A Glimpse of What We Do and Do Well

Author: Garry Stephenson, Small Farms Program Coordinator, Oregon State University

Publish Date: Fall 12

During September, faculty with the OSU Small Farms Program attended the 6th National Small Farms Conference. The conference occurs every three years and attracts peoplefrom throughout the U.S. who work with small scale farming from the extension service, USDA agencies and non-profit organizations. The OSU crew gave seven presentations on our education and research programs. This issue of Oregon Small Farm News includes a summary of what we presented to our peers—a glimpse of what we do and do well.

Included in this issue are summaries of:

  • Our flag ship beginning farmer workshop series, Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management. Evaluation data show that graduates are better prepared to plan and operate their farm business.
  • The hands-on farming training—Growing Agripreneurs—we have been piloting to create teaching farms at OSU farms to develop crop production skills for new farmers.
  • Our work in Local Meat Sales that provides information about processing, distribution, marketing, economics and regulatory requirements.
  • The impacts of Oregon’s Women Farmer Networks including the development of collaborative relationships between members in marketing, production, equipment-sharing, and distribution.
  • Results of a research, education and policy needs assessment to enhance organic farming in Oregon. Unlike traditional agriculture research assessments, the report captures the points of view of farmers and a variety of organic community stakeholders.
  • The next generation of beginning farmer training: Growing Farms Online which converts content from the Growing Farms workshop series for use as an online course.
  • Nitrogen Management in Organic Vegetables taking into account nitrogen released from cover crops and soil organic matter.

These programs demonstrate clearly that the OSU Small Farms Program is among the top programs in the U.S.