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InFARMation Spring Series: Land and Capital Access
February 23 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pmFree
InFARMation: Creative Ways to Access Land and Capital
The average farmer in Oregon is 60 years old. Without a plan to get new farmers onto the land, when the older generation hangs up their tools in the next decade we stand to lose 25-50% of farmland currently in production to conglomeration or development. Join us the last Tuesday in February through May from 6:30pm – 8pm to talk about creative ways farmers and organizations are working collaboratively to protect farms and ranches in Oregon.
Although not everyone is interested in accessing land to grow food themselves, this generational land transfer will affect the future of the food system as a whole. We will break down reasons WHY these issues are important for all Oregonians (not just farmers!), such as watershed health, carbon sequestering, the fact that 98% of land ownership is white, rural economic development, and the accessibility of local food. Throughout the series we will hear about the inspiring hard work that farmers of color and organizations are doing to circumvent the barriers created by structural racism in the agricultural and financial system. We will discuss the biggest threats to Oregon’s farmland, different types of capital available, the importance of having a farm business plan, the benefits of collective farming, and how we can support our BIPOC farming community. Having these continued conversations and sharing resources is a good first step to protecting and preserving our farmland. We hope you can join us!
Matt Shipkey – Matt has 13+ years of land conservation experience. He currently works for East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District as their Land Legacy Program Manager. EMSWCD works hard to make sure farm land stays protected for working farms. Conserving our finite and threatened resources and connecting people with the land fuels Matt’s passion for land conservation.
Javier Lara – Javier has focused on growing traditional plants and vegetables in a way that allows us to exercise our ancestral traditions through agriculture. He runs the The Anahuac Program which is a culturally and ethnically specific traditional agricultural, culinary, cultural arts and wellness education program for youth and their families from indigenous farmworker backgrounds in Woodburn, OR and the surrounding areas.
Aaron Newton – Aaron is the Vice President of Agriculture for Steward. Steward facilitates community-sourced lending to back the regeneration of agricultural ecosystems. Through the Steward platform, farmers raise funds in the form of secured loan transactions. But unlike traditional loans, these loans are sourced first from appropriate lenders in a farmers’ own community—neighbors, customers, and friends—then from like-minded sophisticated lenders in the Steward network. Aaron’s goal is to leverage regenerative agricultural strategies to help reshape our food system; making it more sustainable, self-sufficient, secure and equitable.