FoFF's 2018 Farmer and Rancher Listening Sessions Wrap Up - Take Our Survey by May 31

Several months ago, we began organizing a series of nearly 20 Farmer and Rancher Listening Sessions across the state. We traveled from Enterprise to Astoria, from the Rogue Valley to Hood River, and many places in between, thanks in part to a grant from Farm Aid. We heard from over 200 farmers and ranchers along the way. These folks came out to their local Grange Halls and community rooms to let us know the issues they are facing, and to make their voices heard on the future of food and agriculture in Oregon. 

In the coming months, we will be compiling what we learned into a final report to help us set our priorities for the next two years and to educate Oregon decision-makers about the policies they should focus on to keep independent, family-scale, sustainable agriculture viable in our state. In the meantime, we've written up a few 'Tales from the Road' on our blog to highlight some of the key moments from our nearly completed 2018 statewide tour.

Did you miss a Listening Session? That's OK, but we really want to hear from you! Our online survey will be open a little longer to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to speak their mind - Please take our survey before May 31!

Congressional Farm Bill Reverses Progress on Good Farm and Food Policy

Every five years or so, Congress votes on a new national Farm Bill to set priorities for America's agricultural and food policies. The Farm Bill has huge implications for farmers, rural communities, the environment, and our food system. Unfortunately, the US House is poised to begin discussing a disastrous Farm Bill later this month - one that puts large, corporate agribusiness over small and mid-sized family farms. While the Farm Bill that's been in effect the past five years has it's share of corporate subsidies, it also made significant progress with new and expanded programs to encourage local food production, farm-direct sales, healthy food, smaller farms, organic agriculture, beginning farmers and more. 

We Need a Better Farm Bill - Take Action Today!

A good Farm Bill is needed to provide direction and funding for the next 5 years of USDA programs, but the House Farm Bill currently under consideration goes the wrong direction. Among many problems, it would:

- Accelerate the growth of larger corporate farms while leaving smaller and mid-sized producers behind
- Reduce support for local food production, organics, and small businesses in rural communities
- Cut funding for important conservation programs that protect working lands and natural areas on farms
- Create more hunger and food-insecurity among low-income Americans by making dramatic changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Provide inadequate support for beginning farmers and farmers of color by making it harder for these farmers to access USDA support

Click here to send an email to your US House Member urging them to oppose the House Farm Bill

There is a better way. We need to fix and improve the Farm Bill, not make it worse. Among better alternatives to the current House Farm Bill is Congressman Earl Blumenauer's Food and Farm Act, legislation introduced earlier this year that FoFF supports. Make your voice heard!

Join and Support the Oregon Pasture Network!

Do you raise livestock on pasture? Do you sell directly to the public or to Oregon restaurants and retailers? Then the Oregon Pasture Network (OPN) might be for you. OPN is a free program of Friends of Family Farmers that supports the growth of sustainable, pasture-based livestock production in our state. Farmers and ranchers that participate in the Network are committed to raising animals responsibly on pasture and protecting our environment. 

The benefits of joining the OPN include access to unique educational opportunities focused on good grazing management, networking with like-minded and successful producers, and inclusion in the Oregon Pasture Network Product Guide. We currently have roughly 50 producers around the state participating in the OPN, and we want to keep growing the network. Apply today to join us in 2018!

The Oregon Pasture Network is meant for eaters too! If you are looking for a way to avoid buying products sourced from out-of-state owned mega-CAFOs and want to instead support local producers who responsibly raise animals on pasture, then the OPN Product Guide is a great resource. There, you can find a growing list of Oregon family farms raising pasture-based meat, eggs and dairy.

Business Spotlight: LifeSource Natural Foods

LifeSource Natural Foods is Salem's only independent and locally owned all organic and natural food store. Since 1994, they've provided the Salem community and mid-Willamette Valley with healthy foods, natural products, nutritional supplements, and information for people to live healthy, productive lives. As part of their effort to support local, sustainable agriculture, LifeSource works with many local farms and businesses, making it a priority to provide locally sourced products whenever possible.

LifeSource has also been major Business Supporter of Friends of Family Farmers over the last several years. Join us in thanking LifeSource Natural Food for their support, and visit them at 2649 Commercial St. SE next time you are in Salem!

Our Business Circle is made up of companies that actively support socially and environmentally responsible family farms and ranches in Oregon. They are committed to letting their customers, the public, and decision-makers know that supporting family-scale agriculture is good for our communities. Show that your business is committed to promoting and protecting sustainable and socially responsible agriculture in Oregon by becoming a member of our Business Circle. Contact Shari today!

Calendar of Events

May 9 - Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Land Justice Symposium - Portland

May 10 - Grazing Animal Management - Independence

May 12 - Home Orchard Society Spring Plant Sale - Oregon City

May 15 - Living on the Land: Woodland and Riparian Management - Silverton

May 15 - Irrigation Efficiency Workshop - Corbett

May 16 - Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Land Justice Symposium - Portland

May 22 - Living on the Land: Pasture and Manure Management - Silverton

May 22 - Small Farm School Registration Begins - Oregon City

May 29 - Living on the Land: Soil and Weeds - Silverton

May 30 - Climate Resilience: A Course for Farmers - Online

May 31 - Grasses for Landowners - Central Point

May 31 - FoFF Farmer and Rancher Listening Session - Portland

June 5 - Living on the Land: Water Rights and Well Water - Silverton

June 20 - Beneficial Insect Field Day - McMinnville

July 12 - Small Farm School - Oregon City

Do you have an upcoming event you'd like to put in our Calendar? Submit your event here for consideration. 


New Jobs and Land on Oregon Farm Link

Are you interested in working on a farm or at a farm stand this summer? Then check out the jobs page at Oregon Farm Link! Farms around the state are staffing up for the season and now is a great time to apply. Recent listings include: summer farm crew and farm hand jobs, farm manager positions, delivery drivers, kitchen assistants, farmers market positions, and more.

If you are a farm that needs seasonal or year round employees, or if you have land available, set up a free Oregon Farm Link account and post your listings today. Contact us if you have any questions before getting started. 


Contact Us

Friends of Family Farmers
249 Liberty St NE, Suite 212
Salem, 97301

We bring together farmers and citizens to shape and support socially and environmentally responsible family-scale agriculture in Oregon.

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