Ever wonder what the life of a Field Organizer at FoFF is like? Well, this summer I traveled over 1,500 miles visiting farms and attending events. Being the Field Organizer, I am the main staff person “in the field” (you may have come across my posts on Instagram: @foffinthefield). It is one of the best aspects of my job—venturing from Ashland to Tillamook, to Beavercreek, to Bend and beyond—talking to farmers and ranchers, hearing their stories, and learning about some of the incredible farms and ranches all across Oregon.
I’ve lived in Oregon for 10 years, and thought I’d explored all the trails I could get my feet on and all the rivers I could wade into, fishing rod in hand. But I have never seen the side of our state that I experienced this summer. The roads I took this summer provided me with a unique and hopeful picture. I stood on ground that was once inside of a volcano and watched goats and chickens grazing on a wetland restoration project on top of a mountain outside Ashland at sunset. I watched goats eating blackberry brambles and clearing Christmas trees to turn a Christmas tree farm back into what it once was: A small, diversified, food-producing family farm. In the outskirts of Beaverton I got a lesson on using a no-till drill to renovate what was once a wheat field into luscious, diverse, forage that will be available for cows and pigs to graze on in the coming years.
The side of agriculture that I get to see during my farm visits is largely regenerative, restorative, and responsible. I get to travel all over the state learning from amazing farmers and ranchers that are working hard to provide food in incredibly innovative manners. They work with their land, their communities, and their animals to create a vibrant and diverse food system throughout Oregon. The growing number of producers that have joined our Oregon Pasture Network (OPN) are great examples of this. You can read more about the work our OPN Members do here. and can support them directly via our recently published OPN Product Guide.
On the other side of my role with FoFF, I work with young and aspiring farmers; the ones who dream of continuing the work of other producers before them, working to regenerate our food system. Over the course of the summer, I attended and presented at events put on by organizations with similar missions to ours. I showed beginning farmers how to use Oregon Farm Link (OFL) to find land to start – or expand – their farming operations, and recruited landholders to list their land on OFL in order to find someone to keep the land in agricultural production.
In so many ways, I am incredibly lucky to do the work that I do. This important work is made possible because of the generous donations of our supporters and funders — thank you! If you’d like to support the continuation of this work, please donate to FoFF today.
Looking ahead, beginning in early 2018, we will begin our newest round of Farmer & Rancher Listening Sessions throughout the state. I hope you’ll participate and come introduce yourself to me!
— Lindsay Trant, Field Organizer, Friends of Family Farmers