Agricultural Support Program
HDFFA improves the viability farmers and ranchers through relationship building, technical and capacity support. We collaborate with regional organizations and agencies to offer workshops, networking events, grants and financial assistance. Our Get a Taste marketing campaign builds awareness of High Desert producers and products to the Central Oregon community.
Funding for HDFFA to offer this support is primarily through the USDA Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program. Projects (listed below) within this program are funded through various public and private grants and donations. All of our services are offered for free (if funded by a grant) or a small fee to support costs beyond our grant funding.
Projects benefitting Regional Farmers & Ranchers
We offer multiple projects and resources that are developed in collaboration with our Agricultural Advisory Committee who guide us each year to develop relevant projects. Additionally, in 2021, we developed an Regional Action Plan with input from small to medium-sized farmers and ranchers representing each county.
To learn more about our Agricultural Support projects, click on the topic below.
We are invested in increasing the ability of Central Oregon farmers and ranchers to overcome shocks and strains on their operations by providing financial support for on-farm infrastructure, supplies, and professional development. HDFFA invites producers to apply to our grants when available. Click the link above to learn more.
We create a more connected local food system by facilitating in-person and virtual opportunities for producers, buyers and consumers through our workshops in collaboration with other organizations, such as OSU Extension. See a list of previously offered workshops in the drop-down menu below. Stay up to date by visiting our Events Page at the link above.
HDFFA offers a variety of ways for Central Oregon farmers and ranchers to get more involved in their community. From Farmer/Rancher Networking Nights, to Chef/Farmer Mixers, our Annual Social, the Agricultural Advisory Committee and more – check our events page to see what’s coming up!
Peer-to-peer mentorship connects experienced with beginning farmers and ranchers to provide improve knowledge sharing of agricultural production, sales, and farm viability. The program is designed to be flexible in order to meet the needs of both the mentors and mentees. Click link above to learn more.
Get A Taste of This Place is a regional marketing campaign improving access to and education about the benfits of local food from Central Oregon. Need a logo, flyer, traceability stickers or any other promotional resources? Choose what you need from our online storefront for Partners – some materials are provided to you at no cost.
The High Desert Food Trail (HDFT) is an agritourism project in partnership with Travel Oregon and Visit Central Oregon highlighting culinary options of Central Oregon. Learn more about HDFT, get on the Trail, and find other examples of regional trails at the link above.
Past Projects (click + to expand)
The Farm and Ranch Resiliency Award was an opportunity for HDFFA to showcase what makes our agricultural producers and their operations resilient. From production challenges to market disruptions and climate change, producers are faced with volatility in all aspects of their business. This award highlighted the HDFFA Partners who incorporated resilience into their business plan and educated the community on what sustainable farming truly means.
Hailstorm 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 Program paired local farmers with busy office employees to provide fresh local food at the convenience of their workplace. Employees sign-up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share through their employer and during the summer they received fresh vegetables delivered each week. If you want to start one of these on your own, check out our Workplace CSA Toolkit!
Past Workshops: We’ve hosted many different workshops and classes over the years. Some of those are recorded and you can access them below:
- CSA Share Fair
- Central Oregon Meat Processing: From the Hoof to the Freezer
- Strategies to Increase Crop Water Use Efficiency during Drought Conditions
- Crop Insurance For Small- and Mid-Sized Farms and Ranches
- Informational Webinar on the PNW CSA Coalition
- Regenerative Agriculture and Plant Identification
- Panel Discussion: Small-Scale Farming and Water Use in the Deschutes Basin
- Rotational Grazing and Pasture Management
- High Desert Food Trail Workshop, Session 1: Culinary & Agritourism and Regional Resource Panels
- High Desert Food Trail Workshop, Session 2: Building the High Desert Food Trail
- Social Media and Marketing Strategies for Farmers and Ranchers (3 sessions)
- 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 Techniques and Troubleshooting 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)
- Post-Harvest Handling and Quality Standards
- Cost of Production Workshop
- Advanced High Tunnel Management
- Marketing Channels
HDFFA curates a monthly newsletter for Central Oregon farmers and ranchers, listing upcoming events, opportunities, grants, and general information. Read past months’ archived editions here.
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 our 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
Partners & Funders
Funding for our Agricultural Support program and associated projects is supported by:
- USDA Beginning Farmer/Rancher Development Program Grant. A total of 5% of this grant is reserved to support the Central Oregon Veterans Ranch, a working ranch that restores purpose and spirit to veterans of all ages.
- Oregon Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant
- USDA Community Food Project
- Roundhouse Foundation
- Travel Oregon: Tourism Destination Development and Wine Country License Plate Matching Grant
- Visit Central Oregon
- Private Donors