Key Organizations and Activities
A Rogue Valley Food System Network was established in 2013, with 15 board members representing six food system areas (health/nutrition education, food security, land use/farm land preservation, local food production, local food marketing, and food system research/evaluation).
- THRIVE publishes the Rogue Flavor local food guide, and is facilitating linkages between local farmers and retail food stores through a Rogue Valley Grown
- Rogue Valley Farm to School supports farm education programs for youth at 5 sites, garden education at schools, and farm-to-cafeteria procurement for school lunches.
- Rogue Farm Corps offers training and internship opportunities for beginning farmers.
Fry Family Farm is also developing a new food aggregation and distribution hub, with support from Oregon Regional Solutions and the USDA Local Food Promotion Program, which will help local farmers better serve regional wholesale markets.
Community Goals and Recommendations
Needs and priorities from the 2012 community food assessment included:
- Develop producer buying and marketing co-ops to increase efficiency.
- Encourage more crop coordination and niche development among vegetable growers.
- Find a larger, indoor location for the Grower’s Market to allow year-round operation.
- Develop a pipeline with contracting and aggregation.to get local produce into independent and chain grocery stores.
- Develop regional connections for placement of local crop surpluses.
- Develop a community accessible USDA certified processing and distribution facility.
- Address lack of access to grocery stores away from the Grants Pass Parkway and in northern Josephine County
- Develop strategies to make CSA shares more affordable for low-income families.
- Provide education for low-income families on utilizing fresh unprocessed produce.
The Rogue Valley Community Food Systems Network has adopted its own set of strategic plan goals for 2016-2018, which include:
- Increase visibility and engagement with the community
- Convene critical stakeholders to assess and address challenges, and to connect the dots
- Collaborate with regional and statewide food system efforts
- Ensure the sustainability of the Network.