Center Participates in CFS Convening

Author: Dr. Lauren Gwin

Publish Date: Spring 2014

On the Thursday and Friday before this year’s Small Farms Conference, the Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems was pleased to participate in a convening of more than fifteen regional and statewide nonprofit organizations working to build stronger community, local, and regional food systems across Oregon. The group gathered in Corvallis with support from the Meyer Memorial Trust, which has funded these nonprofits’ community food systems work since 2011.

The convening was an opportunity to share accomplishments and project updates; we also learned about efforts in Iowa and South Carolina to link organizations more deliberately to enhance collective impact in regional food systems work. Immediately following the Convening, we (the Center) hosted a strategy session on a topic on the minds of our Small Farms Program and many of these nonprofit groups: wholesale market development and wholesale readiness for Oregon’s small farms.  The rich discussion, which we plan to continue, will help shape our research and extension priorities at the Center.  

The Extension Small Farms Program has partnered with many of these organizations over the years. Continuing and expanding these partnerships – both one-on-one and in larger collaborations – is an important part of our agenda for our new Center. 

One small but important way to do this is by spreading the word about innovative approaches to strengthening community, local, and regional food systems. In this issue of OSFN, we kick this off with the first in an occasional series of articles from our nonprofit allies. Gorge Grown Food Network and the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) tell us how they are helping rural food entrepreneurs launch their businesses.

Participating Nonprofits:

  • Thrive
  • Cascade Pacific RC&D
  • Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council
  • Ecotrust
  • El Huerto del Familia
  • Food Roots
  • North Coast Food Web
  • Friends of Zenger Farm
  • Gorge Grown Food Network
  • Oregon Rural Action
  • Northeast Oregon Economic Development District
  • Nourish Yamhill Valley
  • Ten Rivers Food Web
  • Willamette Farm and Food Coalition
  • Oregon Food Bank
  • Rogue Farm Corps
  • Headwaters Incubator Farm
  • Friends of Family Farmers