Central Oregon Crop Producers and Processors Get a Boost from ODA Grant

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The $43,000 grant will increase the development of direct market sales for farmers through educational workshops and improve the existing Buy Fresh Buy Local regional marketing campaign.

Central Oregon specialty crop producers and food processors will benefit from a recent grant provided by Oregon Department of Agriculture to Wy’East Resource Conservation & Development and their partners: Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, Oregon State University Extension Service, Crook County Open Campus and Jefferson Soil & Water Conservation.

“Specialty crops are the foundation of our rural economies,” says Katie Pearmine, ODA’s specialty crop grant program coordinator. “As the farmer, processor and retailer thrive in the same region of the state, it creates more opportunity for local jobs, connects those who grow the food with those who buy it, and makes agriculture a viable career option for future generations.”

The $43,000 grant will increase the development of direct market sales for farmers through educational workshops and improve the existing Buy Fresh Buy Local regional marketing campaign. It will also support the established “Recipe to Market” program offered by Crook County Open Campus. The grant will cover tuition stipends and fees at the OSU Food Innovation Center, and will assist producers to become certified in the Good Agricultural/Handling Practices Program – valuable food safety skills.

At the end of the two year grant, a second Food Summit will focus on food security and farm viability.

“We are very grateful for this grant,” said Robert Wallace, Wy’East RC&D Executive Director. “These funds will help Wy’East and our partners continue this important work.” Wy’East Resource & Development is a locally led rural development organization serving Central and North Central Oregon.

Founded in 1994, Wy’East helps rural communities become sustainable by enhancing and building social, economic, and natural resources.

For more information, contact the Wy’East RC&D at 541-923‐4358 ext. 104 or www.wyeast‐rcd.org.

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