Registration is now open for the 6th annual Women in Agriculture Conference!
Whether you are on Facebook or face to face,
it matters how you connect with others.

We Can Do It”

is the theme for the sixth annual Women in Agriculture Conference. This year’s conference will be an engaging, interactive day full of inspiration, learning and networking with other women farmers.  The conference is a one-day event held simultaneously in 40 locations throughout Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
Featured Speakers
Both of our 2017 speakers, Alexis Taylor, Oregon Department of Ag Director, and Anne Schwartz, Blue Heron Farm owner, will inspire participants to strengthen their leadership skills, become leaders in their communities, become more involved with long-time farmers and guide and mentor new farmers.
Each event location will have a panel of local women farmers who will talk about their leadership roles, the challenges they have faced and how they have used a mentor to develop their skills.
Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact. It will be a full day of learning and networking!
This conference is designed for all women farmers and anyone who works with women farmers.  If you have been farming for years, are a new and aspiring farmer, a banker, lender or anyone in the agricultural industry, this conference is for you!.
Registrations fees are: $25 if you register between October 5 and November 5; $30 if you register between November 6 and November 17.  Your registration fee includes a light breakfast, lunch and all the conference materials, along with a great bag to take everything home!
Limited scholarships are available for college and high school agriculture students, 4-H members and FFA members.  Visit our website for the application.
If you are an aspiring farmer and need financial assistance to attend this conference, please contact us directly at
For more information, find event locations or to register, visit or contact me at WSU Extension. We hope to see you at one of our locations listed below!
2017 Locations
Washington: Bremerton, Chehalis, Colville, Coupeville, Des Moines, Elma, Everett, Goldendale, Mount Vernon, Nespelem, Olympia, Pasco, Port Angeles, Pullman, Raymond, Republic, Ritzville, Spokane, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima
Idaho: Bonners Ferry, Caldwell, Coeur d’Alene, McCall, Salmon, Sandpoint and Twin Falls

Oregon: La Grande, Redmond, Roseburg, Salem and The Dalles

Montana: Broadus, Great Falls and Missoula
Alaska: Delta Junction, Fairbanks and Palmer
Donna Rolen                                                              Margaret Viebrock, Conference Chair                                               WSU Extension
(509) 745-8531                                                 













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