What role do eaters play in creating a sustainable food system? Why is it important that consumers understand the issues and barriers that Oregon family farmers come up against while trying to stay viable and socially responsible? Friends of Family Farmers is working with eaters, urban dwellers and consumers to bring attention and knowledge of the true value of food and relationships with the folks who raise our food.
Outreach to Oregon Eaters & Consumers
According to a report on Oregon State’s Extension website, 73% of Oregonians live in urban areas, with over 30% of our state’s population living in Portland. Urban consumers wield a lot of political power in Salem when it comes to policy and legislation. It is important that we know who is growing our food and that we are vocal about the kind of food system that we want to see in Oregon.
In an effort to educate and mobilize consumers, Friends of Family Farmers makes frequent appearances speaking to groups, businesses and college classes, and participates in panels about local food, current issues faced by Oregon family farmers, and sustainable food systems. You can find us tabling at farmers’ markets around the state and set up at film screenings that are highlighting documentaries about farming and food issues. In September of 2008, Friends of Family Farmers partnered with OSALT, Oregon Tilth, and Slow Food Portland to host a forum on local food and farm issues with candidates for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District. If you would like to have one of FoFF’s representative speak to your group, visit your community or partner up in an outreach opportunity, please contact Michele via email or phone (503) 841-0305.
InFARMation (and Beer!)
One of the most successful pieces of our Eater Outreach Program is InFARMation (and Beer!). This is a monthly event in Portland happens at Holocene every 2nd Tuesday of each month that started in January 2009. Each event is an opportunity to bring the issues that Oregon family farmers face onto the radar of urban consumers and the community in general.
The topic changes each month, but always focuses on the larger picture of the connection between food and farms in Oregon. This is a great opportunity to get farmers and consumers into the room together to have discussions and build relationships. When eaters connect with farmers, it makes our food web stronger, and real changes in our local food system are possible. Read more about previous and future InFARMations (and Beer!) here. If you have a suggestion for a topic, or would like to bring InFARMation (and Beer!) to your part of Oregon, please email Leah!
Resources for Consumers
We have a large selection of resources on our website for consumers. Learn more here.