Author: Garry Stephenson, Oregon State University Small Farms Program
Publish Date: Winter 2017
The first issue includes some history:
- One of our most popular articles appeared, “Top Ten Things I Learned from Buying a Farm” by Melissa Matthewson.
- The now famous “Organic Fertilizer Calculator” was introduced by Nick Andrews.
- Advertising for the 2007 Small Farms Conference included Marion Nestle as the keynote speaker.
- And, a small advertisement on page 10 introduced a six week course in southern Oregon titled “Farming with Confidence. This was the pilot project for what would become “Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management” our flagship beginning farmer course. See page 13 for the current Growing Farms Hybrid Course.
Page 1 of that issue included an article—“The First Issue”—that described the dream for the newsletter and introduced the Small Farms Program faculty. We refer to that time as “the Big Bang” because, although the program started in 1996 with its first position, it wasn’t until 2005/6 that the program expanded to four faculty positions and began to look like it does now.
Since that time, the program has expanded to over 12 faculty. In 2013, we created the Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems to institutionalize our work at OSU. The Center works to support:
- Small Farms Program
- Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN)
- Oregon Community Food Systems Network
- Organic Extension Program (our newest initiative)
Our focus remains: innovative, financially viable small farmers; organic/sustainable farming systems; healthy, community food systems generating environmental stewardship, human health, equity, and community economic development.