Family Farms Mean Business Event Draws Farmers, Local Food Supporters to Oregon Capitol

Local chefs and farmers celebrating local, sustainable agriculture at the 2017 Family Farms Mean Business Day at the Capitol in Salem.

On Tuesday, April 4, Friends of Family Farmers held our fourth ‘Family Farms Mean Business’ Day at the State Capitol in Salem. The event drew over 100 farmers, ranchers, students and local food supporters to the Capitol building to talk with legislators and rally in support of efforts important to Oregon’s small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers and family-scale sustainable agriculture.

Gratefull Gardens from McMinnville helped represent the importance of Community Supported Agriculture at the 2017 Family Farms Mean Business Farmers Market inside the State Capitol.

The event included a ‘farmers market’ inside the Capitol in which local producers gave out free samples and talked with legislators about the importance of farm-direct agriculture and strong local food systems.

Alexis Taylor, Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture delivered opening remarks to policy workshop attendees at the Family Farms Mean Business Day in Salem

Morning policy workshops drew dozens of local farmers and farm supporters from across Oregon, with welcome remarks delivered by Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Alexis Taylor.

Farmers, ranchers, chefs, farmers’ market representatives, local food supporters and school kids rallying on the Capitol steps at the April 2017 Family Farms Mean Business Day at the Oregon Capitol

In the afternoon, event attendees met with Legislators from across Oregon to talk about bills to support beginning farmers, address problems with poorly regulated genetically engineered crops, provide funding for Oregon’s Farm-to-School program and regulate air emissions from the growing number of ‘mega’ dairies coming to Oregon, including a recently approved 30,000-cow confinement dairy operation in eastern Oregon.

We’d like to thank everyone who came to Salem for this great event.

A list of priority bills that Friends of Family Farmers is supporting this year in Salem can be found here.

Please contact your State Legislators to let them know you support these bills as well.

Additional Materials:

SB 1037 Fact Sheet – Local control over genetically engineered crops

SB 197 Fact Sheet – Air pollution rules for large dairy operations

HB 2739 Fact Sheet – Patent-holder liability for financial harm to farmers caused by genetically engineered crops

HB 2038 Fact Sheet – Funding Oregon’s Farm-to-School Program