InFARMation September 25: Pasture-raised Poultry

Please join us for our next InFARMation at Lagunitas Public House on Tuesday evening, September 25th, from 6-9pm.  Our topic will be Pasture-raised Poultry, and we will get to the bottom of such questions like why pasture-raised poultry costs more, heritage breeds vs. Cornish Cross hens, what the state and federal rules are about chicken processing, why we can only get pasture-raised turkey once a year (and we will have opportunities to sign up for our 2018 Thanksgiving turkey on site!), and why it’s so hard to get pasture-raised chicken and turkey in restaurants.

Our speakers will feature farmers Geoff Scott and John Mathia of Marion Acres Farm.  Their farm story is a fascinating look into what it takes to create a poultry farm from a dream and a vision and a whole lot of hard work.  A. Whole. Lot. Their success story includes starting with 32 broiler chicks just a few years back to building and opening a ODA processing facility on-farm just this summer! They are one of the only local farms providing pasture-raised chicken to Portland restaurants.

Grand Central Bakery strives to provide local and pasture-raised meat to their customers, and has had to face issues of scale, demand, state law and processing issues as they’ve grown from a small cafe & bakery to having ten stores over two states. Piper Davis, co-owner, and Laura Ohm, product director, will give us a behind the scenes look at what sustainable sourcing can and should look like, what the barriers are, and how we as customers can make a difference.

Justin Ashby is meat monger for Flying Fish Company and owner of Tidal Boar Foods, and has worked for several of the higher end groceries in town behind the meat counter. He can speak to us about the challenges for grocery stores in stocking pasture raised meat and about what kinds of questions we should be asking to both find pasture-raised meat by the cut and to encourage grocery stores to offer these kinds of responsibly raised proteins. He has even offered to make a video on how to break down a whole chicken into parts for us.

Doors open at 6pm, speakers start at 6:30. This is a free, all-ages event.  Beer sales will be donated to Friends of Family Farmers.  Please note – food options will be limited: Pasture-raised pork rolls, Spinach and Feta hand pies, quinoa and kale salad. In addition to Lagunitas beer, there will be sodas and water. Parking is on-street, so leave yourselves a bit of extra time for that – folks can be dropped off at the side door on NE 3rd if you’d like. If you would like to volunteer for this or any of our future InFARMations, or if you have any questions, please email Michele@friendsoffamilyfarmers.org.

Save the Date for future InFARMs at Lagunitas Public House: October 9th: Pasture-raised Pork & November 13th: Grass-fed Dairy

The Oregon Pasture Network is Officially Launched!

Farmers and consumers alike haveoregon pasture-smaller shown a growing interest in humane, environmentally friendly meat, egg and dairy products. Consumers want to buy them and farmers want to produce them. With growing concerns about factory farming practices and its health and environmental impacts, pasture-raised animal husbandry holds a lot of appeal. Friends of Family Farmers (FoFF) aims to support these burgeoning interests and connections through their newly-launched initiative: the Oregon Pasture Network (OPN).

OPN Farmer, Jon Bansen, and family

This statewide network will support the growth of pasture-based farming in Oregon. The OPN is a community of farmers, ranchers, food business owners and consumers who share similar values around the way food should be produced. They believe that raising animals on pasture, rather than in confinement, is the most sustainable, humane way to produce animal products.   When asked why he feels the network is important, Jon Bansen, member of OPN’s Farmer Advisory Committee and Organic Valley Co-op producer, said simply “Pasturing is important to our planet. I believe it is the one farming practice that will aid in our fight against global warming through carbon sequestration.”

9FC21BEF-5969-4CB8-A2BB-61A206C4F61A
Jon Carter, OPN Farmer, of Jo Le Farms

The OPN will help these committed farmers by connecting them to each other for networking and support, connecting them to existing resources and expert assistance, and by promoting them to consumers. One exciting way that FoFF intends to do this is by creating Oregon’s first-ever, statewide pastured producers’ directory so that consumers and food business owners can find the sort of meat, eggs and dairy they are seeking.

1965498_10202649064181812_283396840_o
Gus and Margot Liszka, OPN Farmers, of Naked Acres

The Oregon Pasture Network is the newest iteration of FoFF’s popular “Pro Pasture” campaign, launched in 2013, which centered on encouraging farm-direct purchasing and farm-to-table restaurant connections to support pasture-based livestock producers. The OPN will provide new and improved support to Oregon’s dedicated pasture-based livestock producers through membership-based activities, educational opportunities, networking and market promotion. More information is available on the OPN webpage or by calling 503-581-7124, or emailing OPN @ friendsoffamilyfarmers.org.