Food and community are the heart of our mission. We work in concert with Central Oregon farms and ranches, local food businesses, and organizations to implement projects, initiatives, and networking opportunities to create a more healthy and vibrant food and farm community. We collectively market local food and co-promote our amazing small to mid-sized family farmers, while providing networking events, training opportunities, and financial assistance.
Support for Farmers and Ranchers
HDFFA partners with a number of organizations, including the OSU Extension Small Farms Program and Oregon Department of Agriculture, to coordinate workshops and hands-on training opportunities for farmers and ranchers to sharpen their skills on everything from crop planning to marketing strategies to food safety.
In 2021, we held feedback workshops with farmers and ranchers in Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson County to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats surrounding their operations. Based on this feedback, HDFFA is working with OSU Extension Service to develop a three-year training plan for each county that will include additional opportunities for producer engagement and learning.
Keep an eye on our Farmer Events page for upcoming trainings and events, and view previous events at the bottom of this page.
Highlighting Local Producers and Promoting Local Food
We help consumers that value fresh food and healthy communities support local farmers by discovering and buying their products. We seek to promote and amplify voices of local farmers, ranchers and food entrepreneurs. Here’s HOW:
- Food & Farm Directory: This community resource is a guide to over 120 local farms, ranches and food businesses. It is published annually each May and distributed across Central Oregon as an insert in The Source and at 160+ drop sites.
- Producer profiles of our Partners (2012-2019 – updating in 2021!)
- Chef-Farmer Mixers: An annual event to connect farmers with local chefs to create connections and encourage local procurement
- Seasonality Chart: A poster that highlights local produce availability for Central Oregon. Download a copy here.
- High Desert Food and Farm Trail: We are working with Travel Oregon to develop an agritourism trail for the Central Oregon region. Coming October 2021!
Get a Taste of This Place Regional Marketing Campaign
Central Oregonians love local food. We know that it’s healthier, better-tasting, better for our environment, directly supports our community’s economy, and it connects us to each other.
Look for this logo in stores and restaurants all over Central Oregon – and if you don’t see it, ask if Central Oregon choices are available.
- Look for the “Get a Taste of this Place” logo, and shop with confidence.
- Get Social and tag #HDFFA and #getatasteofthisplace when posting images of local food
Connecting Farmers and Food Access
We believe that all Central Oregonians deserve access to fresh, healthy, and locally-grown food, which is why we prioritize local farmers in our food access programs. Learn how you can get involved:
- VeggieRx: VeggieRx is a fresh produce prescription program that improves healthy eating habits for individuals experiencing food insecurity and diagnosed with diet-modifiable disease. We work with local farmers to buy their produce at wholesale prices. Since 2018, we’ve purchased over $49,000 worth of fruits and vegetables from local farmers. Interested in selling your produce through VeggieRx? Contact Hannah Brzozowski at email@example.com or call 541-610-6046.
- Grow & Give: Grow & Give is an opportunity for local farmers to give back to their community in the form of food donations. HDFFA coordinates drop off spots and occasional on-farm gleaning days and then delivers the donated produce to NeighborImpact, a local food bank partnering with 46+ hunger relief agencies. Interested in donating or coordinating a glean day? Contact Rachel Levy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541-390-3572.
I like the “boots on the ground” trainings that HDFFA is rolling out and it is fun to attend in a farmer/rancher capacity with the eye of thinking about how these trainings can improve the CO food community. I challenge you to find one HDFFA partner (myself included) that would not benefit from improving their business skills. I personally believe that creating a strong food system comes from creating strong farm businesses.
-HDFFA Farmer/Rancher Partner, 2021
HDFFA is proud of the many programs it has been able to offer over the years. While these initiatives are no longer in operation, you can still read about them below.
Season Extender Grants: HDFFA has provided over $37,000 in greenhouses or high/low tunnel grants through the Growing it Forward project funded by USDA from 2017-2020. Outcomes of these grants included:
- Improved understanding of greenhouse management, plant selection, and succession planting, and other topics
- Improved viability and profitability
- Increased access to local food by Central Oregon consumers
- Increased amount of fresh food delivered to food pantries and food banks
- Self-reliance and confidence in using season extenders
Emergency Relief Fund: After a devastating hailstorm and tornado hit the region of Central Oregon in 2020, HDFFA put together an Emergency Relief Fund with donations from a private donor and community members to provide emergency relief funding for farms and ranches that sustained major damage during the storm. A total of $14,000 was distributed to farmers and ranchers to rebuild lost infrastructure.
Workplace CSA: Our Workplace CSA program helped facilitate farm shares with companies and organizations that wanted to offer fresh fruits and veggies to their employees. If you want to start one of these on your own, check out our Workplace CSA Toolkit!
- Social Media and Marketing Strategies for Farmers and Ranchers
- Value-Added Producer Grant Overview and Best Practices
- Funding 101 for Farmers and Ranchers
- NRCS Programs for Farmers and Ranchers
- Demystifying Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2)
- Irrigation for Experienced Farmers
- Know Your Costs to Grow
- Food Innovation Center Road Trip
- Tomato Grafting
- High Tunnel Production with Andrew Mefferd
- Food Safety and FSMA (with ODA)
- Chef/Farmer Mixer
- Post-Harvest Handling and Quality Standards
- Cost of Production
- Advanced High Tunnel Management
- Marketing Channels
For our suite of other promotional tools and resources, click here.
Farm and Ranch Support Manager
Agricultural Advisory Committee
The Agricultural Advisory Committee meets four times a year to advise Board and Staff on the direction and success of farm and ranch support programming offered by HDFFA. This includes providing input on HDFFA programs and specific projects including educational events, workshops, and grant objectives that best meet the needs and interests of the Central Oregon farmer/rancher community. Learn more about the Agricultural Advisory Committee here.
Partners & Funders
Funding for agricultural support programs is supported by the following sponsors:
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Beginning Farmer/Rancher Development Program Grant
Oregon Department of Agriculture
- Specialty Crop Block Grant