Friends of Family Farmers – Promoting and Protecting Socially Responsible Farming in Oregon.

 

Agricultural Reclamation Act

In 2009, through our first Agricultural Reclamation Act Tour, hundreds of family farmers and ranchers helped FoFF identify seven major issues that socially responsible farmers and ranchers are facing as they work to get their goods to Oregon families. At the Farmer and Rancher Delegation in 2010, representatives from around the state voted on three priority actions to address each issue. All Oregonians can work together to change barriers into opportunities that will help us reclaim our food and agricultural system.

Click here to take our 2014 Farmer and Rancher Survey to help us update the ARA!

Click here to sign your name to the ARA!

Download the entire ARA as a pdf or download the 2-pager>>

Click here for the ARA Preamble

Meat & Poultry

In Oregon, where there were once many slaughter and processing facilities, processors are now larger and fewer in number.  This consolidated market power impedes farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to get their products to retail markets.  As such, marketplace demands for responsibly raised meats and poultry cannot be met.  In addition, food safety regulations for meat and poultry are based on an industrial model that fails to address the needs of family-scale farms and ranches.  Find out more about this issue and the priority action items to address it>>

Milk & Dairy

Unfettered access to a wide spectrum of local dairy products in Oregon is severely limited despite the recent groundswell in demand.  Current regulations inhibit the face to face relationships consumers are asking for while limiting producer’s abilities to meet the dairy needs of their communities.   Milk, because it is undervalued on the commodity  market, creates economic instability for farmers and limits the potential for new producers to recoup the high costs of entrance into dairy production.  Find out more about this issue and the priority action items to address it>>

Rules, Regulations & Food Safety

In an effort to meet the safe food needs of the public, rules and regulations have been created based on a food system dominated by large-scale growers and processors.  This one-size-fits-all system of rules and regulations dictates food safety policy and threatens the viability of family-scale farms and ranches.  Oregon agriculture needs a regulatory system that encourages entrepreneurial ingenuity and does not limit business start-up and expansion opportunities.  Removing these roadblocks that hinder direct farmer/rancher to consumer relationships will lead to economic prosperity for producers who are creating healthful and clean products.  Find out more about this issue and the priority action items to address it>>

Regional Food System Infrastructure & Markets

Growing public interest in, and demand for, locally and responsibly produced food has encouraged many family farms to diversify and gear their businesses to serve local markets.  However, regional food systems look and function differently than the industrial model that is now in place. The consolidation of processing and distribution has decimated the infrastructure and markets that were once in place to serve independent farmers, ranchers and their communities.  Support is needed to regenerate these vital pieces of our regional food system.  Find out more about this issue and the priority action items to address it>>

Farm & Land Viability

With the consolidation and industrialization of agriculture, workforce availability compromised, and ever increasing land prices and operating costs, the future of family-scale agriculture in Oregon is jeopardized.  Unrestricted growth and development continues to eliminate valuable land resources devoted to cultivation.   These dangerous components threaten to monopolize and outsource our food supply while crippling rural economies.  Find out more about this issue and the priority action items to address it>>

New & Young Farmers

As the average age of farmers rapidly approaches 60, 25-50% of Oregon’s farmland is set to change hands in the next decade.  Without appropriate steps taken, land currently in the hands of family farmers and ranchers could go unused or transfer to industrial agriculture or non-agricultural interests.  This will severely effect how our food is produced, as well as the make-up of our rural communities and local economies. Immediate action is needed to ensure successful land transition and to assist new farmers and ranchers as they enter into agriculture.  Find out more about this issue and the priority action items to address it>>

ODA Support, Clarity & Cooperation

Historically, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has focused the majority of their resources on commodity production and export markets.  Until recently, farmers and ranchers have seen few resources put towards the development of regional food systems, even though agency officials acknowledge the value of small to mid-size, diversified family farms/ranches and their contribution to the state’s economy, environment and social structure.  Many farmers and ranchers are asking for increased attention to their issues and that the ODA shift more resources to match the unique needs of these farmers and ranchers.  Find out more about this issue and the priority action items to address it>>

Sign on to show your support and endorse the Agricultural Reclamation Act>>


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Friends of Family Farmers. P.O. Box 1286, Molalla, OR, 97038. info@friendsoffamilyfarmers.org. © 2008