Washington County

Key Organizations and Activities

Oregon Food Bank completed a community food assessment in 2014 focused on rural communities in Western Washington County. That document referenced farmworker housing as a concern for the county and a related strategic vision published by Tierra Planning in 2010. The City of Forest Grove also adopted a sustainability plan in 2014 with food as a target area.

Adelante Muejeres has significant organizational capacity and demonstrated expertise in food systems development, and provides a variety of programs serving the 16% of Washington County residents that identify as Hispanic or Latino. These include a sustainable farming class, a CSA program and produce distributorship, and a small business development program for food entrepreneurs that provides access to a commercial kitchen. Adelante Mujeres also manages the Forest Grove Farmers Market, and supports access to fresh food by low-income families through a SNAP Match program and a Produce Prescription program delivered in partnership with the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center.

Dairy Creek Community Food Web is a volunteer-led initiative with very limited funding that has helped organize community conversations on food, and hosts community dinners, garden tours, a monthly “Food Film” series, and an annual “Fill Your Pantry” event where farmers market grain, dried beans, storage crops, and canned goods and other preserved foods. Dairy Creek Food Web is also in the development of Thelma’s Kitchen, a licensed commercial kitchen at the Forest Grove Grange Hall to be used for value-added production, demos and classes.

OSU Extension, Oregon Food Bank, and Pacific University are also partners in these and other on-going education efforts, such as gardening and cooking classes.

Community Goals and Recommendations

Priorities from the 2014 community food assessment, listed in several categories, include:

  1. Agriculture:
    1. Create more avenues for new farmers to access land and trainings.
    2. Assess farmer interest in local food aggregation/distribution.
    3. Address shortage of farmworker housing.
  2. Community Food Assistance:
    1. Establish a gleaning group.
    2. Increase availability and variety of food literacy classes.
    3. Increase access to fresh, local produce for people receiving federal assistance.
  3. Local Food Assets:
    1. Develop more community and school gardens.
    2. Map and increase access to commercial kitchens.
    3. Develop a local-focused retail food store in Forest Grove.

Washington County has the second largest number of farms with sales of food direct to consumers in Oregon (after Yamhill) and the 5th largest number of farms marketing direct to retail. But the majority of products are probably being marketed to consumers in populous urban centers such as Beaverton and Portland. Washington County may want to invest in developing and expanding market linkages within its borders so that more residents throughout the county can access, enjoy, and vote with their dollars to support high quality products produced there.

