InFARMation events on How to Buy Local Meat

Do you have questions about how to purchase local pasture-raised meats? Well, we have two upcoming events for you! We have two InFARMation events, one in Salem and one in Philomath, to tackle questions like why is it important to support pasture-based producers? How does meat get to market and what are the challenges for small-scale producers? What terms do I need to know when buying “half a cow”?

In addition to our panel discussion, both events will feature a “meat” and greet where you can get to know several of your local pasture-based farmers!

Be sure to bring all your questions about pasture-raised meat to these FREE events!

Our Salem event is a collaboration with the OSU Mid-Willamette Valley Small Farms program

WHEN: Monday, October 21st, 6:00 – 8:30pm

WHERE: Barrel & Keg (1190 Broadway St NE, Salem)

Check out the Facebook event page here.

 

Our Philomath event is a collaboration with the OSU Southern Willamette Valley Small Farms program.

WHEN: Thursday, November 14th, 6:00 – 8:30pm

WHERE: Marys River Grange (24707 Grange Hall Rd, Philomath)

Check out the Facebook event here.

 

Film Screenings with FoFF – Coming to a venue near you!

Click here Join us for one of our special screenings of the film, Eating Animals, and a discussion of the realities of factory farming and how you can support producers in the Oregon Pasture Network who are raising their animals on pasture, a healthy and more environmentally-friendly alternative to the industrial model.

Based on the bestselling book by Jonathan Safran Foer and narrated by co-producer Natalie Portman, Eating Animals is an eye-opening look at the environmental, economic, and public health consequences of factory farming. Join us for this award winning documentary aimed at sparking conversation about the difficult but important truths hidden in our food system. 

When it comes to eating meat, there are a lot of choices and we support farmers and ranchers who are decidedly taking an alternative approach and raising animals on pasture. Come see how farmers and innovators are standing up against factory farming and be inspired to take part in the wider shift to regenerative agricultural practices. 

Please note: This film contains graphic imagery of animals in factory farm conditions and is intended for a mature audience.

Click on the image above to watch the trailer!

Screening Schedule (we will continue to update as more details unfold):

Wed, Sept 25th, 6:45pm – Darkside Cinema, CorvallisClick here for more details
Thurs, Oct 24th, 7pm – Patagonia Store, Portland – Click here for more details
Mon, Nov 4th, 6:45pm – Rockford Grange Hall, Hood RiverClick here for more details
Wed, Nov 6th, 6:45pm – Sisters Movie House, SistersClick here for more details
Fri, Nov 15th, 7pm – NW Documentary, Portland
Tues, Nov 19th, 7pm – Basecamp Brewery, Portland
Tues, Dec 17th – Grand Theatre, Salem
Wed, Jan 15th – Central Oregon Locavore, BendClick here for more details

Hope to see you there!

Springtime with the Oregon Pasture Network: Potlucks, Pasture Walks, and Grazing Lessons

Producers discussing raising chickens on pasture at an OPN Pasture Walk

With consumers increasingly interested in purchasing socially responsible, pasture-raised animal products, FoFF launched the Oregon Pasture Network (OPN) in 2016. Our primary goal is to promote the growth of pasture-raised production in Oregon by supporting farmers and ranchers in the OPN with education, marketing, and networking.

Two years later, we have almost 60 producer members all over the state, growing more each year. So far in 2019, the OPN has held six ‘Potlucks & Pasture Walks’, casual events where local pastured producers can  talk pasture, learn from each other’s trials and tribulations, and enjoy good food together. These pasture walks were held up and down the Willamette Valley and in Prineville.

Our next OPN Pasture Walk is Saturday, August 24th in Central Point – please follow this link to RSVP. 

With top-quality instruction by renowned forage expert Dr. Woody Lane of Lane Livestock Services, the OPN also hosted an intensive 3-Day workshop called ‘Grazing, Soils, & Pastures.’ Almost 20 producers attended the course held at the Beavercreek Grange in Oregon City and two nearby farms where Dr. Lane led pasture walks. All participants left with significantly more knowledge and expertise in pasture and forage management. Even experienced graziers benefited greatly from the 3-day workshop.

