HB 5002 –  ODA Budget Proposal

Submit Testimony on the ODA Budget Proposal (HB 5002)

The Oregon Department of Agriculture’s budget is before the legislature through HB 5002!  Its time to weigh in and show some love for the programs most important to us as farmers and ranchers in the community food system. FoFF sent in testimony highlighting the most important programs to us and we have some things we want to highlight, but check out the full budget proposal materials here:

  HB 5002 ODA – Agency Presentation – Updated


  HB 5002 ODA – DAS Presentation


  HB 5002 ODA – Agency Reference Materials


Deadline to Submit:

3/18 at 1:00pm (48 hours after the hearing)

How to Submit:

  • Go to: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2023R1/Testimony/JWMNR 
  • Select the meeting on 3/16/2023 at 1:00pm
  • Select HB 5002
  • Register that you are “In Support” if you are shouting out programs you like, or “Neutral if you are providing more feedback.
  • Submit your testimony via the text box or uploading a PDF with your thoughts. Here is a template to get you started:

Dear Co-chairs Sen. Dembrow and Rep. Pham, and members of the committee:

My name is {_______} and I am writing today to express my gratitude for the inclusion of many of our priority programs in HB 5002 and the proposed Oregon Department of Agriculture Budget. As a {farmer/rancher/eater/community food system advocate} in {TOWN} it is really important to me that the state directly supports small and midsize farmers/ranchers, the ecosystems they depend on and the rural communities where they live.

Before speaking about specific programs and packages that are important to the folks we serve, I wanted to highlight something that was said in the informational hearings on this proposal over the last couple days. In response to Rep. Pham’s questions a representative from the department reminded the committee that “ODA does not receive funding from the state that specifically supports local and regional food systems. Unlike international trade activities that are directly funded by federal dollars, the ODA market access program doesn’t receive general funds to support developing, marketing  or promoting resilient local food systems.” This should be top of mind when deciding how to prioritize state funds. Oregon has a duty to use state funds to protect and elevate the resilient local food system. We are so lucky to have a long history and thriving community of small and midsize farmers; some of the most robust farmers markets, food hubs, and community supported agriculture networks in the country; and a high demand for local food across the board. Here are the programs represented in the budget that make the most difference to those producers.


  • Package 220: State Meat Inspection Program
    • This would fund the first 4 inspectors for the state meat inspection program.
    • 4 inspectors is a great start, but we should build on this in the future.
    • This is especially important because State Inspected facilities are equal to USDA for sales within the state and would open more opportunities for independent livestock producers.
  • Package 250: Meat Infrastructure Grant Fund
    • In addition to the inspection program, we also need money for new/expanded facilities.
    • Small independent producers are regularly reporting 12-18 month wait times, we need more capacity.
    • This program administration needs to be funded in conjunction with the $10M requested in HB 2907 for the grant funds.
  • Package 420: Farm to School Infrastructure Grants
    • Farm to School is a great opportunity for farms to scale up and have a guaranteed institutional client.
    • This benefits small farms for the long haul by encouraging them to take on more wholesale accounts and giving them the tools to meet demands.
    • This used to be in the Department of Education’s budget, but it is better for an agriculturally minded department to oversee this fund.
  • Package 430: Agricultural Opportunity Grants
    • Agricultural Opportunity Grants are for historically underserved farmers in Oregon.
    • Our state has a discriminatory history when it comes to racially based land ownership laws and BIPOC producers haven’t had the same access to land, capital, and intergenerational knowledge that others in our state have been afforded. 
  • Package 350: The Soil Health Program
    • Soil is the basis for all agricultural activities and we should encourage every farmer in Oregon to grow with its health in mind.
    • The soil health specialist position funded in this package is essential to coordinating soil health efforts and helping draw more federal funds for soil health to Oregon. 
    • This should be funded in conjunction with the Healthy Soils Initiative in HB2998.