Wasco County

Key Organizations and Activities

Gorge Grown Food Network completed a community food assessment for the Columbia Gorge Region, including Wasco County, in 2009.

A Columbia Gorge Community Health Assessment was completed in 2013, which identified food insecurity as a top concern. This was followed by development of a Columbia Gorge Community Health Improvement Process in 2014, which includes a focus on housing and food.

Gorge Grown offers both an on-line listing of local food resources, including farmers’ markets, CSA farms, u-pick operations, and value-added food producers. Gorge Grown also manages farmers’ markets in Hood River, Odell and Mosier directly, and provides support, training, and promotional materials to other markets in the Gorge.

Gorge Grown has also launched a fruit and vegetable prescription program. Eighteen health care providers are now providing $20 renewable vouchers to patients experiencing chronic disease or food insecurity, which they can redeem at farmers’ markets and 17 independent and chain grocery stores.

Working groups have been formed for Niche Meat Producers, Vegetable Producers, Organic Tree Fruit Producers, Bean and Grain Producers, Latino Farmers, and Value-Added Producers.

Community Goals and Recommendations

Priorities from the 2009 community food assessment were presented in 3 categories, including:

Growing Food

  1. Encourage the development/success of more locally‐focused farm and food businesses.
    1. Expand and improve producer education and cooperative marketing and networking opportunities to increase farm viability and growth
    2. Assist beginning and transitioning farmers in securing land on which to operate and startup capital and materials
  2. Develop and improve local markets, including direct to consumer sales opportunities.
  3. Fill regional supply chain gaps with stronger food processing/distribution infrastructure.

Accessing Food

  1. Increase amount of fresh local produce available in food pantries, school meal programs, and community meal sites.
  2. Support rural food stores to provide a larger quantity of healthy, fresh, and affordable foods.