Dr. Lane identifying different forages

As one attendee said, “I’ve been practicing sustainable farming and rotational grazing on my farm for 13 years and took away a ton of knowledge and inspiration from this class… We hope to apply what we learned at the class with the goal of adding a month plus of grazing time to our pastures in the summer.” 

The OPN will host another 3-day workshop with Dr. Lane in Southwest Oregon later this summer. Exact location and dates will be announced shortly so make sure you are signed up to get our announcements here.

One goal with this program is to build a robust network where pasture-based producers can come together to learn from and alongside one another. We’ll continue to host workshops and pasture walks. If you want to be involved in our Network, apply to join online today! Email OPN@FriendsoFamilyFarmers.org with any questions. 

Huge thanks to all the producers who hosted our pasture walks this Spring (Croakers Crossing Farm, Marion Acres, MoonLight Family Farm, Windy Acres Dairy, and Phoenix Farm)! To learn more about all the producers in the OPN, check out our online pasture-raised product guide.

We’re hiring short-term Community Organizers for our Farmer & Rancher Day of Action

Friends of Family Farmers
is seeking part time, temporary Community Organizers for
Farmer and Rancher Day of Action!
at the Capitol in Salem
Wednesday March 27, 2019

Farmer Rancher Day of Action is a one day opportunity for family farmers, ranchers and all those who support good food come to the Capitol and let our decision-makers and the public know that Family Farms Mean Business!

Do you appreciate good food and local farms? Do you like networking and building relationships? We are seeking enthusiastic community organizers to help us expand our reach and ensure a great turnout at our Day of Action. We’ll have educational events in the morning, a rally on the Capitol steps around noon, and a Farmers Market in the Capitol galleria. There will also be opportunities to meet directly with legislators. Light breakfast and a catered lunch is provided to all attendees.

Activities Involved

Organizers will work with FoFF staff to identify and recruit 5 to 10 family farmers, ranchers, or good food supporters to travel to Salem for the Day of Action from one of the following four regions: 1) Southern Oregon/Rogue Valley, 2) Northeast (Wallowa, Umatilla, Baker, Union and Grant counties), 3) the South Coast, and 4) the North Coast.

Widely advertise the Day of Action throughout your region to small farms, farmers markets and food communities; make phone calls with lists supplemented by FoFF staff; post flyers in strategic places; attend community events where likely attendees will be present, and generally talk up the event whenever possible.

Escort or arrange transportation for attendees to Salem to participate in the entire day’s activities, including morning workshops, rally, and meetings with legislators. FoFF will pay for transportation to and from Salem, either by mileage reimbursement or by renting a car or van. Organizer will work with FoFF staff on a transportation plan and budget for their region.

Generate and maintain community Facebook event; regularly share FoFF posts on social media to generate excitement. Anything else you can think of that will help recruit, and ensure attendance from your region.

What we’re looking for: Demonstrated commitment to FoFF mission and vision
Organizational skills and attention to detail
Strong social media skills
A cell phone, valid Oregon driver’s license and good driving record

Duration: Date of hire until March 28, 2019. Applications accepted until position is filled.

Compensation: $500, to be paid in full on March 28, 2019

For more information or to apply: Contact Shari Sirkin, info@friendsoffamilyfarmers.org

Please include a cover letter or resume and relevant experience. Thanks!

Friends of Family Farmers strives for a diverse work environment and encourages women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and differently-abled people to apply.

FoFF’s 2019 Policy Agenda and Listening Session Recap

We are pleased to announce that we’ve completed our 2018 Farmer and Rancher Listening Session Report & 2019 Policy Recommendations!

View the Full Report Here

Local farmers & ranchers vote on the top issues at our Listening Session in Astoria.

From December 2017 to May 2018, FoFF organized and facilitated 19 Farmer & Rancher Listening Sessions across Oregon. We invited producers out to local Grange halls, libraries, and breweries to talk about the issues impacting their farming operations and to brainstorm potential solutions.

