Columbia County

Key Organizations and Activities

Columbia Pacific Food Bank completed a community food assessment for Columbia County in 2012. A progress report was also issued in 2013.

The Rural Organizing Project published a Local Food and Farm Guide for Columbia County in 2011. Columbia Pacific Food Bank published its own Local Food Guide in 2013.

Columbia Health Coalition is working to address chronic disease with goals including improving food offerings in schools and workplaces, promoting community gardening, and ensuring citizens have access (within 3 miles) to supermarkets.

OSU Extension is implementing a GROW (Generating Rural Options for Weight) program in Columbia County to promote healthy eating and physical activitiy.

Lower Columbia School Gardens has helped 16 schools on both the Oregon and Washington sides of the river start and maintain garden programs.

Innovation Ingenuity Center provides resources related to aquaponic gardening.

A Columbia County Natural consumer food-buying club has also been formed.

Community Goals and Recommendations

Priorities from the 2012 community food assessment included:

Producer Opportunities

  1. Educate consumers on buying shares of locally raised livestock.
  2. Encourage niche markets, like organic, for meat and dairy producers.
  3. Create a list of certified kitchens for small scale food preparation and processing.
  4. Support producers in meeting food safety stan­dards.

Food Supply Chain Opportunities

  1. Create a Buy Local campaign to educate consumers on the benefits of local food.
  2. Connect local restaurants and producers. Highlight local foods on menus.
  3. Create an event where local producers and buyers can meet and learn about one another’s needs and challenges.
  4. Support cross-promotion and marketing of local foods by all food-based businesses.