Food Skills

  1. Expand local availability of cooking and nutrition classes.
  2. Expand and coordinate local gardening resources for home gardeners.
  3. Work with schools to find additional means of increasing students’ exposure to and consumption of fresh food, especially fruits and vegetables.
GENERAL INFORMATION
POPULATION Oregon Wasco
Population (2007) 3,745,455 24,848
Population (2014) 3,962,710 26,105
Population change from 2007 to 2014 6%   5%
ESTIMATED SPENDING ON FOOD (WESTERN REGION) Oregon Wasco
2007 ($6,811 per household – average 2.6 persons) $9,811,651,540 $65,092,203
2014 ($7,175 per household – average 2.6 persons) $10,935,555,481 $72,039,760
Change from 2007 to 2014 11%   11%
FOOD ENVIRONMENT
SUPERMARKETS AND OTHER GROCERY STORES Oregon Wasco
2007 Grocery Stores 751 11
2013 Grocery Stores 768 8
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 2.3%   -27.3%
2007 Citizens Per Grocery Store 4,987 2,259
2013 Citizens Per Grocery Store 5,103 3,226
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 2.3%   42.8%
OTHER SPECIALTY FOOD STORES Oregon Wasco
2007 394 2
2013 366 1
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -7.1%   -50.0%
LOW INCOME AND LOW ACCESS TO A GROCERY STORE Oregon Wasco
2006 Percentage 1.0% 6.2%
2006 People Affected 36,785 1450
2010 Percentage (latest data available) 5.0% 15.4%
2010 People Affected 195,215 3,872
Percentage Change 2006 to 2010 404.3%   148.4%
Average Cost of a Meal Oregon Wasco
2009 (National Cost: $2.54) $2.60 $2.67
2013 (National Cost: $2.79) $2.77 $3.10
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 6.5%   16.1%
INDIVIDUALS BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL Oregon Wasco
2009 (5-year estimates 2005-2009) 13.6% 15.8%
2014 (5-year estimates 2010-2014) 16.7% 16.9%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2012 22.8%   7.0%
FOOD INSECURITY RATE Oregon Wasco
2009 16.8% 15.7%
2013 15.8% 14.1%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 -6.0%   -10.2%
SNAP PARTICIPATION RATE Oregon Wasco
2009 68% 65%
2013 73% 65%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 7.4%   0.0%
FARMERS MARKETS ACCEPTING SNAP BENEFITS Oregon Wasco
2015 Farmers Markets 172 4
2015 Farmers Markets Accepting SNAP 84 2
Percent of Total 49%   50%
COMMUNITY CAPACITY
Oregon Wasco
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) Y
COMMUNITY GARDENS Oregon Wasco
2014 Number of Community Garden Sites >158 Unknown
2014 Number of Garden Plots Unknown Unknown
2014 Citizens Per Garden Site <24,804 Unknown
NUMBER OF SCHOOL GARDENS Oregon Wasco
2007 Number of School Gardens 161 5
Number of Schools Included 1,262 9
Percentage of Schools Reported to Have a Garden 12.8% 55.6%
2014 Number of School Gardens (new data as of 1/25/2015) 582 8
Number of Schools Included 1,174 11
Percentage of Schools Reported to Have a Garden 49.6% 72.7%
Percentage Change 2007 to 2014 261.5%   60.0%
Access to Seed to Supper/Master Gardeners or Equivalent Y
Access to Cooking Matters or Equivalent N
FARM BASE
LAND IN FARMS Oregon Wasco
2002: Total Land in Farms 17,080,422 1,086,817
2012: Total Land in Farms 16,301,578 1,427,324
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -4.6%   31.3%
AVERAGE COST PER ACRE Oregon Wasco
2002: Average Cost per Acre $1,202 $394
2012: Average Cost per Acre $1,882 $753
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 56.6%   91.1%
NUMBER OF FARMS BY SALES RANGE Oregon Wasco
2002: Total Farms 40,033 538
2012: Total Farms 35,439 670
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -11.5%   24.5%
2002: Farms with Sales <$25,000 31,564 353
2012: Farms with Sales <$25,000 26,835 445
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -15.0%   26.1%
2002: Farm with Sales $25,000 to $99,999 4282 84
2012: Farms with Sales $25,000 to $99,999 3958 102
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -7.6%   21.4%
2002: Farms with Sales $100,000 to $249,999 1935 49
2012: Farms with Sales $100,000 to $249,999 1,755 40
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -9.3%   -18.4%
2002: Farms with Sales >$250,000 2252 52
2012: Farms with Sales >$250,000 2891 83
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 28.4%   59.6%
FARMS WITH TYPICAL LOCAL FOOD CROPS Oregon Wasco
2002: Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes 1708 7
2012: Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes 1889 15
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 10.6%   114.3%
2002: Fruits, tree nuts, berries 5659 139
2012: Fruits, tree nuts, berries 5245 137
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -7.3%   -1.4%
2002: Poultry and eggs (all poultry) 4588 43
2012: Poultry and eggs (all poultry) 6054 72
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 32.0%   67.4%
2002: Cattle and calves (farm with sales) 13654 203
2012: Cattle and calves (farm with sales) 11,638 155
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -14.8%   -23.6%
2002: Milk cows (farms with inventory) 1133 4
2012: Milk cows (farms with inventory) 686 5
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -39.5%   25.0%
2002: Hogs and pigs (farms with sales) 1558 19