Over 200 farmers and ranchers helped us identify several priority issues and we used this input to develop proactive policy proposals and program work outlined in the report. While a wide range of issues were raised at our Listening Sessions last year, several emerged as priority topics. As usual, small and mid-sized family farmers face significant challenges. Oregon’s family farmers especially need assistance in the following areas, including:

  1. Access to Land & Capital
  2. Access to Small Farm Meat Processing Infrastructure
  3. Expanding Opportunities for Agritourism
  4. Water Conservation

As the 2019 Oregon Legislative Session begins, we urge Oregon decision-makers to take action to address these issues. You can help amplify our voice demanding policies that benefit Oregon small and mid-sized family farms. On March 27th, 2019 we will be holding a day of action at the State Capitol in Salem to support legislation addressing these priorities. We will offer workshops in the morning to fill you in on food and farm issues, hold a rally on the Capitol steps, and provide opportunities for you to weigh in on legislation impacting local food systems and family farmers. Join us for the day and together we can show decision-makers that Family Farms Mean Business! 

Dine Out for FoFF through November

All through November, stop by Blossoming Lotus in Portland and Celilo Restaurant in Hood River to Dine Out for FoFF. Enjoy great food and support our work on behalf of Oregon’s family farms!

Blossoming Lotus in Portland

Autumn Squash Gratin from Blossoming Lotus

Blossoming Lotus in Portland is donating a portion of the sales from one of their dishes, the Autumn Squash Gratin with Braised Onions and Brussels Sprout Kraut (pictured on the left), throughout November to Friends of Family Farmers!

Blossoming Lotus serves organic, freshly made, vegan fusion world cuisine with delicious cooked and live food options. Just like FoFF, Blossoming Lotus is dedicated to supporting Oregon’s family farms. Lissa Kane, their Executive Chef, told us that “local farmers bring the freshest, most nutrient-dense food directly to us. With lower transportation costs and fewer emissions, more money stays in the community. And the flavor cannot be beat.” The squash for the Autumn Squash Gratin dish is sourced from Dancing Roots Farm in Corbett.

Blossoming Lotus is located at 1713 NE 15th Ave, Portland, OR 97212 and their hours can be found here.

Celilo Restaurant in Hood River

Seasonal Squash Soup at Celilo Restaurant

Celilo Restaurant and Bar in Hood River is donating $1 for each bowl of the Seasonal Squash Soup, with locally-sourced squash, to Friends of Family Farmers all through November as well!

Ben Stenn is the chef and managing partner of Celilo Restaurant and is also dedicated to supporting Oregon’s family farms: “We love working with local farmers. In our fast paced world today, first person relationships are evermore critical. Our connection to food and the source of our ingredients is the foundation of what we do at Celilo.”

Celilo Restaurant and Bar is located at 16 Oak St, Hood River, OR 97031 and their hours can be found here.

We’re hosting Fall Parties in Bend and Salem: Join us in celebrating family farms!

This year Friends of Family Farmers hosted 19 listening sessions and heard from over 200 farmers all across the state about the top issues facing Oregon’s family farms. Join us for a fun evening and learn more about the solutions Friends of Family Farmers is working on to address issues such as access to land and capital and the growing interest in agritourism.

We traveled all over the state and heard from over 200 farmers about the greatest needs in our local food systems. Now, we want to share what we learned and our proposed solutions with local producers and concerned eaters at our two Fall Parties!

Bring your family and friends to our Bend or Salem Fall Harvest Party! Meet your fellow good food supporters starting at 5:30pm and enjoy a short presentation by Friends of Family Farmers at 6pm.

  • Free event, all ages welcome
  • Raffle with prizes from Patagonia & more
  • Support family farmers & ranchers

These events are free, but please follow the RSVP link below to let us know you’re coming!

Details for the Events:

Local producers voting on the top issues for Friends of Family Farmers to prioritize in the coming years.

Bend Fall Harvest Party
Tuesday, October 16th, 5:30-7:30pm

Dump City Dumplings
384 Upper Terrace Dr,
Bend, Oregon

RSVP for the Bend event here!

Salem Fall Harvest Party
Wednesday, October 17th, 5:30-7:30pm

Vagabond Brewing
2195 Hyacinth St NE,
Salem, Oregon

RSVP for the Salem event here!

 

 

 

The Oregon Pasture Network: What’s in Store for Farmers and Eaters

By Lindsay Trant, OPN Program Manager

In June 2016, FoFF launched the Oregon Pasture Network (OPN). The program connects Oregon’s pasture-based producers to each other as well as resources and expert assistance on sustainable grazing systems that are healthier for animals, the environment, and their farms. The OPN also connects these producers to the growing crowd of eaters who care about the source of their food and want to purchase their meat, eggs, and dairy from pasture-raised animals.

