The unprecedented, raging wildfires we are experiencing can be directly attributed to climate change. However, the average person may not make that connection when only seven of 46 wildfire news segments, or 15%, mention climate change. As meteorologist Jeff Beradellisaid “this is what climate change does—it takes an ordinary situation and it makes it extraordinary.” As you read this, farmers across Oregon are trying to save their farms and ranches. They are bringing livestock to temporary shelters, watering down fields and barns, and postponing or in some cases, speeding up harvest.
Farmers and ranchers experience the effects of climate change, intimately, year-round. At the same time, small and mid-sized farms can significantly help mitigate the worst effects of climate change by using regenerative practices and building a truly resilient local food system. This is the work of Friends of Family Farmers—to make sure our decision makers and all Oregonians—understand the connection between agriculture, climate change, environmental justice, and what farmers and communities can do to ameliorate the crisis upon us. We will continue to advocate for a safer, saner, more equitable and socially-just system of agriculture in Oregon.
If you are in need, here are someOregon wildfire resources including emergency lodging, road closures and more. If you able to help, you can donate to this GoFundMe page that will go directly to small farms affected by wildfires. We hope you stay safe, take care of yourselves, and each other.
In solidarity, the FoFF Team
New tool allows Oregon residents to map wildfire risk to their exact location (click on the image)
Thanks To YOU, We Surpassed Our Goal!
FoFF turned 15 this summer and we are filled with gratitude by the enthusiasm of farmers and farm supporters during our Summer Membership drive. Together, we will expand your voice and ensure a place at the table for small and mid-sized regenerative farms in Oregon. Your contributions help us continue, and strengthen, our important and informative programs and advocacy work.
THANK YOU for your donations, support, and participation. You make the small farming community so much brighter! We appreciate you believing in our work and standing strong with us as we strive for an Oregon where socially and ecologically dedicated family farms flourish.
Bi-Monthly Farmer Chats
Save the date - Farmer Chats: September 14th and 28th, 7pm-8:30pm
Join us Monday, September 14th at 7pm for a continuation of the conversations we've been hosting at our bi-monthly virtual Farmer Chats: Food and Racial Justice. We will explore some of the emergent themes from previous talks including land access, equitable treatment in government programs and services to help farmers, building your local community, and the possibility of a statewide farmer-ally directory. We welcome farmers, farm workers and agricultural producers of all kinds to this conversation.
Support FoFF: Visit Cornell Farm Nursery and Cafe All September
Cornell Farm Nursery and Caferecognizes the future is ours to shape and strongly supports FoFF's mission. Harvest for (f)ALL is a month-long fundraiser and virtual event series with contests, giveaways, webinars, and specials throughout the month, all to benefit Friends of Family Farmers! In addition to the Smoked Salmon Hash benefit special at the cafe, there is a fun and creative scarecrow contest open to the whole community. Entries accepted until Thursday, September 17th. Voting is then open September 18 - 24, and the winner will be announced on September 25.
Make one (or more!) amazing scarecrow and give it a fun name.
Purchase one Scarecrow Contest Entry for each of your creations.
For each entry, take one really great photo and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org along with its name and your name.
Remember: Sept. 17th is the last day submissions will be accepted.
InFARMation: Racial and Food Justice
This year, OSU's Small Farm School will occur as a series of evening, online sessions running from mid-September through mid-November. FoFF and Small Farm School are collaborating to present a four part Racial and Food Justice series. This portion of Small Farm School is free and open to the public.
Sept 29th - Equitable Food Access: Hear from BIPOC Farmers in the Field - RSVP here
October 22nd - Equitable Food Access: How to Contribute to Oregon’s Food Sovereignty Network - RSVP here
November 5th - White Farmers and Food System Members Forming an Anti-Racist Affinity Group: Experiences from a Portland Farmer Development Group - RSVP here
November 17th - Documentary Watch Party and Discussion
Ballot dropbox sites are open 18-20 days before Election Day, depending on your area. Wednesday, October 28, 2020 is the last day ballots can be mailed. After this date, ballots must be put into a dropbox. Please vote early!
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Please plan to vote early.
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.
Chlorpyrifos Call To Action
FoFF has supported the efforts led by PCUN and Beyond Toxics for the full phase-out of the neurotoxic pesticide Chlorpyrifos in Oregon.
Chlorpyrifos is a dangerous insecticide, widely used on a variety of crops, including strawberries, apples, wheat, and Christmas trees. Chlorpyrifos can damage the brains and nervous systems of those who are exposed. Farmworkers, rural communities, children, pregnant mothers and endangered wildlife are especially at risk. The Oregon Department of Agriculture(ODA) has proposed new rules to strengthen protections for Oregonians from pesticides containing chlorpyrifos.
Please help our farmworkers and agricultural lands phase out this toxic pesticide by submitting comments!
Visit Beyond Toxicsfor templates and talking points in English to craft written and oral testimony. You can also share your story with PCUN in English or SpanishHERE.
Thank you for your advocacy on this important topic. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact our Policy Director, Amy Wong.
Welcome New OPN Members
The Oregon Pasture Network (OPN) continues to expand with the addition of eight new pasture based farms & ranches! These producers raise animals for meat, eggs, dairy, wool and more, with an eye toward land stewardship, animal welfare, and resource conservation. Read more about OPN’s newest members here, and find pastured producers in your area in the OPN Product Guide.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced new Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees focused exclusively on urban agriculture. County committees have enabled farmer input on FSA programs since the 1930s. These new committees are part of USDA’s efforts to better support urban agriculture. These committees will make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. FSA began accepting nominations for urban and suburban county committee members on Sept. 8.
Due to COVID-19 we have had to re-imagine this years' FYP. In our pivot, we are collaborating with several Portland-area Farmers Markets to put on a PDX Fill Your Pantry Week! We are behind the scenes making sure our Portland community has ample opportunities to purchase large quantities of staple and storage crops at great prices directly from local farms. This is also a time of year when many farmers can really use the extra sales.
Stay tuned for more details, dates, and participating markets. We look forward to providing you a safe way to stock up!