Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Members of the working group collaborate to coordinate existing services for Oregon’s beginning farmers and ranchers (BFRs) at all stages of development, primarily focused between years 0 and 10 of involvement of agricultural production. The primary focus of this working group is on education and training programs for BFRs.

The working group also identifies gaps in services for all demographics of BFRs and collaborates to fill those gaps. Working together helps ensure that the needs of Oregon’s BFRs are addressed across the state and that diverse perspectives are represented in program development and delivery.

Participating Organizations

Rogue Farm Corps

Friends of Family Farmers

OSU Center for Small Farms

Adelante Mujeres

Headwaters Incubator Program

Cascade Pacific RC&D

Next Door, Inc.

Huerto de la Familia

EcoTrust

Northeast Oregon Economic Development District

Mudbone Grown

History

In 2013, Rogue Farm Corps began convening with other organizations that provide resources to beginning farmers and ranchers across the state of Oregon. These groups agreed to collaborate to evaluate the resources they provide and the gaps in resources for Oregon’s diverse BFRs. These organizations met approximately two times per year since the initial meeting and have created a timeline and initial gap analysis of BFR programs and services in Oregon. The timeline and gap analysis is pasted below. They continue to collaborate on grant applications to achieve their shared goals.

Request to Join the Oregon Community Food Systems Network

BFR coalition members feel that they could better achieve the coalition’s goals of coordinating existing services and exploring new and expanded services for BFRs in Oregon if it was part of a larger network or organizations. They also believe that their work can enrich the existing coordination of efforts, ideas, and resources taking place though OCFSN. Many BFR coalition members are currently members of OCFSN and many are already on a related OCFSN committee – the Access to Land working group.

While access to land is a crucial component of BFR success, it is not sufficient in itself to launch a BFR business. In addition, BFRs are only one demographic that has difficulty accessing to farmland in Oregon. Adding the BFR coalition as a working group to OCFSN would help these two teams focus their efforts while also better understanding the synergies. The BFR Coalition would coordinate with OCFSN’s Access to Land working group to ensure clear communication and focus areas for each working group.

Timeline of BFR Programming in Oregon

Farm Intrigue – Years 0-2

  • OSU What to do with my Small Farm – 1 session workshop
  • OSU Exploring the Small Farm Dream – 3-4 session workshop
  • OSU Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management – hybrid on-line/in-person workshop series
  • OSU Small Farms School – 1 day workshops and educational programs
  • OSU BUFA – basic hands-on, season long training program PDX ONLY
  • OSU Learning Farms – variety of hands-on trainings and workshops
  • OSU Small Farms Conference – day-long workshops, trainings, seminars
  • OSU/RFC – Basic Intro to Food Safety goals, strategies
  • RFC FarmsNext internship program – entry-level full-immersion, season-long hands-on training program
  • Zenger Farm internship program – entry-level full immersion, season-long hands-on training program
  • Adelante Mujeres – 14 week course in sustainable ag taught in Spanish
  • Huerto de la Familia – Organic garden education and micro-enterprise development support
  • CCC Urban Market Farming – one-year certificate program
  • PCC Rock Creek – Interdisciplinary program working towards certificate or associates degree
  • LBCC Profitable Small Farms – one-year certificate program
  • NEEDS:
    • More recruitment and outreach to likely BFRs (i.e. web portal and associated print material to direct interested BFRs to the right programming) including Spanish language materials
    • Supportive policy environment (BFR education on lawmaking, rulemaking, guidance, public input, Farm Civics 101)
    • Develop common systems for on-farm internships and share legal models

Farmer Training/Apprentice – Years 3-5

  • OSU Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management – hybrid on-line/in-person workshop series
  • OSU – targeted workshops
  • OSU – Producer Networks (i.e. League of Women Farmers)
  • OSU Small Farms Conference – day-long workshops, trainings, seminars
  • OSU Learning Farms – variety of hands-on trainings and workshops
  • OSU/RFC – Basic Intro to Food Safety goals, strategies
  • RFC FarmsNOW apprenticeship program – advanced-level full-immersion, hands-on training program, up to 2 full seasons
  • Headwaters Farm Incubator program – access to land, equipment, facilities
  • Oregon Farm Link – Land linking and connection
  • Adelante Mujeres – IDA program, technical assistance for production, marketing and farm business development, market outlets through AM Distributor and multi-farm CSA
  • Adelante Mujeres – Advanced workshops in sustainable agriculture: Sembrando el Futuro series and 5 week farm business class series
  • Adelante Mujerers – Farmer networking events
  • Huerto de la Familia – Micro-enterprise development support
  • NEEDS:
    • Financial support for farm apprentices (educational stipends/fellowships);
    • One-on-one farm development counseling (support for starting a businesses, accessing capital, accessing land, etc);
    • More developed peer-to-peer mentor networks,
    • 301 courses and networking opportunities
    • Supportive policy environment (BFR education on lawmaking, rulemaking, guidance, public input, Farm Civics 101)
    • Increased access to land
    • Resource list for recommended vendors for equipment, materials and supplies, propagation, harvest, packing, irrigation, etc

Fledgling Farm – Years 5-10

  • OSU – Small Farm Profitability cost study cohort model
  • OSU – Advanced business curriculum
  • OSU – Food Safety Regulations navigation
  • OSU Small Farms Conference – day-long workshops, trainings, seminars
  • Headwaters Farm Incubator program – access to land, equipment, facilities
  • NEEDS:
    • One-on-one land succession planning and support for land seekers and land holders;
    • One-on-one farm development counseling (support for starting a business, accessing capital, accessing land, scaling up for wholesale markets, etc);
    • More regional incubator farm sites;
    • Supportive policy environment (BFR education on lawmaking, rulemaking, guidance, public input, Farm Civics 101)
    • Support for value added product development
    • Work with land trusts to increase available land
    • 301 courses and networking opportunities
    • Peer-to-peer farmer networks

Mature Farm – Years 10-20

  • OSU – Small Farm Profitability cost study cohort model
  • OSU – Advanced business curriculum
  • OSU – Food Safety Regulations navigation
  • OSU Small Farms Conference – day-long workshops, trainings, seminars
  • NEEDS:
    • Market development;
    • Support infrastructure;
    • Supportive policy environment
    • Support for small farmers to purchase land
    • Statewide Latino farmer network with regional chapters
    • Support for transitioning from direct marketing to wholesale

Prioritized Gaps/Needs to Fill

  • Increased outreach and recruitment (coalition effort – RFC led)
  • Farm business development support (coalition effort – RFC led)
  • Supportive policy environment (FoFF led)
  • Land succession planning and support (RFC/FoFF partnership?)
  • Financial support for apprenticeships (RFC led)
  • 301 courses (coalition effort – OSU led?)
  • Mentor networks (coalition effort)

Team Leads:
Stuart O’Neill, Executive Director of Rogue Farm Cops
541.951.5105
[email protected]

Heidi Noordijk, OSU Extension Small Farms Education Program Assistant

[email protected]

971-801-0392