Food Assistance Opportunities

  1. Increase efforts to enroll seniors in food assistance programs.
  2. Encourage youth involvement with 4-H, FFA and gardening programs.
  3. Incorporate meal planning/budgeting in school life skills classes.
GENERAL INFORMATION
POPULATION Oregon Columbia
Population (2007) 3,745,455 48,164
Population (2014) 3,962,710 50,075
Population change from 2007 to 2014 6%   4%
ESTIMATED SPENDING ON FOOD (WESTERN REGION) Oregon Columbia
2007 ($6,811 per household – average 2.6 persons) $9,811,651,540 $126,171,155
2014 ($7,175 per household – average 2.6 persons) $10,935,555,481 $138,187,740
Change from 2007 to 2014 11%   10%
FOOD ENVIRONMENT
SUPERMARKETS AND OTHER GROCERY STORES Oregon Columbia
2007 Grocery Stores 751 9
2013 Grocery Stores 768 7
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 2.3%   -22.2%
2007 Citizens Per Grocery Store 4,987 5,352
2013 Citizens Per Grocery Store 5,103 7,121
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 2.3%   33.1%
OTHER SPECIALTY FOOD STORES Oregon Columbia
2007 394 1
2013 366 3
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -7.1%   200.0%
LOW INCOME AND LOW ACCESS TO A GROCERY STORE Oregon Columbia
2006 Percentage 1.0% 13.0%
2006 People Affected 36,785 56
2010 Percentage (latest data available) 5.0% 3.8%
2010 People Affected 195,215 1,872
Percentage Change 2006 to 2010 404.3%   -70.8%
Average Cost of a Meal Oregon Columbia
2009 (National Cost: $2.54) $2.60 $2.64
2013 (National Cost: $2.79) $2.77 $3.11
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 6.5%   17.8%
INDIVIDUALS BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL Oregon Columbia
2009 (5-year estimates 2005-2009) 13.6% 8.9%
2014 (5-year estimates 2010-2014) 16.7% 13.1%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2012 22.8%   47.2%
FOOD INSECURITY RATE Oregon Columbia
2009 16.8% 16.9%
2013 15.8% 14.2%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 -6.0%   -16.0%
SNAP PARTICIPATION RATE Oregon Columbia
2009 68% 68%
2013 73% 79%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 7.4%   16.2%
FARMERS MARKETS ACCEPTING SNAP BENEFITS Oregon Columbia
2015 Farmers Markets 172 2
2015 Farmers Markets Accepting SNAP 84 0
Percent of Total 49%   0%
COMMUNITY CAPACITY
Oregon Columbia
Community Food System Assessment Completed Y
Food System Council or Working Group Formed and Active N
Food System Plan Published N
Dedicated Local Food Organization(s) (beyond food assistance) N
COMMUNITY GARDENS Oregon Columbia
2014 Number of Community Garden Sites >158 2
2014 Number of Garden Plots Unknown Unknown
2014 Citizens Per Garden Site <24,804 24,925
NUMBER OF SCHOOL GARDENS Oregon Columbia
2007 Number of School Gardens 161 1
Number of Schools Included 1,262 23
Percentage of Schools Reported to Have a Garden 12.8%   4.3%
2014 Number of School Gardens (new data as of 1/25/2015) 582 7
Number of Schools Included 1,174 15
Percentage of Schools Reported to Have a Garden 49.6% 46.7%
Percentage Change 2007 to 2014 261.5%   600.0%
Access to Seed to Supper/Master Gardeners or Equivalent Y
Access to Cooking Matters or Equivalent N
FARM BASE
LAND IN FARMS Oregon Columbia
2002: Total Land in Farms 17,080,422 62,398
2012: Total Land in Farms 16,301,578 56,668
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -4.6%   -9.2%
AVERAGE COST PER ACRE Oregon Columbia
2002: Average Cost per Acre $1,202 $3,813
2012: Average Cost per Acre $1,882 $5,493
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 56.6%   44.1%
NUMBER OF FARMS BY SALES RANGE Oregon Columbia
2002: Total Farms 40,033 878
2012: Total Farms 35,439 751
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -11.5%   -14.5%
2002: Farms with Sales <$25,000 31,564 824
2012: Farms with Sales <$25,000 26,835 704
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -15.0%   -14.6%
2002: Farm with Sales $25,000 to $99,999 4282 33
2012: Farms with Sales $25,000 to $99,999 3958 35
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -7.6%   6.1%
2002: Farms with Sales $100,000 to $249,999 1935 9
2012: Farms with Sales $100,000 to $249,999 1,755 8
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -9.3%   -11.1%
2002: Farms with Sales >$250,000 2252 12
2012: Farms with Sales >$250,000 2891 4
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 28.4%   -66.7%
FARMS WITH TYPICAL LOCAL FOOD CROPS Oregon Columbia
2002: Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes 1708 23
2012: Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes 1889 21
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 10.6%   -8.7%
2002: Fruits, tree nuts, berries 5659 70
2012: Fruits, tree nuts, berries 5245 50
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -7.3%   -28.6%
2002: Poultry and eggs (all poultry) 4588 148
2012: Poultry and eggs (all poultry) 6054 131
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 32.0%   -11.5%
2002: Cattle and calves (farm with sales) 13654 402
2012: Cattle and calves (farm with sales) 11,638 301
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -14.8%   -25.1%
2002: Milk cows (farms with inventory) 1133 30
2012: Milk cows (farms with inventory) 686 8
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -39.5%   -73.3%
2002: Hogs and pigs (farms with sales) 1558 43
2012: Hogs and pigs   (farms with sales) 1172 32
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -24.8%   -25.6%
2002: Sheep and goats 3219 55
2012: Sheep and goats 2810 44
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -12.7%   -20.0%
2002: Total Farms Raising Typical Local Food Crops 31,519 771
