Key Organizations and Activities
COIC also completed feasibility studies for a Community Supported Marketing Initiative fore Meat Products (2012) and a Central Oregon Food Hub (2013).
The High Desert Food & Farm Alliance (HDFFA) was formed in 2012 to support a community based food system in Central Oregon. HDFFA provides links to resources for farmers and ranchers, maintains a list of regional community gardens and garden with guidance for starting new gardens, and offers Seed to Supper and Cooking Matters classes.
HDFFA also publishes an annual local food and farm directory for Central Oregon.
A Central Oregon Food Summit was held in 2014.
A series of five High Desert Educational Agricultural Tours (EATS) are also being planned to highlight farms in Jefferson County.
Central Oregon Locavore is a non-profit social enterprise that supports local farms and food producers through an in-door retail market and educational programs for consumers and youth.
Community Goals and Recommendations
Priorities from the 2010 community food assessment included:
- Define and communicate market demand for local products.
- Diversify and expand production of alternate crops.
- Enhance coordination and specialization among growers.
- Leverage federal assistance programs to increase accessibility of local products for low-income families.
- Provide guidance for producers on perceived regulatory barriers.
- Assess and communicate factors affecting farm profitability in local markets.
- Support farmer networking.
Making the Connection: Consumers and Producers
- Address commercial buyer concerns for product availability, quality, consistency, and food safety.
- Support cooperative marketing and distribution efforts.
- Facilitate communication between sellers and buyers on key concerns.
- Build capacity of local farmers’ markets to improve operations.
- Address transportation issues limiting low-income access to food.
- Provide nutrition, gardening, shopping on a budget, and cooking skills education.