Since the Spring of 2020, our InFARMations have gone virtual! The bright side of hosting these events online is we can reach all corners of the state. So please stay tuned for our 2022 Winter Advocacy Series!
2019 Portland Topics:
Fall InFARMation Series: Becoming an Educated Eater
‘What Does it All Mean?’ Breaking down farm certifications, labels, deceptive marketing and greenwashing.
‘Vote With Your Dollars!’ Open and honest conversations about keeping your money in the local economy, the financial impacts of supporting farmers markets and CSAs, and the importance of shortening the supply chain.
‘Increasing Healthy Food Access in Oregon’ Information on how households at all income levels can stock up on local meat and pantry items for the winter and how shopping at farmers markets or otherwise supporting local farmers is not just for high earners. You’ll bring home recipe ideas and tips for how to stretch your dollar.
‘Farming in the Age of Climate Change‘
We heard from a panel of farmers who are navigating a changing climate by undertaking practices like dry-farming, cover cropping, rotational grazing and more. We also got the latest on HB 2020, legislation in Salem that will help incentivize climate friendly farming practices. Panelists for the evening were:
- Anne Berblinger, Gales Meadow Farm: Anne uses farming practices that build the soil while also providing habitat for wildlife, native plants, insects, birds, and microbes. To increase her resiliency, she’s also began experimenting with dry farming techniques.
- Zach Menchini, Campfire Farms: The Menchinis focus on pasture management, high-quality forage, and soil health to produce great pork and better the environment. What role can pasture-based agriculture play in addressing climate change?
- Susan Richman, Belle Mare Farm: Belle Mare Farm grows heritage bread and cereal grains, cover crops, pasture and vegetables on fields from 3-12 acres…with horses! Susan manages diverse crop and livestock rotation, and optimizes the use of humans and animals as a source of power. She uses traditional methods supported by science, essentially planting to feed the soil.
- Megan Kemple, Oregon Climate and Agricultural Network: Farmers are on the frontline of dealing with the effects of climate change, while also best positioned to be part of the solution. Megan will talk about House Bill 2020, aka the Clean Energy Jobs bill, and how the newly created Climate Investment Fund could support small and mid-sized farms by incentivizing practices that sequester carbon in soils and encourage resiliency.
FoFF’s 2019 Legislative Priorities and the Threat of Industrial Mega-Dairies in Oregon
At this InFARMation, we previewed Friends of Family Farmers’ 2019 Legislative Priorities and talked about how you can get involved in supporting family farmers and healthy local food systems at the Legislature this year. A panel of experts discussed the impacts of mega-dairies on small and mid-sized farms, the environment and animal welfare, and provided updates on legislation in Salem that would place a moratorium on new industrial mega-dairies in the state.
Background: In 2017, over the opposition of small farm, rural, environmental and animal welfare groups, Oregon approved the 30,000-cow Lost Valley mega-dairy. At full size, this facility would have been one of the largest dairies in the country, flooding the market with milk as small and mid-sized dairy farms are struggling to survive in an era of extremely low prices. Almost immediately, the facility began violating it’s pollution permits, racking up over 200 environmental violations within a year of operation. The owner failed to pay local contractors and declared bankruptcy, and the state ultimately revoked his permit. Despite these problems, the facility is remarkably still in operation but is now up for sale.
At this InFARMation we asked what happened with Lost Valley, discussed what Oregonians and our leaders should learn from this experience, and what supporters of family farms and responsible local food systems can do to prevent new industrial mega-dairies from coming to our state.
- Ivan Maluski, Policy Director, Friends of Family Farmers and writer for FoFF’s ‘Muckboots in the Capitol‘ legislative blog
- Tarah Heinzen, Oregon-based Staff Attorney for Food and Water Watch
- Brian Posewitz, Staff Attorney for WaterWatch of Oregon and board member, Humane Voters of Oregon
2018 Portland Topics:
Pasture raised Beef – Saturday, August 11, 3-7 pm – Hosted at Our Table Cooperative in Sherwood, OR this InFARMation include a farm tour, wood fired pizza, draft beer and kombucha. The panel of experts included Jared Gardner of Nehalem River Ranch, Rich Butler of Verdant Hills Farm, Narendra Varma of Our Table Farm, Dr. Antonella Aguilera-Ruiz of Wild Lemon Health and Slow Food Portland, and Liam Pelot, owner of Dick’s Primal Burger.
Pasture Raised Poultry – Tuesday, September 25, 6-9 pm – Hosted at Lagunitas Community Room in Portland, at this InFARMation we heard from Jon and Geoff, farmers at Marion Acres Farm, Piper and Laura from Grand Central Bakery, and Justin Ashby, meat monger at Flying Fish Company.
Pasture Raised Pork – Tuesday, October 9th, 6-9 pm – Hosted at Lagunitas Community Room in Portland. Panelists included Kendra Kimbirauskas of Shimanek Bridge Farm, Ben Meyer of Grain & Gristle and Revel Meats, Camas Davis of Portland Meat Collective and author of Killing It, and Elias Cairo of Olympia Provisions.
Pasture Raised Dairy – Tuesday, November 13, 6-9 pm – Hosted at the Lagunitas Community Room in Portland. Panelists included Mike Grauwen of Onion Peak Dairy in Nehalem, a producer for Organic Valley; Michael Guebert of Terra Farma in Corbett, a raw milk producer; Ivan Maluski, Friends of Family Farmers’ Policy Director; and, Kathleen Bauer, food writer GoodStuffNW.com.