High Desert Food Trail

Join the High Desert Food Trail

This project was launched in October 2021 and has run for one full successful year. The High Desert Food Trail 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. You can learn more on the High Desert Food Trail webpage here.

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:

  • 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
  • Fall under one of the business categories listed on the application.

“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, previous 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.

We are actively seeking continued funding through grants and sponsorships. Please reach out to HDFFA’s Outreach and Development Manager, Kadie Vita, at kadie@hdffa.org for more information on becoming a sponsor.

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 new applications are due by December 23rd, 2022.

The High Desert Food Trail is 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. We have plans to implement [aid social media campaigns, press releases, and print advertising. Through continued partnerships with local businesses, we hope to create unique opportunities for guided tours, events, and promotions. Depending on funding, we hope to expand distribution of brochures and have presence at other local events.

Your business can fall under any of these categories:

  • On-Farm, Vineyard and Agricultural Operations
  • Meat, Fish and Produce Retail
  • Restaurants, Bakeries, and Cafes
  • Lodging
  • Craft Beverage Tasting Rooms
  • Food Processors
  • Farmers and Artisan Markets
  • Retail
  • Experiences, Tours, and Cooking Schools

Find specific information for each category’s criteria for sourcing locally in the application.

Photo by Amanda Photographic
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 Andrea 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:

Andrea Smith
andrea@hdffa.org
541-390-3572

Promotional efforts in 2022 included:

  • Influencer tours and featured posts with local bloggers
  • 9 weeks of sponsored ads on Oregon Public Broadcasting, reaching approximately 330,000 listeners across the state. Businesses were given the opportunity to be featured in these 10-second ads.
  • Promotional itinerary videos -one complete. Watch the Resilient Agriculture Video soon.
  • Partnership with Bend Electric Bikes to create routes in Bend, Sisters, and Redmond. Find them on the BEB website here.
  • Full-page ad in The Source 50th Anniversary Edition
  • Brochure distribution throughout the state and Central Oregon -25k in visitor centers, businesses, and travel organizations
  • Workshops and collaborative promotion with Travel Oregon and HDFFA

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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