Wallowa County

Key Organizations and Activities

In March 2011 a group of citizens of Wallowa County, including farmers, ranchers, local business people, and representatives of church, social service, and other non-profit organizations, met for an Oregon Food Bank supported “FEAST” event to discuss concerns and set goals for the local food system. This led to the formation of a Wallowa County Food System Council (WCFSC) committed to “growing an equitable, local food system that promotes economic development, community development, and sustainable agriculture.” Oregon Rural Action (ORA) subsequently commissioned a study to quantify the farm and food economy in Wallowa County, which was released in December 2011.

Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) then completed a Wallowa County Community Food Assessment in 2012, which included a survey of rural grocery store owners, an assessment of commercial kitchens for shared use, and a narrative providing background information on local and regional food systems development, and profiles of key organizations and businesses. Organizations and programs referenced included Wallowa County Farmers’ Market, Slow Food Wallowas, the Magic Garden and Community Connection. An addendum and progress report on the 2012 assessment was published in 2015. NEOEDD has also offered farm and food business planning classes, farm succession training, workshops on season extension, and supported grant applications by local community partners.

ORA has also published a Farm and Food Directory, with listings for five counties, including Wallowa County.

Community Goals and Recommendations

Priorities from the Wallowa County Food Council strategic plan for 2016 include:

  • Continue development and expansion of community and school gardens, support collaboration needed to secure additional funding, incremental capacity building and long term financial stability.
  • Strengthen the producer network through increased collaboration (sharing of information, resources, transport, marketing, etc.) Strengthen the supply chain through increased collaboration and networking with transporters, distributors, and marketers.
  • Create more opportunities for food literacy/education.
  • Encourage collaboration and information sharing among local/regional organizations working on community food system development projects.

Authors of this report believe that additional opportunities may include:

1) Continued development of branded beef programs (natural and grassfed), with support for business planning, market development, and facilitation of access to appropriate slaughter, processing, storage and distribution (likely value chain partnerships rather than new facilities).

2) Further implementation of season extension strategies (row covers, greenhouses, etc.) to expand production and availability of a more diverse range of products for local markets.

3) Exploration of micro-milling and micro-malting to serve specialty baking and brewing.

