HDFFA has worked with Central Oregon producers for over 10 years. Dig into some of our resources below.
Resources for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers (BFR)
HDFFA works closely with beginning farmers and ranchers throughout Central Oregon to support them through technical assistance, accessing sales and marketing channels, and connecting them with experienced producers. Much of HDFFA’s agricultural support programming is supported through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Expand the menu below to see additional resources for farmers and ranchers new to the profession.
- Keep an eye out for HDFFA’s new mentorship program coming soon!
- Oregon State University Small Farms Program: An extension service offered by Oregon State University to deliver current and relevant information for small farms and local ecosystems.
- Central Oregon Small Farms: An arm of the OSU Small Farms Program, it “provides research-based educational programming and resources to help commercial and non-commercial small farm entrepreneurs and small acreage landowners achieve their goals.”
- Growing Vegetables in Central Oregon: A guide to growing vegetables in Central Oregon with information on climate, site selection, soils, cover crops, composting, planning and design, irrigation, fertilization, weed and pest management, seed selection, season extension, and vegetables commonly grown in the region.
- What Can I Do with My Small Farm?: A guide that “covers the many factors involved in making decisions related to the use of small-farm property.”
- Whole Farm Management: From Start-up to Sustainability: “A comprehensive guide developed by the Small Farms Program at Oregon State University to help aspiring and beginner farmers make smart business decisions to ensure lasting success.”
- Oregon Community Food Systems Network Beginning Farmers and Ranchers: A working group to “coordinate existing services for Oregon’s beginning farmers and ranchers at all stages of development.”
- Oregon Beginning Farmer and Rancher Resource Guide: A guide to show resource providers of BFR support in Oregon for farmer training, business training, financing, land access, and bilingual services.
- Oregon Beginning Farmer and Rancher Service Providers: A map of organizations sorted by services and resources in Oregon for BFRs.
- Rogue Farm Corps: A non-profit that “trains and equips the next generation of farmers and ranchers through hands-on educational programs and the preservation of farmland.”
- Oregon Department of Agriculture New and Small Farms: A website with additional state and national resources for small and new farms.
- USDA New Farmers: A site from the USDA with steps to starting a farm and specific resources for women, youth, and veterans.
- BeginningFarmers.org: A site for resources and services for BFRs.
Resources for Black, Indigenous, and Farmers and Ranchers of Color
At HDFFA, we understand that our agricultural system is built and maintained on a foundation of oppression and systemic racism of Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) and immigrants. Federal policies have limited access to land and capital for farmers and ranchers while creating inequitable food access for people. While we support farmers and ranchers from all communities and races, we also want to help connect BIPOC+ farmers and ranchers to minority-led organizations. See both statewide and national resources below.
- Warm Springs Community Action Team: “A non-profit community development organization located on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation empowering individuals and groups of people to realize their potential, become self-reliant, and affect positive change for themselves, their families, and their community.”
- Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance: A non-profit organization that “supports Native communities nationally with advocacy education, and networking as they revitalize their indigenous food systems.”
- Securing our Sustenance: Native Communities and Their Fight for Food Amongst the Pandemic: “An overview of food and nutrition programs, current flexibilities, and grant opportunities that can address food security.”
- Oregon Farm Link Navigate Program: “A one-on-one support and coaching for farmers of color seeking land in Oregon.”
- Black Food Fund: An organization “to fuel Black-led food systems transformation across the Pacific Northwest.”
- Black Oregon Land Trust: “A non-profit creating opportunities for Black farmers in Oregon to collectively own land, build generational health and wealth, and birth sovereign, thriving communities.
- National Black Food and Justice Alliance: “A coalition of Black-led organizations aimed at developing Black leadership, supporting Black communities, organizing for Black self-determination, and building institutions for Black food sovereignty & liberation.”
- Black Food Sovereignty Coalition: “A member-based organization working in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and POC (BIPOC) growers, policy makers, advocates, and educators to stabilize food systems infrastructure for marginalized communities in the Pacific Northwest.
- Adelante Mujeres: “Offers Latina women and their families holistic programs and the tools to achieve self-determination in the areas of education, leadership training, and enterprise.”
- Causa Oregon’s Immigration Rights Organization: A non-profit working to “improve the lives of Latino immigrants and their families in Oregon through advocacy, coalition building, leadership development, and civic engagement.”
Funding and Grant Opportunities
There are a number of funding and grant opportunities available to local farmers and ranchers through public and private entities. Depending on your operation, you may qualify for cash you don’t even know about! Check out grant and loan programs for farmers and ranchers below.
- Grants and Loans Offered by the USDA: A site from the USDA that outlines loans and grants available to agricultural producers
- Overview of USDA AMS Grants: A guide to help you determine which grant is right for you
- Farmers Market Promotion Program: “Funds projects that develop, coordinate and expand direct producer-to-consumer markets to help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products.”