Two years later, there are now nearly 60 members of the Oregon Pasture Network and the benefits keep growing. Every member of the OPN is listed in the OPN Product Guide for free, allowing Oregonians to locate and purchase products raised in a more environmentally sound manner, on pasture. We hope to keep evolving this Product Guide as the program grows. Most recently, we made it easier for shoppers to find pasture raised meat, eggs, and dairy directly from OPN producers in their area.

In addition to upgrading the Product Guide, we are organizing a series of InFARMation events in the Portland area through the Fall of 2018 for a deep look into the benefits of raising animals on pasture – for the environment, for farmers, for animal welfare, for consumers, and for your health. You can find details and a full list of the InFARMations here. Our next will be on the topic of Pasture Raised Poultry on Tuesday, Sept. 25 from 6-9 pm at the Lagunitas Community Room.

For farmers, being a member of the OPN means access to  a number of benefits. We sponsor classes to provide expert assistance for producers dedicated to continually improving their pasture-based systems and want to deepen their understanding of the art and science of responsible grazing. Last year we worked with Dr. Woody Lane of Lane Livestock Services to offer an 8-week in-depth forage and pasture management course and OPN members got a 50% discount on course fees. One OPN member who took the course said that the course inspired him “to get out and do some of things I already knew needed to be doing. Case in point: get an updated soil test! It really helped me up my pasture management game and it started paying off in the first season.”

Members of the OPN enjoy a pasture walk together in Beavercreek.

We also provide a place where pastured producers can get together and learn from one another. We host a producer listserv to share tips and information, and we launched a Potluck and Pasture Walk series this summer, hosted by different members of the OPN. The first of these events was hosted in Beavercreek in August, and about 20 producers came out to learn from one another and talk pasture. Since pastures can vary from place to place and seasonally, these walks will continue in different parts of the state.

Our long-term vision for the Network is to include every Oregon producer who raises animals in a pasture-based system that places a high value on the land, animal welfare, and the well-being of their local communities. We recently opened up the membership to include ‘aggregators,’ those  who sell products from other pasture-based producers solely, or in addition to their own. Interested aggregators can now apply to join the OPN here.

If you are a producer interested in joining the Oregon Pasture Network, you can read more about our program and apply to join (for free!) here. Please reach out if you have any questions. You can email us at OPN@friendsoffamilyfarmers.org or call us at (503) 581-7124.

Victory! Lost Valley Mega-Dairy Permit Revoked

On June 27th, 2018 it was announced the permit for the Lost Valley mega-dairy was revoked.

Thanks to YOUR action, the Oregon Department of Agriculture formally revoked the permit for the Lost Valley mega-dairy in Eastern Oregon in late June, effectively shutting down this public health and environmental disaster. 

This is huge a win for family farmers, the environment, and public health!

Friends of Family Farmers and a diverse coalition led the fight to stop Lost Valley – we helped generate thousands of public comments against the facility, testified at public hearings, used Oregon’s Public Records Act to expose severe violations, and uncovered shocking photos of cows standing in deep manure.

Lost Valley was initially granted a Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) permit in early 2017 for up to 30,000 cows, making it one of the nation’s largest dairy CAFOs. But Lost Valley’s permit violations and manure spills began almost immediately. Threats to drinking water and manure mismanagement led the Oregon Department of Agriculture to sue Lost Valley in early 2018. But the violations continued. In late June, the agency finally took action to shut the facility down by revoking it’s permit to operate. You can read more about the permit revocation here.

Please make a donation today to support our work. With your help, we will continue to monitor and take action on behalf of family farmers and ranchers!

There is a better way

There is an alternative to industrial-scale CAFOs like Lost Valley: family-scale producers raising animals on pasture. We strongly support producers who are doing it right and our Oregon Pasture Network is a program to support and promote producers who raise their animals on pasture. We believe that sustainable, humane, pasture-raised production is the best way to raise animal products. 