GENERAL INFORMATION
POPULATION Oregon Washington
Population (2007) 3,745,455 509,886
Population (2014) 3,962,710 560,465
Population change from 2007 to 2014 6%   10%
ESTIMATED SPENDING ON FOOD (WESTERN REGION) Oregon Washington
2007 ($6,811 per household – average 2.6 persons) $9,811,651,540 $1,335,705,210
2014 ($7,175 per household – average 2.6 persons) $10,935,555,481 $1,546,667,837
Change from 2007 to 2014 11%   16%
FOOD ENVIRONMENT
SUPERMARKETS AND OTHER GROCERY STORES Oregon Washington
2007 Grocery Stores 751 75
2013 Grocery Stores 768 90
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 2.3%   20.0%
2007 Citizens Per Grocery Store 4,987 6,798
2013 Citizens Per Grocery Store 5,103 6,122
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 2.3%   -9.9%
OTHER SPECIALTY FOOD STORES Oregon Washington
2007 394 70
2013 366 41
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -7.1%   -41.4%
LOW INCOME AND LOW ACCESS TO A GROCERY STORE Oregon Washington
2006 Percentage 1.0% 0.0%
2006 People Affected 36,785 47
2010 Percentage (latest data available) 5.0% 2.0%
2010 People Affected 195,215 10,506
Percentage Change 2006 to 2010 404.3%   19900.0%
Average Cost of a Meal Oregon Washington
2009 (National Cost: $2.54) $2.60 $2.49
2013 (National Cost: $2.79) $2.77 $2.86
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 6.5%   14.9%
INDIVIDUALS BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL Oregon Washington
2009 (5-year estimates 2005-2009) 13.6% 9.8%
2014 (5-year estimates 2010-2014) 16.7% 11.8%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2012 22.8%   20.4%
FOOD INSECURITY RATE Oregon Washington
2009 16.8% 13.9%
2013 15.8% 12.4%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 -6.0%   -10.8%
SNAP PARTICIPATION RATE Oregon Washington
2009 68% 52%
2013 73% 63%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 7.4%   21.2%
FARMERS MARKETS ACCEPTING SNAP BENEFITS Oregon Washington
2015 Farmers Markets 172 13
2015 Farmers Markets Accepting SNAP 84 10
Percent of Total 49%   77%
COMMUNITY CAPACITY
Oregon Washington
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) N
COMMUNITY GARDENS Oregon Washington
2014 Number of Community Garden Sites >158 10
2014 Number of Garden Plots Unknown Unknown
2014 Citizens Per Garden Site <24,804 55,099
NUMBER OF SCHOOL GARDENS Oregon Washington
2007 Number of School Gardens 161 6
Number of Schools Included 1,262 124
Percentage of Schools Reported to Have a Garden 12.8% 4.8%
2014 Number of School Gardens (new data as of 1/25/2015) 582 73
Number of Schools Included 1,174 127
Percentage of Schools Reported to Have a Garden 49.6% 57.5%
Percentage Change 2007 to 2014 261.5%   1116.7%
Access to Seed to Supper/Master Gardeners or Equivalent Y
Access to Cooking Matters or Equivalent Y
FARM BASE
LAND IN FARMS Oregon Washington
2002: Total Land in Farms 17,080,422 130,683
2012: Total Land in Farms 16,301,578 135,733
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -4.6%   3.9%
AVERAGE COST PER ACRE Oregon Washington
2002: Average Cost per Acre $1,202 $7,294
2012: Average Cost per Acre $1,882 $9,371
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 56.6%   28.5%
NUMBER OF FARMS BY SALES RANGE Oregon Washington
2002: Total Farms 40,033 1900
2012: Total Farms 35,439 1,643
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -11.5%   -13.5%
2002: Farms with Sales <$25,000 31,564 1454
2012: Farms with Sales <$25,000 26,835 1232
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -15.0%   -15.3%
2002: Farm with Sales $25,000 to $99,999 4282 229
2012: Farms with Sales $25,000 to $99,999 3958 201
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -7.6%   -12.2%
2002: Farms with Sales $100,000 to $249,999 1935 95
2012: Farms with Sales $100,000 to $249,999 1,755 70
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -9.3%   -26.3%
2002: Farms with Sales >$250,000 2252 122
2012: Farms with Sales >$250,000 2891 140
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 28.4%   14.8%
FARMS WITH TYPICAL LOCAL FOOD CROPS Oregon Washington
2002: Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes 1708 150
2012: Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes 1889 158
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 10.6%   5.3%
2002: Fruits, tree nuts, berries 5659 645
2012: Fruits, tree nuts, berries 5245 515
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -7.3%   -20.2%
2002: Poultry and eggs (all poultry) 4588 177
2012: Poultry and eggs (all poultry) 6054 305
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 32.0%   72.3%
2002: Cattle and calves (farm with sales) 13654 324
2012: Cattle and calves (farm with sales) 11,638 241
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -14.8%   -25.6%
2002: Milk cows (farms with inventory) 1133 43
2012: Milk cows (farms with inventory) 686 28
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -39.5%   -34.9%
2002: Hogs and pigs (farms with sales) 1558 44
2012: Hogs and pigs   (farms with sales) 1172 40
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -24.8%   -9.1%
2002: Sheep and goats 3219 81
2012: Sheep and goats 2810 83
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -12.7%   2.5%
2002: Total Farms Raising Typical Local Food Crops 31,519 1464
2012: Total Farms Raising Typical Local Food Crops 29,494 1,370
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -6.4%   -6.4%
FOOD CROP DIVERSITY Oregon Washington
2007 Number of Different Vegetable, Potato, and/or Melon Crops 42 29
