Friends of Family Farmers supports citizens actively participating in building and shaping their agricultural communities. We are happy to offer services to communities that would like to organize and promote socially responsible farming and build a healthy local food system. Together, we can put some of the “culture” back into agriculture.
Beginning Farm Policy Successes
Since 2011, Friends of Family Farmers has spent a lot of time at the Oregon Capitol working on behalf of Oregon’s farmers, and that includes many efforts to assist beginning farmers. Beginning farmers bring a unique voice to many policy discussions and we encourage them to testify at hearings and make their voices heard. In recent years we have helped pass the following legislation of interest to beginning and farm-direct producers:
- Oregon’s Farm Direct Marketing Law – allows farm direct sales of many different products as well as up to $20,000/year in sales of specific home-processed low-hazard foods like pickles, jams, jellies, etc. Read an ODA Fact Sheet on what types of products are covered under the Farm Direct Marketing Law here.
- Oregon’s Farm Direct Poultry Law – allows farmers to raise, slaughter and sell up to 1000 birds per year for on farm sales directly to end consumers. Read an ODA fact sheet on the Farm Direct Poultry Law here.
- Oregon’s Beginning and Expanding Farm Loan Program (aka Aggie Bonds) – provides lower-interest lending for qualifying beginning farmers and ranchers for land and equipment purchases. Read a fact sheet and find application materials for the Aggie Bonds program here.
Stop Factory Farms
Factory farms are showing up around the nation at an unprecedented rate. Since 2005, our organization has been contacted by many Oregon communities that have been impacted or threatened by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) — we are not talking about small and medium Oregon confined animal feeding operations.
We have been working closely with family farmers and rural residents to ensure that their property values, rural businesses, personal health and quality of life are protected from the air and water pollution that are a result of concentrating thousands or tens of thousands of animals and their waste, in one location.
This tremendous amount of pollution (which the Oregon Department of Agriculture estimates to be around 10 million tons of manure, litter and process wastewater per year) threatens our water, our air and our communities.
If you need help organizing against a factory farm in your community, we can help. Please contact us for more information on how to protect your community from the potential harms of industrialized agriculture.
Read the Story of Oak Grove Road and learn how the citizens of Canby warded off 1.5 million Foster Farm chickens.
Let’s Put the Culture Back in Agriculture
Friends of Family Farmers encourages active citizen participation in the shaping of rural communities. Towns and regions across the nation are working toward reclaiming local food economies, which is becoming increasingly necessary as energy prices sky-rocket and industrial food safety concerns are encouraging consumers look for alternative food choices closer to home.
Family-scale agriculture and local food production, processing, distribution and sale can be the cornerstones of thriving rural communities, healthy people, strong social character and land stewardship.
Effective Community Organizing
If you would like advice or assistance in starting a conversation in your area around community development through food and agriculture and the revitalizing of local economies, contact us to find out how we can help.