FoFF's 2019 Policy Agenda and Listening Session Recap

We are pleased to announce the completion of our 2018 Listening Session Report & 2019 Policy Recommendations! View the full Report here

From December 2017 to May 2018, FoFF organized and facilitated 19 Farmer & Rancher Listening Sessions across Oregon. We invited producers out to local Grange halls, libraries, and breweries to talk about the issues impacting their farming operations and to brainstorm potential solutions. Over 200 farmers and ranchers helped us identify several priority issues and we used this input to develop proactive policy proposals and program work outlined in the report. While a wide range of issues were raised at our Listening Sessions last year, several emerged as priority topics. As usual, small and mid-sized family farmers face significant challenges. Oregon's family farmers especially need assistance in the following areas, including:

  • Access to Land & Capital
  • Access to Small Farm Meat Processing Infrastructure
  • Expanding Opportunities for Agritourism
  • Water Conservation

As the 2019 Oregon Legislative Session begins, we urge Oregon decision-makers to take action to address these issues. You can help amplify our voice demanding policies that benefit Oregon small and mid-sized family farms. On March 27th, 2019 we will be holding a day of action at the State Capitol in Salem to support legislation addressing these priorities. We will offer workshops in the morning to fill you in on food and farm issues, hold a rally on the Capitol steps, and provide opportunities for you to weigh in on legislation impacting local food systems and family farmers. Join us for the day and together we can show decision-makers that Family Farms Mean Business! Sign up to attend at the link below.

Legislature to Consider Mega-Dairy Moratorium

In response to the disastrous 30,000 cow Lost Valley mega-dairy in eastern Oregon, Friends of Family Farmers and a coalition of groups are calling for a moratorium on permitting new mega-dairies in Oregon until the state can fix it's broken regulatory system.

In less than two years of operation, Lost Valley has racked up nearly 200 permit violations, cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars, stiffed local contractors with unpaid bills, contributed to low milk prices that are putting smaller dairy farms out of business, and put groundwater at risk with unauthorized wells and numerous manure spills.

The situation has revealed serious faults in Oregon's permitting system for large Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Oregon clearly needs a 'time-out' on permitting new facilities of this scale until the Legislature is able to change how such operations are regulated in the future. 

Contact your State Legislators today and urge them to support a moratorium on new industrial mega-dairies in Oregon. 

InFARMation Returns in February to Portland, Salem, and Bend

What does it mean to be farming in the midst of climate change? Can agriculture be a part of the solution? What is your role in building a sustainable food system in Oregon? We will tackle questions like these and more at three upcoming InFARMation events in Salem, Portland, and Bend in February.

Join us for a fun and informative evening where you will hear from a panel of local producers and experts in sustainable agriculture as they address land access, soil health, and more. We will also be presenting on ways that you can be involved in our work on behalf of family farmers and how you can help shape our local food systems. These are free events.

Land, Soil, Water, and Farmers: The Future of Sustainable Agriculture in Oregon 

Thank You Year-End Donors!

We'd like to thank all of you who recently made a year-end donation to Friends of Family Farmers. With your support - through donations large and small - we nearly reached our $12,000 year-end fundraising goal!

Friends of Family Farmers is THE leading voice for Oregon family farmers and ranchers who responsibly steward their land and feed our communities. Over the years, we've created a variety of programs like InFARMation, Farmer and Rancher Listening Sessions, Oregon Farm Link and the Oregon Pasture Network to both educate consumers and help farmers find solutions to the challenges they face. Through our Watchdog program, we also keep a keen eye on state agencies and corporate agribusiness interests to make sure Oregon continues to be a great place to live and farm.

With the 2019 Legislative Session starting soon, we have a lot of work ahead of us. If you missed out on donating at the end of 2018, there's still time to support us before the 2019 Legislative Session begins in late January. Please consider making a donation today to support our work this year. 

FoFF is a grassroots organization that depends on donations from supporters like you. Your financial support is not only tax deductible, it helps us expand our programs and our advocacy, which helps family farmers and ranchers, grows rural economies, sustains the environment, and nourishes our families with healthy, Oregon-grown food.

January Calendar of Events

January 11: Beginning Farmer Open House‚Äč - Eugene

January 15: Produce Grower Food Safety Training - Canby

January 15: 2019 Rogue Farm Corps Intern/Apprentice Earlybird Deadline - Statewide

January 22: Produce Grower Food Safety Training - Central Point

January 22 - March 5: Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management - Salem

January 28-29: Produce Grower Food Safety Training and Planning Workshop - Hillsboro

January 29 - February 12: Exploring the Small Farm Dream - Tangent

January 31: Columbia Gorge Community Farm to School Regional Gathering - Mosier

February 12: InFARMation - Land, Soil, Water and Farmers: The Future of Sustainable Agriculture in Oregon - Salem

February 12: Produce Grower Food Safety Training - Ontario

February 13: Changing Hands: Farm Transfer and Land Access Workshop - Baker City

February 16: Farm Transition Workshop - North Plains

February 19: InFARMation - Land, Soil, Water and Farmers: The Future of Sustainable Agriculture in Oregon - Portland

February 19: Marion SWCD Annual Meeting - Salem

February 19: Changing Hands: Farm Transfer and Land Access Workshop - Medford

February 23:  OSU Small Farms Conference - Corvallis

February 27: InFARMation - Land, Soil, Water and Farmers: The Future of Sustainable Agriculture in Central Oregon - Bend

March 6: Changing Hands: Farm Transfer and Land Access Workshop - Corvallis

March 19-20: Produce Grower Food Safety Training and Planning Workshop - Hood River

March 27, 2019: Family Farms Mean Business Day at the State Capitol - Salem

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

2018 Fill Your Pantry Portland - Big Impact for Local Producers

On December 9, 2018, we held our 4th annual Fill Your Pantry bulk buying event in Portland. For the second year, we partnered with the Culinary Breeding Network and Eat Winter Squash project to hold a Winter Squash and Bean Sagra (festival). The dual activities took place on a cold, blustery day under cover outside at Faubion Elementary School in Portland. Despite the harsh weather, hundreds of shoppers came out and collectively put over $62,000 directly into the hands of the 22 participating farmers and ranchers for their locally grown vegetables, fruit, beans, pasture-raised meats, canned goods, and more. Thanks to all the producers, customers, and volunteers for making this such a great event! Thanks also to Johnny's Selected Seeds for their sponsorship and to Portland Nursery for use of their carts.

 

Contact Us

Friends of Family Farmers
249 Liberty St NE, Suite 212
Salem, Oregon 97301
503-581-7124
info@friendsoffamilyfarmers.org
www.friendsoffamilyfarmers.org

The voice for Oregon family farmers that responsibly steward their land and feed our communities. 

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