During Oregon’s biennial legislative session, a wide range of constituents reserve days and space at the capitol to promote issues and gain awareness. The organic farming and food sector had its day in February with Organic Grows a Better Oregon intended to make legislators aware of the important contribution organic agriculture makes to farm families, communities, and Oregon’s economy.
Led by Organic Valley which recently invested $21 million in a creamery near McMinnville, organizers highlighted some organic sector impacts:
- $350 million in organic farm gate sales
- Ranked 9th in the nation with 864 organic businesses
- Top organic crops: milk, alfalfa, potatoes, cattle and berries
- 91% of households in the state purchase organic
- More than $13 million in federally funded organic research
- Approximately 176,000 certified organic acres
The day included lunch consisting of a variety of organic products served to about 200 people, presentations by farmers, and a visit and comments by Oregon Governor, Kate Brown.
In tandem with the promotional lunch, some organizers independently met with lawmakers for informational sessions and to promote two policy options to support organic agriculture in Oregon:
- Formalize a state Oregon Organic Advisory Council.
- Expand investments that leverage greater organic agriculture research, outreach, and education in Oregon.
Event sponsors included: Organic Valley, Oregon Tilth, Friends of Family Farmers, OSU College of Agricultural Science, OSU Extension Service, Organically Grown Company, Oregon Organic Coalition, Hummingbird Wholesale, Mountain Rose Herbs, Organic Trade Association, and OMRI.