Small Farms Technical Reports

Technical Reports

Two people looking at cell phone and laptop together

Because they joined the grange

Online Resource

Summary

Originally a graduate research paper produced in 1981, the report contains brief histories, often oral, of the six grange halls of Benton County, Oregon collected over 30 years ago. Included are photographs and other resources such as original drawings. The report is a digital copy of the original paper and has been reproduced as a response to present day efforts by young farmers to revitalize grange halls. A preface puts the report in current context. It is published by the Oregon State University Small Farms Program.

By Garry Stephenson

Oregon’s Farm Direct Marketing Law: Producer-Processed Value-Added Products

Fact Sheet

Oregon’s Farm Direct Marketing Law allows farmers to turn what they grow into low-risk, value-added foods like jams and pickles, to sell direct to consumers, without being a licensed food processor. That sentence – like the law itself — has a lot of detail packed into it. This short guide unpacks those details for farmers & farmers’ market managers. (It’s handy for other people too.)
Use this flow chart to see if a product qualifies for Farm Direct. Then keep going for even more useful info.

Farm to Instituition

Fact Sheet

This fact-sheet explains the concept of having farmer producers sell direct to institutional buyers rather than selling through direct marketing channels or wholesale distributors.
Local harvest house hangs hog carcasses prepared for processing

From Convenience to Commitment: Securing the Long-Term Viability of Local Meat and Poultry Processing

Publication

Consumer demand for local food, including local meat and poultry, has risen in recent years. Meat and poultry processors are essential links in local meat supply chains. To sell meat, farmers need access to appropriately scaled processing facilities with the skills, inspection status, and other attributes to prepare these products safely, legally, and to customer specifications. Farmers and others suggest that limited processing infrastructure restricts the supply of local meat and poultry. At the same time, existing small processors often lack the steady, consistent business required for profitability. We analyze this multifaceted problem and identify fundamental causes, drawing on a cost analysis of local processing at three scales. We use case studies of seven successful local and regional processors to illustrate strategies and solutions that may be adopted by others. We conclude that business commitments between processors and farmers are critical to mutual success: farmers commit to providing consistent throughput of livestock to process, and processors commit to providing consistent, high-quality processing services. This commitment, supported by coordination and communication between processors and their customers as well as along the entire supply chain, is essential to the persistence and expansion of local meats. We also describe five collaborative efforts around the country involving public and private sector partners who aim to expand opportunities for local meat marketing by providing support and technical assistance to meat processors and their farmer customers.

By Lauren Gwin

A Best Practices Guide to Open Air Poultry Slaughter

Publication

We wrote this guidebook to help you with that. Some of our advice – like washing your hands – will sound like common sense. However, the consequences of carelessness can be high: contaminated poultry, sick consumers, personal/farm liability, penalties for environmental damage, and so forth. Other suggestions may be new to you. Take time to come up with a plan that you can and will carry out every day you process poultry.

By Lauren Gwin

Laptop and classroom

Breaking new ground: farmer perspectives on organic transition

Online Resource

This publication explains the positive affects of organic farming, while also presenting farmer perspectives about the transition as well.

By Lauren Gwin, Garry Stephenson

Laptop and classroom

Farm Direct and FSMA: Why Oregon ’s pioneering Farm Direct Law is (mostly) not affected by the federal Food Safety Modernization Act

Article

This article explains why Oregon's pioneering Farm Direct Law is not affected by the federal Food Safety Modernization Act.

By Lauren Gwin

Meat and Poultry Processing Regulations in Oregon: A Short Guide

Article

Farmers and ranchers around Oregon raise and sell livestock and poultry into a variety of local and regional markets. Processing is a necessary but often complex link in the chain connecting farms to end consumers. Here, we explain the basic laws and regulations – federal and state – that apply to meat and poultry processing.

By Lauren Gwin

Vegetables being sold at a local farmers market

Recognizing the Strengths and Limitations of Farmers Market Ownership Structure Alternatives

Article

Farmers markets are widely recognized for their important roles in developing local food systems, supporting small farms, increasing local economic activity, help address issues around food access and security, and providing community building opportunities. Markets typically were organized and operated by farmers themselves; over the last fifteen years, however, other groups have organized and operated most new markets. This report examines major gaps in our understanding of this important market channel by detailing how market ownership influences market operations and identifies strengths and weaknesses of different ownership alternatives.

By Larry Lev

Oregon’s Home Baking Bill: Residential kitchen exemption for baked goods and confectionary items

OSU Extension Catalog

In 2016, the Oregon Legislature passed a law that allows people to produce certain baked goods and confectionary items in their home kitchens and sell them directly to consumers without having to obtain a food establishment license or undergo an inspection from the Oregon Department of Agriculture....

By Lauren Gwin

Oregon's Home Baking Bill: Excepción de cocina residencial para productos de panadería y confitería

OSU Extension Catalog

En 2016, la legislatura de Oregón aprobó una ley que permite a la gente producir ciertos productos de panadería y confitería en sus cocinas domésticas y venderlos directamente a los consumidores sin tener que obtener una licencia de establecimiento de alimentos o someterse a una inspección del...

By Lauren Gwin

Practical Strategies to Assess and Improve Small Farm Profitability

OSU Extension Catalog

Farm profitability, an issue for all farmers, is a particular challenge for small-scale, diversified farms selling primarily into local-direct and specialty-wholesale markets. This publication explores how these farmers can benefit from practical tools to gather the financial data they need to make...

By Lauren Gwin

Enhancing Organic Agriculture in Oregon: Research, Education, and Policy

OSU Extension Catalog

This report combines different perspectives--farmers, researchers, and food system stakeholders across statewide and sub-regional scales--to shed light on what is needed to enhance organic agriculture in Oregon. Some recommendations are very specific, and others are classic challenges that need...

By Amy Garrett, Lauren Gwin, Maud Powell, Garry Stephenson

Keeping It Legal: Regulations and Licenses for Growing and Selling Food in Oregon

Article

This article provides an overview of the common regulations and licenses that apply to farm businesses, focusing on Oregon. It also points you to resources where you can get more details and decide what steps you need to take.

By Lauren Gwin