GENERAL INFORMATION
POPULATION Oregon Wallowa
Population (2007) 3,745,455 7,130
Population (2014) 3,962,710 7,070
Population change from 2007 to 2014 6%   -1%
ESTIMATED SPENDING ON FOOD (WESTERN REGION) Oregon Wallowa
2007 ($6,811 per household – average 2.6 persons) $9,811,651,540 $18,677,858
2014 ($7,175 per household – average 2.6 persons) $10,935,555,481 $19,510,481
Change from 2007 to 2014 11%   4%
FOOD ENVIRONMENT
SUPERMARKETS AND OTHER GROCERY STORES Oregon Wallowa
2007 Grocery Stores 751 7
2013 Grocery Stores 768 6
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 2.3%   -14.3%
2007 Citizens Per Grocery Store 4,987 1,019
2013 Citizens Per Grocery Store 5,103 1,174
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 2.3%   15.3%
OTHER SPECIALTY FOOD STORES Oregon Wallowa
2007 394 1
2013 366 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -7.1%   -100.0%
LOW INCOME AND LOW ACCESS TO A GROCERY STORE Oregon Wallowa
2006 Percentage 1.0% 11.1%
2006 People Affected 36,785 798
2010 Percentage (latest data available) 5.0% 9.9%
2010 People Affected 195,215 695
Percentage Change 2006 to 2010 404.3%   -11.1%
Average Cost of a Meal Oregon Wallowa
2009 (National Cost: $2.54) $2.60 $2.90
2013 (National Cost: $2.79) $2.77 $2.85
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 6.5%   -1.7%
INDIVIDUALS BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL Oregon Wallowa
2009 (5-year estimates 2005-2009) 13.6% 10.7%
2014 (5-year estimates 2010-2014) 16.7% 13.9%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2012 22.8%   29.9%
FOOD INSECURITY RATE Oregon Wallowa
2009 16.8% 16.9%
2013 15.8% 15.7%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 -6.0%   -7.1%
SNAP PARTICIPATION RATE Oregon Wallowa
2009 68% 43%
2013 73% 58%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 7.4%   34.9%
FARMERS MARKETS ACCEPTING SNAP BENEFITS Oregon Wallowa
2015 Farmers Markets 172 3
2015 Farmers Markets Accepting SNAP 84 3
Percent of Total 49%   100%
COMMUNITY CAPACITY
Oregon Wallowa
Community Food System Assessment Completed Y
Food System Council or Working Group Formed and Active Y
Food System Plan Published Y
Dedicated Local Food Organization(s) (beyond food assistance) Y
COMMUNITY GARDENS Oregon Wallowa
2014 Number of Community Garden Sites >158 1
2014 Number of Garden Plots Unknown Unknown
2014 Citizens Per Garden Site <24,804 7,045
NUMBER OF SCHOOL GARDENS Oregon Wallowa
2007 Number of School Gardens 161 2
Number of Schools Included 1,262 9
Percentage of Schools Reported to Have a Garden 12.8% 22.2%
2014 Number of School Gardens (new data as of 1/25/2015) 582 3
Number of Schools Included 1,174 4
Percentage of Schools Reported to Have a Garden 49.6% 75.0%
Percentage Change 2007 to 2014 261.5%   50.0%
Access to Seed to Supper/Master Gardeners or Equivalent N
Access to Cooking Matters or Equivalent N
FARM BASE
LAND IN FARMS Oregon Wallowa
2002: Total Land in Farms 17,080,422 518,110
2012: Total Land in Farms 16,301,578 452,559
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -4.6%   -12.7%
AVERAGE COST PER ACRE Oregon Wallowa
2002: Average Cost per Acre $1,202 $614
2012: Average Cost per Acre $1,882 $1,263
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 56.6%   105.7%
NUMBER OF FARMS BY SALES RANGE Oregon Wallowa
2002: Total Farms 40,033 503
2012: Total Farms 35,439 522
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -11.5%   3.8%
2002: Farms with Sales <$25,000 31,564 350
2012: Farms with Sales <$25,000 26,835 360
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -15.0%   2.9%
2002: Farm with Sales $25,000 to $99,999 4282 99
2012: Farms with Sales $25,000 to $99,999 3958 55
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -7.6%   -44.4%
2002: Farms with Sales $100,000 to $249,999 1935 35
2012: Farms with Sales $100,000 to $249,999 1,755 47
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -9.3%   34.3%
2002: Farms with Sales >$250,000 2252 19
2012: Farms with Sales >$250,000 2891 60
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 28.4%   215.8%
FARMS WITH TYPICAL LOCAL FOOD CROPS Oregon Wallowa
2002: Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes 1708 11
2012: Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes 1889 12
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 10.6%   9.1%
2002: Fruits, tree nuts, berries 5659 7
2012: Fruits, tree nuts, berries 5245 18
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -7.3%   157.1%
2002: Poultry and eggs (all poultry) 4588 40
2012: Poultry and eggs (all poultry) 6054 67
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 32.0%   67.5%
2002: Cattle and calves (farm with sales) 13654 256
2012: Cattle and calves (farm with sales) 11,638 239
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -14.8%   -6.6%
2002: Milk cows (farms with inventory) 1133 19
2012: Milk cows (farms with inventory) 686 16
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -39.5%   -15.8%
2002: Hogs and pigs (farms with sales) 1558 18
2012: Hogs and pigs   (farms with sales) 1172 19
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -24.8%   5.6%
2002: Sheep and goats 3219 61
2012: Sheep and goats 2810 52
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -12.7%   -14.8%