2012: Total Farms Raising Typical Local Food Crops 29,494 587
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -6.4%   -23.9%
FOOD CROP DIVERSITY Oregon Columbia
2007 Number of Different Vegetable, Potato, and/or Melon Crops 42 21
2007 Number of Different Fruit, Berries, Nut Crops 27 20
2007 Number of Different Grain or Cereal Crops 16 4
2007 TOTAL FOOD CROPS 85   45
2007 Average # of different food crops 35 Greater Than
2012 Number of Different Vegetable, Potato, and/or Melon Crops 42 14
2012 Number of Different Fruit, Berries, Nut Crops 27 20
2012 Number of Different Grain or Cereal Crops 16 4
2012 TOTAL FOOD CROPS 85   38
Percentage Change in Total Crops from 2007 to 2012 0.0%   -15.6%
2012 Average # of different food crops 38 Greater Than
Percentage Change in Average # of crops from 2007 to 2012 8.6%
NUMBER OF ORGANIC FARMS Oregon Columbia
2002: Organic Farms 515 14
2012: Organic Farms 554 4
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 7.6%   -71.4%
AVERAGE AGE OF FARMERS Oregon Columbia
2002: Average Age 54.9 54.9
2012: Average Age 59.6 59.4
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 8.6%   8.2%
FARM EMPLOYMENT Oregon Columbia
2007 67,222 942
2014 61,967 798
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 -7.8%   -15.3%
TOTAL FARM COMPENSATION Oregon Columbia
2007 $1,020,772,000 $7,359,000
2014 $1,109,671,000 $9,644,000
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 8.7%   31.1%
AVERAGE ANNUAL COMPENSATION PER FARM JOB Oregon Columbia
2007 $15,185 $7,812
2014 $17,907 $12,085
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 17.9%   54.7%
MARKET LINKAGES
FARMS WITH ON-FARM PACKING FACILITY Oregon Columbia
2012: Number of Farms 761 7
2012 Percent of Farms with Packing Facilities 2.1% 0.9%
FARMS THAT PRODUCED AND SOLD VALUE-ADDED Oregon Columbia
2007: Number of Farms 2,807 78
2012: Number of Farms 3,292 78
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 17.3%   0.0%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Value-Added 9.3% 10.4%
SALES TO INDIVIDUALS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION Oregon Columbia
2002: Number of Farms Reporting Direct Sales 6383 192
2012: Number of Farms Reporting Direct Sales 6,680 181
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 4.7%   -5.7%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Directly 18.8% 24.1%
2002: Total Reported Direct Sales $21,411,000 $230,000
2012: Total Reported Direct Sales $44,177,000 $530,000
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 106.3%   130.4%
2002 Average Direct Sales per Participating Farm $3,354.38 $1,197.92
2012 Average Direct Sales per Participating Farm $6,613.32 $2,928.18
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 97.2%   144.4%
2002 Farm Direct Sales per Capita $6.11 $5.13
2012 Farm Direct Sales per Capita $11.37 $10.67
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 86.2%   107.8%
FARMS MARKETING PRODUCTS THROUGH A CSA Oregon Columbia
2007 Marketed through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 311 6
2012 Marketed through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 391 5
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 25.7%   -16.7%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Through CSA 1.1% 0.7%
NUMBER OF FARMERS MARKETS Oregon Columbia
2009 Farmers Markets (Data from ERS Food Environment Atlas) 100 2
2015 Farmers Markets 172 2
Percentage Change from 2009 to 2015 72%   0%
2009 Citizens Per Farmers Market 38,235 24,583
2015 Citizens Per Farmers’ Market 23,039 25,038
Percentage Change 2009 to 2015 -39.7%   1.8%
SCHOOL DISTRICTS PURCHASING LOCAL FOOD Oregon Columbia
2014-2015 School Year (ODE Grantee list) 130 5
Number of School Districts 202 5
Percent of Districts Reporting Purchases of Local Food 64%   100%
FARMS MARKETING DIRECT TO RETAIL Oregon Columbia
2007 No Data
2012 1,898 23
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Direct to Retail 5.4% 3.1%
NUMBER OF SOLE PROPRIETOR FOOD BUSINESSES (NAICS 311) Oregon Columbia
2007 467 D
2013 753 10
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 61.24%
TOTAL NUMBER OF FOOD PROCESSOR EMPLOYERS (NAICS 311) Oregon Columbia
2007 498 1
2013 548 2
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 10.0%   100.0%
2007 FOOD PROCESSORS BY NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES Oregon Columbia
1-4 Employees 163 0
5-9 Employees 88 1
10-19 Employees 78 0
20-49 Employees 80 0
50-99 Employees 42 0
100-249 Employees 28 0
More than 250 Employees 19 0
2007 Total Processor Employment 19,582 D
Ranges for non-disclosed data 0-19 emp.
2007 Total Processor Payroll $686,511,000 D
2013 FOOD PROCESSORS BY NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES Oregon Columbia
1-4 Employees 202 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013  23.9%  0.0%
5-9 Employees 110 2
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 25.0%   100.0%
10-19 Employees 70 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013  -10.3%    0.0%
20-49 Employees 69 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013  -13.8%    0.0%
50-99 Employees 41 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -2.4%   0.0% 
100-249 Employees 37 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013  32.1%    0.0%
More than 250 Employees 19 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 0.0%    0.0%
2012 Total Processor Employment 21,661 A
Ranges for non-disclosed data 0-19 emp.
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 10.6%  
2012 Total Processor Payroll $848,004,000 D
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 23.5%