For those of you who don’t know me yet, I’m Lindsay and I’m the Program Coordinator for the Oregon Pasture Network (OPN). I have recently started full-time with Friends of Family Farmers and have been busy getting the ball rolling with OPN after a long, wet spring.
These farm and ranch visits have not only been fun, but they have been informative for everyone involved. It is not only a chance for OPN applicants to pick the brains of our Advisory Committee members, it is also a chance for the Committee members and me to learn a thing or two as well. Even our most experienced Committee members are able to learn from visiting pasture in different parts of Oregon and seeing how other producers have dealt with their individual challenges. A significant theme throughout our visits is that no two pastures are the same. Each region of Oregon has its own specific climate and different types of forage that succeed in that climate. Our Network is greatly enhanced and expanded through these visits.
As the current round of farm visits winds down, we can shift our focus to the other projects in store for OPN. In early June, we sent out “Proud Member” signs to our current Partners so that they would be more identifiable at farmers markets and farm stands. We also had a lot of fun throwing a Square Dance and Benefit at the ZCBJ Hall in Scio, featuring the Slippery Slope String Band and Caller Woody Lane—thank you to everyone who came out to support OPN!
In the coming months, we will be launching additional marketing and networking tools to support our OPN Pasture Partners such as a members-only OPN listserv, a first-of-its-kind statewide pasture-raised product directory, and scheduling pasture walks for our Partners to ask questions and share knowledge amongst each other. There is a lot to do with OPN, and I am excited for every step and look forward to meeting more pasture-based livestock producers all across Oregon. If you are a pasture-based producer in Oregon and are interested in joining OPN, apply today! Our application can be found here and questions can be sent to opn @ friendsoffamilyfarmers.org or you can call us at (503) 581-7124.