We are now half way through our 2020 Summer Membership Drive and over 61% of the way to our goal! We are so very grateful to everyone who has contributed so far. The best part is that 82% of our new members hadn't previously donated to FoFF. The events of 2020 have made it crystal clear that now is the time to stay vigilant and advocate for change in our food system, and we are thrilled to have new voices joining our important work.
You still have time to become a member and take advantage of FoFF-themed thank you giftsbefore the drive ends on August 31st. Thank you for your support! Together, we will continue to provide meaningful programming for farmers, hold decision makers in Salem accountable to family farmers and ranchers, and connect eaters and producers across the state.
Save the date - Farmer Chats: August 10th and 24th, 7pm-8:30pm
Our next virtual Farmer Chat, focused on the intersection of racial and food justice, will be on August 10th. We will discuss the topic of land access—one of the themes that continues to emerge as a barrier to success for farmers of color in Oregon. If you have examples of farm ownership models that have worked in your community, or are a farmer looking for equitable succession planning solutions, or want to share more land access resources, please join us! Natalie Danielson, Program Manager for Oregon Farm Link (OFL), will be there to answer OFL questions and talk about the future of the program.
Save the date - Democracy School Series: Sept. 10th, Oct. 8th, Nov 12th
It is our belief that every person—urban and agrarian, farmer and eater—has the ability to make choices that can help regenerate our food system. This fall we have an important opportunity to vote and elect representatives that will play a key role in the direction of Oregon's food system. Stay tuned for our fall Democracy School series, including resources on voting and advocacy, voter research tools, candidate forums, an election recap, and next steps.
InFARMation: Racial and Food Justice
Save the date - InFARMation Fall Series: Sept. 24th, Oct. 22nd, Nov. 17th
OSU's Small Farm School, usually held at Clackamas Community College, will take place this year as a series of evening, online sessions running from mid-September through mid-November. This year FoFF and Small Farm School are working together to present a Food and Racial Justice series where we will focus on the history of racism in Oregon agriculture and how to create a more inclusive farming community. This portion of Small Farm School will be free and open to the public.
Food and Farms Policy Work
For 15 years, FoFF has been raising the voices of socially responsible farmers in Oregon. We focus primarily on state-level policy solutions for Oregon’s farmers, though we occasionally engage in national actions as well. Some of the issues we have been weighing in on include: Farmer-led SARE research funding, Oregon Board of Agriculture appointments, and Oregon’s CAFO permitting process.
Oregon-Raised Meat Could Become More Accessible Locally
During the First Special Session of 2020, the Oregon Legislature passed HB4206, a bill which authorizes ODA to adopt rules to establish a program for state inspection for processing and sale of meat products. This may increase the availability of locally-produced meat in Oregon. Smaller farmers hope it might also reduce the heavy-handed influence of some of the nation’s biggest meat processors.
As a recent article in Street Roots points out, "New issues with production in the meatpacking industry as it grapples with the pandemic have added to an already increasing demand for locally produced meat. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s federal inspection process makes it difficult for smaller local ranchers to process their own products."
FoFF Policy Director Amy Wong, and Oregon Pasture Network member and FoFF Board President Susan Richman are both quoted in the article, which explains why there is renewed focus on increasing Oregon's meat processing capacity. Thank you Street Roots for highlighting this important conversation.