2012: Hogs and pigs   (farms with sales) 1172 23
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -24.8%   21.1%
2002: Sheep and goats 3219 20
2012: Sheep and goats 2810 24
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -12.7%   20.0%
2002: Total Farms Raising Typical Local Food Crops 31,519 435
2012: Total Farms Raising Typical Local Food Crops 29,494 431
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -6.4%   -0.9%
FOOD CROP DIVERSITY Oregon Wasco
2007 Number of Different Vegetable, Potato, and/or Melon Crops 42 6
2007 Number of Different Fruit, Berries, Nut Crops 27 12
2007 Number of Different Grain or Cereal Crops 16 4
2007 TOTAL FOOD CROPS 85   22
2007 Average # of different food crops 35 Less Than
2012 Number of Different Vegetable, Potato, and/or Melon Crops 42 19
2012 Number of Different Fruit, Berries, Nut Crops 27 12
2012 Number of Different Grain or Cereal Crops 16 3
2012 TOTAL FOOD CROPS 85   34
Percentage Change in Total Crops from 2007 to 2012 0.0%   54.5%
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 Wasco
2002: Organic Farms 515 3
2012: Organic Farms 554 9
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 7.6%   200.0%
AVERAGE AGE OF FARMERS Oregon Wasco
2002: Average Age 54.9 54.8
2012: Average Age 59.6 58.7
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 8.6%   7.1%
FARM EMPLOYMENT Oregon Wasco
2007 67,222 1,264
2014 61,967 1,348
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 -7.8%   6.6%
TOTAL FARM COMPENSATION Oregon Wasco
2007 $1,020,772,000 $29,361,000
2014 $1,109,671,000 $35,810,000
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 8.7%   22.0%
AVERAGE ANNUAL COMPENSATION PER FARM JOB Oregon Wasco
2007 $15,185 $23,229
2014 $17,907 $26,565
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 17.9%   14.4%
MARKET LINKAGES
FARMS WITH ON-FARM PACKING FACILITY Oregon Wasco
2012: Number of Farms 761 12
2012 Percent of Farms with Packing Facilities 2.1%   1.8%
FARMS THAT PRODUCED AND SOLD VALUE-ADDED Oregon Wasco
2007: Number of Farms 2,807 31
2012: Number of Farms 3,292 45
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 17.3%   45.2%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Value-Added 9.3% 6.7%
SALES TO INDIVIDUALS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION Oregon Wasco
2002: Number of Farms Reporting Direct Sales 6383 70
2012: Number of Farms Reporting Direct Sales 6,680 95
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 4.7%   35.7%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Directly 18.8% 14.2%
2002: Total Reported Direct Sales $21,411,000 $379,000
2012: Total Reported Direct Sales $44,177,000 $359,000
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 106.3%   -5.3%
2002 Average Direct Sales per Participating Farm $3,354.38 $5,414.29
2012 Average Direct Sales per Participating Farm $6,613.32 $3,778.95
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 97.2%   -30.2%
2002 Farm Direct Sales per Capita $6.11 $15.79
2012 Farm Direct Sales per Capita $11.37 $14.09
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 86.2%   -10.8%
FARMS MARKETING PRODUCTS THROUGH A CSA Oregon Wasco
2007 Marketed through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 311 8
2012 Marketed through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 391 6
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 25.7%   -25.0%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Through CSA 1.1% 0.9%
NUMBER OF FARMERS MARKETS Oregon Wasco
2009 Farmers Markets (Data from ERS Food Environment Atlas) 100 1
2015 Farmers Markets 172 4
Percentage Change from 2009 to 2015 72%   300%
2009 Citizens Per Farmers Market 38,235 25,142
2015 Citizens Per Farmers’ Market 23,039 6,526
Percentage Change 2009 to 2015 -39.7%   -74.0%
SCHOOL DISTRICTS PURCHASING LOCAL FOOD Oregon Wasco
2014-2015 School Year (ODE Grantee list) 130 2
Number of School Districts 202 3
Percent of Districts Reporting Purchases of Local Food 64%   67%
FARMS MARKETING DIRECT TO RETAIL Oregon Wasco
2007 No Data
2012 1,898 32
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Direct to Retail 5.4%   4.8%
NUMBER OF SOLE PROPRIETOR FOOD BUSINESSES (NAICS 311) Oregon Wasco
2007 467 D
2013 753 D
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 61.24%  
TOTAL NUMBER OF FOOD PROCESSOR EMPLOYERS (NAICS 311) Oregon Wasco
2007 498 4
2013 548 3
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 10.0%   -25.0%
2007 FOOD PROCESSORS BY NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES Oregon Wasco
1-4 Employees 163 3
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 $366,000
2013 FOOD PROCESSORS BY NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES Oregon Wasco
1-4 Employees 202 2
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 23.9%   -33.3%
5-9 Employees 110 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 25.0%   -100.0%
10-19 Employees 70 0
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -10.3    
20-49 Employees 69 1
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 B
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%