High Desert Food Trail

High Desert Food Trail

The High Desert Food Trail connects people to the tastes of Central Oregon. This self-guided trail showcases the agricultural and culinary businesses offering high quality and locally sourced products throughout Central Oregon. Tapping into growing visitor demand for agritourism and local culinary experiences, the Trail elevates through marketing and other promotional activities, and builds lasting connections and partnerships among participating businesses across the region.

New in 2021, this is a joint project with Travel Oregon and the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance and is different from the annual HDFFA Food & Farm Directory. The projected launch date for the High Desert Food Trail is October 2021.

Definition of “Local”: Local and locally-sourced are defined as products sourced within 100 miles of the place of business in question.

Business Criteria

To be included in the High Desert Food Trail, businesses must comply with all of the following criteria and requirements based on business type listed below:

  • Open to the general public a minimum of 3 months and/or during the season
  • Offer a product which is local
  • Offer sufficient signage to differentiate between local and non-local products
  • Committed to utilizing the provided food trail signage
  • Dedicated to learning about and promoting fellow members of the food trail
  • Willing to complete an annual survey regarding participation on the food trail

On-Farm, Vineyard, and Agricultural Operations

  • On-farm experiential opportunities will qualify; ideally on-farm sales meet qualifications of farm stands
  • Farm stands have at least 75% of produced and 50% of value-added products locally grown or produced

Meat, Fish, Produce, and Value-Added Food Retail

  • 75% of defining product is locally grown, raised, caught, made or produced
  • Open to the general public a minimum of three months and/or during the season (i.e. in the case of select farms with a very short season)

Restaurants, Bakeries, and Cafes

  • 20% of produce, meat, and flowers sold through menu items and value-added products are locally sourced (can be a net annual average of these items bought)
  • 50% of beverage offerings are from Oregon

Lodging

  • 25% of products sold (including restaurant menu items, room amenities and gift shop offerings) are locally sourced
  • 50% of beverage offerings are from Oregon

Craft Beverage Tasting Rooms

  • Production facility is located within Central Oregon
  • Sources at least 25% of beverage ingredients from Oregon

Food Processors

  • Product is made, canned, smoked or roasted in Oregon
  • Ownership must be based in Central Oregon

Farmers and Artisan Markets

  • 50% of participants are local food producers (farmers, ranchers, value-added processors)

Retail

  • 50% of products sold are by local producers
  • 50% of beverage offerings are from Oregon

Experiences, Tours, and Cooking Schools

  • Must use or showcase local foods in at least 4 annual offerings

“Many people believe that local food is unavailable in Central Oregon due to our sandy soils and frosty nights, but we have one of the most vibrant local food scenes in the state. Beyond increasing consumer knowledge and engaging tourists in the region, agritourism offers our farmers and ranchers a way to expand and diversify their sales channels to make their operations more viable and therefore supporting our local economy.”  – Annie Nichols, HDFFA Farm and Ranch Support Manager

Frequently Asked Questions

The High Desert Food Trail is a unique, self-guided trail that showcases the freshest Central Oregon offerings of farmers, ranchers, brewers and chefs. The High Desert Food Trail will be available in October 2021.  To access this trail, find our paper brochure at Travel Oregon statewide and regional welcome centers, local hotels and other locations across the region, as well as online at getataste.org and visitcentraloregon.com. It lists culinary and agritourism businesses with a map, itinerary ideas, and travel tips for experiencing local food in our region. There are currently eight other food trails active in Oregon and you can view them and learn more at oregonfoodtrails.com.

The High Desert Food & Farm Alliance is a non-profit organization serving the tri-county region of Central Oregon and dedicated to supporting a healthy and thriving food and farm network through collaboration, education and inclusivity.  HDFFA is leading this project with the goal of improving farm and regional food system viability and educating consumers about local food options.

The High Desert Food Trail will drive locals and visitors to your business who want to taste and experience the flavors of Central Oregon. The program will highlight your business through print and online sources, as well as through additional promotional opportunities including events and paid social media promotions. The program also helps to build lasting connections and new partnerships between participating businesses across the region.

No, the food trail is its own program, run in partnership with Travel Oregon. Requirements for the High Desert Food Trail are different from requirements for partnership with HDFFA.  To apply for inclusion in the High Desert Food Trail, you must complete the application at hdffa.org/foodtrail and comply with the listed requirements.

The HDFFA Food & Farm Directory is a print and online directory connecting consumers to the local farmers, ranchers, and other food businesses that use or make foods locally. The directory’s goal is to connect consumers to Central Oregon grown, raised and crafted food products.  

The High Desert Food Trail is a self-guided trail developed in partnership with Travel Oregon to draw more attention to local culinary and agritourism opportunities, such as: u-picks, pumpkin patches, farmers markets, farm-to-table dinners, and restaurants prioritizing local ingredients. Not all HDFFA partners will qualify for the High Desert Food Trail as the requirements are more strict. Click here for examples of other food trails throughout Oregon.

HDFFA received a USDA Beginning Farmer Rancher grant that pays for printing the resource guide (2021-2024). In the first year (2021-22) Travel Oregon provides funds for development and business engagement workshops, design of the brochure, and templates.

Yes, the an annual cost to be included is:

  • HDFFA Partner: $25
  • Non-HDFFA Partner: $50

Currently, the cost is subsidized and will increase in 2025.  If you are not currently an HDFFA partner, but would like to sign up to receive the partner discount, please visit hdffa.org/join-our-network.

Yes, all businesses must comply with applicable licensing regulations and visitor readiness criteria, including necessary land use permits, building code standards, licenses with the State of Oregon, Oregon Department of Agriculture and County Health Department regulations, appropriate licenses from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, insurance covering all activities, and directional and liability signage.

For questions on licensing, code, and other regulatory requirements, please contact Erika Polmar at dine@plateandpitchfork.com.

Yes, your business must be open to the general public for a minimum of 3 months each calendar year. Some exceptions may be made depending on seasonal variability for your business.

All applications are due by Monday, August 2nd, 2021.

The High Desert Food Trail will be promoted through the websites of Travel Oregon, Visit Central Oregon, Visit Bend, the High Desert Food & Farm Alliance, and other tourism organizations in the region. Paid social media campaigns will also be used to attract visitors to the trail. The trail will be highlighted in the press and print copies will be available at visitor information centers and local hotels. Additional events and distribution avenues may be organized to promote the trail depending on funding availability.

The food trail is expected to launch in October 2021.

Photo by Amanda Photographic

Applications are now closed for the 2021-2022 trail. Please check back next year if you’d like to be on the High Desert Food Trail.

Cost
  • $25 fee for HDFFA Partners
  • $50 fee for non-HDFFA Partners

Note: Costs are partially subsidized by the Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program grant.

Please email Annie if you are interested in becoming an HDFFA partner and receiving the partner discount.

Four plates of food prepared at a restaurant
Photo by Amanda Photographic
Photo by Amanda Photographic

Contact Info:

Annie Nichols
annie@hdffa.org
541-390-3572

This program is supported by The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program [grant no. 2020-70017-32426] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Additional funding provided by

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