January 31 – Film Showing – Sustainable

February 28Food, Farms and the Oregon Legislature – a look at the top bills and policy proposals impacting sustainable agriculture and local food systems in the 2017 Oregon Legislature, including bills for: regulation of genetically engineered crops to protect farmers, addressing problems with factory farms, supporting beginning farmers, and funding for Oregon’s Farm-to-School program.

Panelists were:

Ivan Maluski, Friends of Family Farmers
Kendra Kimbirauskas, Socially Responsible Agricultural Project
Amy van Saun, Center for Food Safety

March 28Eggs, Going Beyond the Carton – a panel discussion and Q&A about the difference between conventional, cage-free, free-range, and pasture-raised eggs and why these distinctions matter, including what consumers need to know about egg carton labels when purchasing eggs.

Panelists were:

Mark Anderson, Champoeg Farm
Laura Ohm, Grand Central Bakery
Andrew Gunther, Animal Welfare Approved

Moderated by Kathleen Bauer, freelance writer and author of ‘The Future of Our Food’ series at the blog GoodStuffNW.

April 25Mead: From Hive to Table – Farm raised honey can be fermented into mead – the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage category in the U.S. Topics covered included:

– Basics of backyard and small-scale commercial beekeeping
– Appreciating varietal honeys, and the difference between real honey and commodity honey
– Basics of harvesting honey from a hive
– How to make mead
– Commercial meaderies of the northwest (16 in Oregon, 25 in Washington!)

Panelists were:

Jeff Garner, Bee-Licious Honey
Chrissie Manion Zaerpoor, Kookoolan Farms and Kookoolan World Meadery and author of “The Art of Mead Tasting and Food Pairing” – http://www.meadandfood.com/

May 30Your Daily Cheese: Can it Be Socially Responsible? – a panel of cheesemakers and dairy farmers discussing the decisions they face in upholding environmental and social values while maintaining viable businesses and meeting customer demand.

Oregon is home to dairy farms and cheesemakers of all scales, sizes and management practices. But the trend in recent decades has been towards the growth of larger and larger operations as smaller and mid-sized dairy producers struggle to stay in business. In fact, the Oregon Department of Agriculture recently approved a 30,000-cow dairy operation in eastern Oregon despite growing concern about the impacts of operations of this size on clean water, air quality, and the future of family scale dairy farms in Oregon.

Panelists were:

Greg Drobot – Face Rock Creamery
Steve Pierson – Sar-Ben Farms and Organic Valley
Liz Alvis – Portland Creamery
Lise Bueschen Monahan – Fraga Farmstead Creamery