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Oregon Winemaker Jim Bernau Urges Lawmakers to Use "Historic Windfall" to Fund OSU's Agriculture Experiment Station and Extension Service

SALEM, Ore., May 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Oregon winemaker Jim Bernau urged Oregon lawmakers today to use part of the state's historic windfall in tax revenues for Oregon State University's agriculture programs. 

Bernau is the Founder and CEO of one of Oregon's leading wineries, Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVVI), with winery and vineyard operations in various parts of Oregon.

"OSU's Agriculture Experiment Station and Extension Service funding has suffered from a decade of decline," Bernau said. "Inflation has reduced program levels by more than 20%."

SB 257, sponsored by Senator Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay), will provide $30 million to these programs restoring them from a decade of decline due to inflation. Bernau noted this effort has bipartisan support from bill sponsors Senator Hansell (R-Athena), Representative McKeown (D- Coos Bay) and Representative Boles (R- Salem), among others.

"With funding increases of only one to one and a half percent annually over the last ten years, these research and teaching programs including Fermentation Science, need this restorative funding and now is the time," Bernau noted.

Bernau's personal gift to OSU started the Fermentation Science program in 1995.

"OSU's Fermentation Sciences Program is the most comprehensive in the country offering a research and teaching winery, brewery and distillery," Bernau continued. "Every $1 in agricultural research leads to $10 in economic benefit."


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