2002: Total Farms Raising Typical Local Food Crops 31,519 412
2012: Total Farms Raising Typical Local Food Crops 29,494 423
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -6.4%   2.7%
FOOD CROP DIVERSITY Oregon Wallowa
2007 Number of Different Vegetable, Potato, and/or Melon Crops 42 16
2007 Number of Different Fruit, Berries, Nut Crops 27 6
2007 Number of Different Grain or Cereal Crops 16 5
2007 TOTAL FOOD CROPS 85   27
2007 Average # of different food crops 35 Less Than
2012 Number of Different Vegetable, Potato, and/or Melon Crops 42 17
2012 Number of Different Fruit, Berries, Nut Crops 27 8
2012 Number of Different Grain or Cereal Crops 16 7
2012 TOTAL FOOD CROPS 85   32
Percentage Change in Total Crops from 2007 to 2012 0.0%   18.5%
2012 Average # of different food crops 38 Less Than
Percentage Change in Average # of crops from 2007 to 2012 8.6%
NUMBER OF ORGANIC FARMS Oregon Wallowa
2002: Organic Farms 515 1
2012: Organic Farms 554 3
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 7.6%   200.0%
AVERAGE AGE OF FARMERS Oregon Wallowa
2002: Average Age 54.9 55.5
2012: Average Age 59.6 58.7
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 8.6%   5.8%
FARM EMPLOYMENT Oregon Wallowa
2007 67,222 598
2014 61,967 605
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 -7.8%   1.2%
TOTAL FARM COMPENSATION Oregon Wallowa
2007 $1,020,772,000 $2,890,000
2014 $1,109,671,000 $3,794,000
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 8.7%   31.3%
AVERAGE ANNUAL COMPENSATION PER FARM JOB Oregon Wallowa
2007 $15,185 $4,833
2014 $17,907 $6,271
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 17.9%   29.8%
MARKET LINKAGES
FARMS WITH ON-FARM PACKING FACILITY Oregon Wallowa
2012: Number of Farms 761 8
2012 Percent of Farms with Packing Facilities 2.1%   1.5%
FARMS THAT PRODUCED AND SOLD VALUE-ADDED Oregon Wallowa
2007: Number of Farms 2,807 34
2012: Number of Farms 3,292 46
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 17.3%   35.3%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Value-Added 9.3% 8.8%
SALES TO INDIVIDUALS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION Oregon Wallowa
2002: Number of Farms Reporting Direct Sales 6383 51
2012: Number of Farms Reporting Direct Sales 6,680 68
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 4.7%   33.3%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Directly 18.8% 13.0%
2002: Total Reported Direct Sales $21,411,000 $92,000
2012: Total Reported Direct Sales $44,177,000 $252,000
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 106.3%   173.9%
2002 Average Direct Sales per Participating Farm $3,354.38 $1,803.92
2012 Average Direct Sales per Participating Farm $6,613.32 $3,705.88
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 97.2%   105.4%
2002 Farm Direct Sales per Capita $6.11 $12.87
2012 Farm Direct Sales per Capita $11.37 $35.92
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 86.2%   179.2%
FARMS MARKETING PRODUCTS THROUGH A CSA Oregon Wallowa
2007 Marketed through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 311 9
2012 Marketed through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 391 8
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 25.7%   -11.1%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Through CSA 1.1% 1.5%
NUMBER OF FARMERS MARKETS Oregon Wallowa
2009 Farmers Markets (Data from ERS Food Environment Atlas) 100 4
2015 Farmers Markets 172 3
Percentage Change from 2009 to 2015 72%   -25%
2009 Citizens Per Farmers Market 38,235 1,775
2015 Citizens Per Farmers’ Market 23,039 2,357
Percentage Change 2009 to 2015 -39.7%   32.8%
SCHOOL DISTRICTS PURCHASING LOCAL FOOD Oregon Wallowa
2014-2015 School Year (ODE Grantee list) 130 1
Number of School Districts 202 4
Percent of Districts Reporting Purchases of Local Food 64%   25%
FARMS MARKETING DIRECT TO RETAIL Oregon Wallowa
2007 No Data
2012 1,898 18
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Direct to Retail 5.4%   3.4%
NUMBER OF SOLE PROPRIETOR FOOD BUSINESSES (NAICS 311) Oregon Wallowa
2007 467 D
2013 753 D
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 61.24%    
TOTAL NUMBER OF FOOD PROCESSOR EMPLOYERS (NAICS 311) Oregon Wallowa
2007 498 1
2013 548 2
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 10.0%   100.0%
2007 FOOD PROCESSORS BY NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES Oregon Wallowa
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 Wallowa
1-4 Employees 202 1
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 23.9%  
5-9 Employees 110 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 25.0%   -100.0%
10-19 Employees 70 1
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -10.3%  
20-49 Employees 69 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -13.8%
50-99 Employees 41 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -2.4%  
100-249 Employees 37 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 32.1%  
More than 250 Employees 19 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 0.0%  
2012 Total Processor Employment 21,661 A
Ranges for non-disclosed data 20-99 emp.
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 10.6%    
2012 Total Processor Payroll $848,004,000 D
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 23.5%