2007 Number of Different Fruit, Berries, Nut Crops 27 22
2007 Number of Different Grain or Cereal Crops 16 5
2007 TOTAL FOOD CROPS 85   56
2007 Average # of different food crops 35 Greater Than
2012 Number of Different Vegetable, Potato, and/or Melon Crops 42 35
2012 Number of Different Fruit, Berries, Nut Crops 27 24
2012 Number of Different Grain or Cereal Crops 16 10
2012 TOTAL FOOD CROPS 85   69
Percentage Change in Total Crops from 2007 to 2012 0.0%   23.2%
2012 Average # of different food crops 38 Greater Than
Percentage Change in Average # of crops from 2007 to 2012 8.6%
NUMBER OF ORGANIC FARMS Oregon Washington
2002: Organic Farms 515 23
2012: Organic Farms 554 25
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 7.6%   8.7%
AVERAGE AGE OF FARMERS Oregon Washington
2002: Average Age 54.9 54.8
2012: Average Age 59.6 59.3
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 8.6%   8.2%
FARM EMPLOYMENT Oregon Washington
2007 67,222 4,271
2014 61,967 3,990
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 -7.8%   -6.6%
TOTAL FARM COMPENSATION Oregon Washington
2007 $1,020,772,000 $107,028,000
2014 $1,109,671,000 $90,553,000
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 8.7%   -15.4%
AVERAGE ANNUAL COMPENSATION PER FARM JOB Oregon Washington
2007 $15,185 $25,059
2014 $17,907 $22,695
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 17.9%   -9.4%
MARKET LINKAGES
FARMS WITH ON-FARM PACKING FACILITY Oregon Washington
2012: Number of Farms 761 68
2012 Percent of Farms with Packing Facilities 2.1%   4.1%
FARMS THAT PRODUCED AND SOLD VALUE-ADDED Oregon Washington
2007: Number of Farms 2,807 140
2012: Number of Farms 3,292 175
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 17.3%   25.0%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Value-Added 9.3% 10.7%
SALES TO INDIVIDUALS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION Oregon Washington
2002: Number of Farms Reporting Direct Sales 6383 381
2012: Number of Farms Reporting Direct Sales 6,680 411
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 4.7%   7.9%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Directly 18.8% 25.0%
2002: Total Reported Direct Sales $21,411,000 $1,824,000
2012: Total Reported Direct Sales $44,177,000 $3,263,000
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 106.3%   78.9%
2002 Average Direct Sales per Participating Farm $3,354.38 $4,787.40
2012 Average Direct Sales per Participating Farm $6,613.32 $7,939.17
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 97.2%   65.8%
2002 Farm Direct Sales per Capita $6.11 $3.94
2012 Farm Direct Sales per Capita $11.37 $6.01
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 86.2%   52.5%
FARMS MARKETING PRODUCTS THROUGH A CSA Oregon Washington
2007 Marketed through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 311 21
2012 Marketed through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 391 30
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 25.7%   42.9%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Through CSA 1.1% 1.8%
NUMBER OF FARMERS MARKETS Oregon Washington
2009 Farmers Markets (Data from ERS Food Environment Atlas) 100 6
2015 Farmers Markets 172 13
Percentage Change from 2009 to 2015 72%   117%
2009 Citizens Per Farmers Market 38,235 87,607
2015 Citizens Per Farmers’ Market 23,039 43,113
Percentage Change 2009 to 2015 -39.7%   -50.8%
SCHOOL DISTRICTS PURCHASING LOCAL FOOD Oregon Washington
2014-2015 School Year (ODE Grantee list) 130 8
Number of School Districts 202 7
Percent of Districts Reporting Purchases of Local Food 64%   114%
FARMS MARKETING DIRECT TO RETAIL Oregon Washington
2007 No Data
2012 1,898 143
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Direct to Retail 5.4%   8.7%
NUMBER OF SOLE PROPRIETOR FOOD BUSINESSES (NAICS 311) Oregon Washington
2007 467 D
2013 753 88
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 61.24%   72.55%
TOTAL NUMBER OF FOOD PROCESSOR EMPLOYERS (NAICS 311) Oregon Washington
2007 498 29
2013 548 35
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 10.0%   20.7%
2007 FOOD PROCESSORS BY NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES Oregon Washington
1-4 Employees 163 15
5-9 Employees 88 2
10-19 Employees 78 2
20-49 Employees 80 4
50-99 Employees 42 4
100-249 Employees 28 0
More than 250 Employees 19 2
2007 Total Processor Employment 19,582 1140
Ranges for non-disclosed data
2007 Total Processor Payroll $686,511,000 $42,762,000
2013 FOOD PROCESSORS BY NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES Oregon Washington
1-4 Employees 202 17
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 23.9%   13.3%
5-9 Employees 110 4
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 25.0%   100.0%
10-19 Employees 70 4
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -10.3%   100.0%
20-49 Employees 69 4
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -13.8%   0.0%
50-99 Employees 41 4
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -2.4%   0.0%
100-249 Employees 37 1
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 32.1%    
More than 250 Employees 19 1
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 0.0%   -50.0%
2012 Total Processor Employment 21,661 1010
Ranges for non-disclosed data
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 10.6%   -11.4%
2012 Total Processor Payroll $848,004,000 $41,163,000
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 23.5%   -3.7%