- Specialty Crop Block Grant: “Enhances the competitiveness of specialty crops defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).”
- Value Added Producer Grant: “Helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products.”
- Organic Certification Cost-Share Program: “Provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification.”
- NRCS Organic Initiative: “Provides financial assistance to implement conservation practices for organic producers.”
- NRCS High Tunnel System Initiative: A program to cost-share high tunnels to extend producer’s growing season.
- Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Loans:
- Farm Ownership Loan: “Provides access to land and capital.”
- Farm Operating Loans: “Assistance for operating or family living expenses, accessing new market opportunities, assist with diversifying operations, and more.”
- Microloan Program: “Source of financial assistance during a farm’s start-up years.”
- Emergency Farm Loans: “Helps farmers and ranchers rebuild and recover from sustained losses when a natural disaster is declared.”
- Black Food Fund: “Grants for Black farmers in Oregon and Washington.”
- National Young Farmers Grant: “A grant for young and beginning farmers and ranchers to start up and grow their businesses.”
- Aggie Bond Program: A program to provide affordable financing to new farmers for financing capital purchases.
- FarmAid Family Farm Disaster Fund: “Provides emergency funds to farm families for family household and medical expenses.”
- Whole Foods Local Producer Loan Program: A lending program from Whole Foods Markets for small, local, independent producers to help them expand their business.
- Northwest Farm Credit Services: “Supports agriculture and rural communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services.”
- AgVision: A lending program for young, beginning, and small producers.
- Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches, and Communities: “A guide to federal programs for sustainable agriculture, forestry, entrepreneurship, conservation, food systems, and community development
We know farmers and ranchers spend a ton of time IN their business, but are you spending enough time ON your business? Use these resources to build a sustainable operation through outlining your mission, understanding your cost of production, planning for the unexpected and more.
- SARE Building a Sustainable Business: “A guide to developing a business plan for farms and rural businesses.”
- Clackamas Small Business Development Center: A site with a variety of resources and classes to help small business owners with some courses specializing in farm management.
- Northwest Farm Credit Service Business Tools: A number of resources available including strategic business planning, risk management planning, preparing agricultural financial statements, land buying checklist, and more.
- Using Cost Information for Business Management and Business Decision Making: A presentation from Oregon Tilth on “ways that cost of production information can be used to manage your business and make better business decisions.”
We already know you are doing incredible things on your local farm/ranch, but make sure you tell everyone else! Use these resources to build your brand and engage your customers for maximum exposure of your products.
- HDFFA Marketing Resources and Logos: A Dropbox folder with HDFFA and Get a Taste of This Place resources including logos, campaign use guides, a seasonality poster, and the 2021 Welcome Kit and partner sticker.
- Get a Taste of this Place: A campaign developed by the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance to highlight Central Oregon grown foods.
- Marketing Resources from Pickle Jar Studios and Shannon Lee Strategy: A Dropbox full of useful resources and worksheets to develop your marketing and social media strategy.
- Social Media and Marketing Strategies for Farmers and Ranchers: A three-part series developed by Pickle Jar Studios and Shannon Lee Strategies. Reach out to Annie Nichols for recordings.
- Producer Profiles: Many HDFFA farm and ranch partners have producer profiles made for them to promote their products and tell their stories.
- Interested in having a producer profile made for you? Email Annie Nichols, Farm and Ranch Support Manager
- Farm Direct Marketing, Agricultural Products: A document from the Oregon Department of Agriculture on how to market agricultural products such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, nuts, eggs, honey, and grains.
- Farm Direct Marketing, Producer-Processed Products: A document from the Oregon Department of Agriculture on how to market producer-processed products such as jams, jellies, pickles, and fermented fruits and vegetables.
- USDA Agricultural Marketing Service: A site from the USDA with tools and services for producers to help create marketing opportunities.
Selling direct to the consumer and cutting out the middleman is a good option for most small scale farmers. Use the resources below to determine which models of direct-to-consumer sales, such as a CSA model, farm stand, or weekly farmers markets, work best for you.
- List of Central Oregon Farmers Markets: A list of farmers markets serving the Central Oregon region with operation dates and locations.
- Oregon Farmers Market Association: A non-profit organization “supporting local agriculture and healthy communities by strengthening and promoting Oregon’s farmers markets.”
- Increasing Food Access through CSA: A blog post by Megan French from Boundless Farmstead explaining how to apply to accept SNAP/EBT.
- The CSA Farmer’s Nationwide Guide to Accepting SNAP/EBT Payments: A guide put together by Zenger Farms to help navigate the process of accepting SNAP/EBT for CSA purchases.
