By bringing farmers, future farmers and farm-friendly folks together, Farm On builds community centered around agriculture, sharing knowledge and wisdom in creative, fruitful, supportive & educational ways.
Why Farm On?
We are at a critical juncture for transferring our agricultural land, infrastructure, traditions, knowledge and skills. Thousands of new farmers are needed to steward the land, produce healthy food and regenerate rural communities — both in Oregon and across the country.
The good news is that we have no shortage of folks ready to get their hands dirty and take on this important task! Despite many obstacles, young farmers are charging full steam ahead and creating meaningful and viable enterprises!
To learn more about the challenges young American farmers face and strategies for success, read the National Young Farmers Coalition report.
Since 2011, Friends of Family Farmers has spent a lot of time at the Oregon Capitol and with Oregon Department of Agriculture, working on behalf of Oregon’s farmers, and that includes many efforts to improve the success of beginning farmers.
In 2011, the 1,000 bird/year poultry processing exemption was passed, which allows on-farm sales of poultry direct to consumers.
The Farm-Direct bill, aka the ‘pickle’ bill, was also passed in 2011, which allows farm direct sales of many products and allows up to $20,000/year in sales of specific home-processed low-hazard foods.
In 2013, the Beginning Farmer Loan Program, aka ‘Aggie Bonds,’ which provides lower-interest lending for beginning farmers and ranchers for land and equipment purchases was passed.
And in March 2015, we successfully advocated for expanding the Aggie Bonds program. We continue to work hard to ensure this program is properly implemented.
Oregon Farm Link
The average age of farmers in Oregon is 60 years old. Without a plan to get new farmers onto the land, we stand to lose 25-50% of the land that is currently in agriculture production in the next decade. In response, Friends of Family Farmers hosts Oregon Farm Link, a land connection website to help Oregon grow the next generation of family farmers, which includes a searchable job and resources database.
Workshops and More
In 2014, we held our first Farmers Rising event, hosting over 150 beginning farmers from across Oregon for two days of workshops and social opportunities. In 2015, Agrarian Ales hosted us for a one day event, with twelve workshops and an evening of music. Our 2016 Farmers Rising event, scheduled for October 14-16, was unfortunately cancelled due to severe weather. Stay tuned for information about 2017 events!
We’ve also held countless other workshops, movies, music, and social mixers, farm tours, and the list goes on to support and promote the next generation of Oregon’s farmers.
- Join the Farm On email list
- Visit the Farm On Facebook Page for the latest news
- Join the Friends of Family Farmers email list to get updates on state-wide actions that impact family farms
Photo credit: Meaghin Kennedy