In response to the Lost Valley permit revocation, Friends of Family Farmers along with Food & Water Watch, Oregon Rural Action, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Columbia Riverkeeper, Center for Food Safety, Center for Biological Diversity, Animal Legal Defense Fund, and the Humane Society of the United States commented:

Lost Valley Farm has been a mess since the day it opened its doors. State inspections have documented cows standing ankle-deep in a slurry of their own waste, overflowing manure lagoons and ‘mortality’ boxes. Its violations have put drinking water for local families at risk. The state’s action today follows a renewed call from numerous organizations which sent a letter to Governor Brown last month asking that her administration shut down Lost Valley, along with emails from nearly 3,000 concerned citizens. We applaud the permit revocation as an important victory for animal welfare and against mega-dairy water and air pollution, which pose massive environmental and public health risks in Oregon and across the country.

Tales from the Road – 2018 Listening Session Recap

by Lindsay Trant, Grassroots Organizer

Since December 2017, Natalie Danielson – my fellow FoFF Grassroots Organizer – and I have facilitated Listening Sessions for farmers and ranchers throughout Oregon. We have completed 18 so far and have heard from almost 200 producers along the way who raise vegetables, fruit, animal products, and just about every other crop or product that can be grown in Oregon—all of them operating on a family-scale.

Thanks to all the Granges and other venues that hosted us!

We traveled well over a thousand miles up, down, and across the state. We stayed in a variety of places, ate at some great restaurants, and explored towns I’d never been to before. By far, my favorite part of this was visiting so many of Oregon’s Grange Halls. We tried to host as many of our Listening Sessions as we could at local Granges because they tend to be centrally located for producers. As one farmer said at the Multnomah Grange in Gresham, “I think this is the first time I’ve ever used a Grange for what it was intended for and this feels really good.”

The goal of our Listening Sessions is to gather input from as many of Oregon’s socially responsible, family-scale producers as we can about what issues they are facing. This is important to us because we want everything we do, every policy we fight for and every program we run, to be supported by Oregon’s family farmers and ranchers.

Recently, after a great discussion of issues facing farmers on the North Coast, one producer laughed and asked “Is it depressing going to all of these listening sessions and hearing about all these problems?” You might think that visiting nearly 20 different venues, and hearing from so many small and mid-sized producers about the most challenging issues they are facing would be kind of a downer…. But, it’s not! This process has actually been incredibly inspiring. In the past 5 months, I have personally met well over 100 producers who are extremely dedicated to producing food for their communities in the most socially and environmentally responsible manner possible, while trying to keep their operations financially viable. These producers make it possible for me to do what I love: Eat and fight for good food! And the insights and experiences these producers shared with us will be invaluable in helping Friends of Family Farmers continue to be the most effective small farm advocacy group in the state.

And this helps underscore why we do what we do. While on the road, I got to hear about some of the positive impacts FoFF’s work has had for family farms in Oregon. For example, I met a landholder at the Beavercreek Listening Session who found the perfect partnership for his farm through our Oregon Farm Link program. Separately, a producer in Banks, when explaining to other producers a policy championed by FoFF back in 2011 called the 1,000 Bird Exemption, said: “My operation would not be where it is today without the 1,000 Bird Exemption. That exemption is how we were able to start our operation.” This farm is now just days away from opening up their own on-farm, licensed poultry processing facility.

While my Listening Session travels were focused on the western side of Oregon, Natalie was mostly on the road East of the Cascades, hearing from producers about the unique issues that farmers and ranchers face in the drier regions of Oregon. For her, it was inspiring to hear from producers seeking to provide food for their communities in areas with small but growing support for local agriculture. One of the best parts of our Listening Sessions is seeing the supportive network of producers getting together to strategize about local issues big and small. For example, in Enterprise a “chicken moving day” was suggested to help a chicken farmer retrieve her flock of very free range chickens out from their favorite tree and to her new property. Now that’s community supported agriculture!

These are just a few of the inspiring stories we’ve heard about how our programs and policy efforts have positively impacted family farms around Oregon. Our team at FoFF is excited to use what we learned from our 2018 Statewide Listening Session Tour as we refine our program work and look towards the 2019 Legislative Session.

Did you miss out on attending one of our 2018 Farmer and Rancher Listening Sessions? It’s not too late to make your voice heard through our Farmer and Rancher Survey. This survey is open until May 31, 2018 and will help us in compiling the final report from our 2018 Listening Session tour.

Natalie facilitated a great Listening Session in Central Point.