Springtime with the Oregon Pasture Network: Potlucks, Pasture Walks, and Grazing Lessons

Producers discussing raising chickens on pasture at an OPN Pasture Walk

With consumers increasingly interested in purchasing socially responsible, pasture-raised animal products, FoFF launched the Oregon Pasture Network (OPN) in 2016. Our primary goal is to promote the growth of pasture-raised production in Oregon by supporting farmers and ranchers in the OPN with education, marketing, and networking.

Two years later, we have almost 60 producer members all over the state, growing more each year. So far in 2019, the OPN has held six ‘Potlucks & Pasture Walks’, casual events where local pastured producers can  talk pasture, learn from each other’s trials and tribulations, and enjoy good food together. These pasture walks were held up and down the Willamette Valley and in Prineville. Another pasture walk in Central Point is on the calendar for late August and more will be announced as the season continues. 

With top-quality instruction by renowned forage expert Dr. Woody Lane of Lane Livestock Services, the OPN also hosted an intensive 3-Day workshop called ‘Grazing, Soils, & Pastures.’ Almost 20 producers attended the course held at the Beavercreek Grange in Oregon City and two nearby farms where Dr. Lane led pasture walks. All participants left with significantly more knowledge and expertise in pasture and forage management. Even experienced graziers benefited greatly from the 3-day workshop.

Dr. Lane identifying different forages

As one attendee said, “I’ve been practicing sustainable farming and rotational grazing on my farm for 13 years and took away a ton of knowledge and inspiration from this class… We hope to apply what we learned at the class with the goal of adding a month plus of grazing time to our pastures in the summer.” 

The OPN will host another 3-day workshop with Dr. Lane in Southwest Oregon later this summer. Exact location and dates will be announced shortly so make sure you are signed up to get our announcements here.

One goal with this program is to build a robust network where pasture-based producers can come together to learn from and alongside one another. We’ll continue to host workshops and pasture walks. If you want to be involved in our Network, apply to join online today! Email OPN@FriendsoFamilyFarmers.org with any questions. 

Huge thanks to all the producers who hosted our pasture walks this Spring (Croakers Crossing Farm, Marion Acres, MoonLight Family Farm, Windy Acres Dairy, and Phoenix Farm)! To learn more about all the producers in the OPN, check out our online pasture-raised product guide.

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