- CSA Ideas Lab: “A regular discussion series focused exclusively on topics of interest to CSA farmers and farmer support providers.”
- Farmer’s Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms: A guide to all of the available sales platforms for direct channels.
Wholesaling may be a good option if you want to streamline your sales channels as long as you have consistent quality and quantity to satisfy your wholesale accounts. Use the resources below to determine if wholesaling makes sense for your operation.
- Selling to Restaurants 101: This HDFFA guide includes information for farmers and ranchers on how to sell wholesale directly to restaurants and food businesses with topics on quality, consistency, ordering, and marketing.
- Choosing your Marketing Channels: A guide from HDFFA to help you determine the best marketing channels for your farm or ranch.
- Chef Farmer Email List: This is an email group hosted by OSU to allow farmers and chefs in Central Oregon to ask each other questions and find new local products.
- Post Harvest Handling Wholesale Guide: HDFFA created this guide for Central Oregon producers in collaboration with Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and Agricultural Connections. The revised guide is edited from the original version published by FamilyFarmed.
- Chef Farmer Mixer: HDFFA hosts an annual Chef Farmer Mixer for farmer/rancher and food business partners to build relationships, troubleshoot barriers, and celebrate successes.
- Agricultural Connections: The only food hub located in Central Oregon that bridges the gap between local farmers and restaurants.
- Central Oregon Locavore: A non-profit that supports local food and farms through educational programs and a year round indoor farmers market.
Do you love engaging with your customers and educating the community on local food? Agritourism might be right for you! Use these resources to research, plan, and develop an agritourism experience at your farm or ranch.
Conservation of our soil, water, and atmosphere are critical for the health and viability of farms and ranches in Central Oregon. Use the resources below to learn how you can become more sustainable in your agricultural production.
- Natural Resources Conservation Services (Oregon): An arm of the USDA that works with private landowners to conserve soil, water, and other natural resources.
- Oregon Climate and Agriculture Network: A “collaborative with farmers to build a regenerative agricultural economy in Oregon that is rooted in community and thrives through disruptions.”
- Oregon Tilth: A non-profit that supports and advocates for organic food and farming, as well as certifies for organic certification.
- Deschutes Basin Water Collaborative: A collaborative organized by the “Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council” of stakeholders working on critical water allocation and management issues in the Deschutes Basin.”
- EcoFarm: “A non-profit organization facilitating an exchange of knowledge among a diversity of stakeholders and grassroots leadership through its connective educational events.”
- A Greener World: A “non-profit dedicated to empowering sustainable solutions in agriculture” by promoting and supporting “real-life farming models to the public and offering practical guidance on achieving truly sustainable livestock farming systems to farmers and ranchers.”
- ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture Program: A program from the National Center for Appropriate Technology that “provides high-value information and technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, Extension agents, educators, and others involved in sustainable agriculture in the United States.”
Land access can be difficult for new farmers and those moving to the area. Use the resources below to learn about options for finding and leasing/purchasing land in Central Oregon.
- Oregon Farm Link: A website for land seekers and holders to find each other and access agricultural land.
- Farm Lease Builder: A free tool from the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems to draft your own farmland lease.
- Oregon Agricultural Trust: “An agricultural land trust that works collaboratively around the state to safeguard Oregon’s farm and ranch lands and the rural communities that depend upon them.”
Public policy on the local, state, and federal level can have impacts on farmers and ranchers in a variety of ways. Use the resources below to empower yourself to advocate for public policy that supports your business’ mission.
- New HDFFA policy page for Central Oregon farmers and ranchers coming soon!
- Friends of Family Farmers: A non-profit organization working to amplify the voices of Oregon’s independent family farmers, food advocates, and concerned citizens who are working to foster the type of agriculture that respects the land, treats animals humanely, sustains local communities, and provides a viable livelihood for family farmers.
- National Farmers Union: A non-profit organization working to “advocate for family farmers, ranchers, fishers, and their communities through education, cooperation, and legislation.”
- National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition: “An alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.”
Resources for Veterans
Agriculture is a good option for veterans interested in a career that allows them to work with their hands and give back to the community. Check out the resources below for veteran farmers and ranchers.
Read the following reports written by HDFFA and its partners to learn more about how local food connects communities with their farmers and ranchers and what we are doing in Central Oregon to promote the local food system.
- Economic Impact of Local Food Producers in Central Oregon: An analysis from HDFFA, Central Oregon intergovernmental Council, OSU Extension and the Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems to measure the value of local food on our region
- Central Oregon Community Food Assessment: A report developed by HDFFA highlighting the need to build fertile soil, preserve farmland, and address hunger, food insecurity and health disparities in Central Oregon