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Business Notebook

Local organic farmer

wins producer award

PORTLAND -- Jon Bansen, a third-generation dairy farmer from Monmouth, received Oregon Tilth's "Producer of the Year" award during the organization's fall conference. Bansen was commended for his outstanding organic livestock operation and willingness to share that knowledge and experience with his peers.

"Jon Bansen's commitment to the stewardship of his farm, his cows and the organic movement is inspiring," said George Siemon, CEO of Organic Valley Farms. "Jon and his family value the support of the people who choose to buy their products and have been very active in reaching out to Organic Valley consumers as co-partners."

Bansen's 450-acre Double J Jersey farm is home to 200 Jersey cows who are milked twice daily. The animals graze on rotating three-acre paddocks of grass and clover and have indoor shelters.

To earn Oregon Tilth's award, Bansen satisfied criteria that considered biodiversity on his farm; minimal use of off-farm inputs; care for his employees; a production plan with a successful inspection process; and organic community involvement and support.

Bansen finds time to host farm tours and pasture walks for consumers, students, farmers and extension agents. He shares his farming experiences via speaking engagements that take him around the country.

Oregon Tilth is a nonprofit research and education membership organization of organic farmers, gardeners and consumers. It offers educational events and provides organic certification services.

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Eagle Newspapers, Inc.

, parent company of the Itemizer-Observer, received an Excellence in Family Business Award on Nov. 16. The awards are presented yearly by Oregon State University's Austin Family Business Program.

Eagle competed in the largest category, that of family businesses with 100 or more employees.

The winners were featured in an insert in the Nov. 24 Portland Business Journal, which coincidentally is printed at Eagle Web Press in Salem.

Accepting the award for Eagle Newspapers was Denny Smith, son of the founder Elmo Smith. Other family members sharing the honors were Denny's wife, Deanna; his daughter Maggie Hemmer, and a son, Ryan. A second son, Barrett, was unable to attend.

Eagle Newspapers had its beginnings in 1933, when Elmo and Dorothy Smith borrowed $25 to start a weekly newspaper in Ontario. The company has expanded to include sites throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho. A highly decentralized company, it includes 28 independent publishing, printing and mailing operations in 20 cities and employs more than 400 individuals.

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OSU Federal Credit Union

, which has branches in Dallas and Monmouth, received the Desjardins Youth Fiunancial Education award last week in Portland at the annual meeting of the Credit Union Association of Oregon.

The award is for leadership in advancing youth financial education. OSU Federal's education program provided seminars, lectures and youth events that reached 3,577 Oregonians in 2006. The credit union's programs are coordinated by Claudine Oriani and are implemented by Peggy Mehl and Guy DiTorrice. Mehl is OSU Federal's regional manager for Polk County and Woodburn.

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Greg Markley of MaPS

(Marion and Polk Schools) Credit Union was named the group's "Stellar Teller" for his work during September at the Monmouth branch. He earned the highest possible evaluations for perfect balancing and accuracy. The award recognizes the recipient as MaPS' top teller among all those at MaPS' seven branches in Salem, Keizer and Monmouth.

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Peyton Lieuallen

of Monmouth, a management consultant and retired educator and municipal court judge, was elected vice chair of the MaPS board of directors. Joe Phillippay of Salem, a retired insurance executive and board since 1995, was re-elected as board chairman.

MaPS was formed in 1935 as a teachers' credit union and has expanded to include 36,000 members served at eight Salem-Keizer and Monmouth branches.

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Monmouth-Independence YMCA

received a $200 donation from Marion & Polk Schools (MaPS) Credit Union earlier this month. The local YMCA was one of four orgnizations to received a share of checking account dividends that the credit union's members had designated for community groups.

The Salem YWCA, Salem Boys and Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity were awarded the balance of the $1,800 in funding.

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