The New Face of Farming

Shaping policies that support today's agricultural practices

Oregon's land use planning program has protected countless acres of farmland from sprawl since its inception. The program has also been amended many times since its founding legislation passed in 1973. Similarly, the practice of farming and ranching continues to change. In 2011, 1000 Friends of Oregon undertook the New Face of Farming initiative to ensure that Oregon's land use laws continue to support Oregon's agricultural industry. Our goal was to talk with agricultural professionals about how these changes are working together for their success. We held listening sessions in seven communities around Oregon, speaking with over 150 agricultural professionals about how they are making a living today.

Although we heard many opinions on a variety of topics, one thing was eminently clear: by and large, Oregon farmers and ranchers do not see the land use system itself as an impediment to their success. But their direct experience with the land and planning does indicate some areas of potential improvement or modification. 1000 Friends will consider these points as we shape our priorities for the 2013 Legislature and in local communities around the state.

Below, enjoy our video summarizing the purpose and findings of this phase of the New Face of Farming initiative. If you can't see the video embedded below, watch on our Vimeo page here.

What We Heard: Listening Session Report

We are pleased to release our initial report of findings from the seven listening sessions held in 2011. Click here or on the report cover to the right to read it.

To download the Appendix, with detailed summaries of each listening session's conversations, click here.

Thank you so much to the farmers and ranchers who participated in our listening sessions! This conversation goes on. We will be presenting these findings around the state with other agricultural producers, elected officials, and fellow advocacy groups. We hope you'll do the same.

In Their Own Words: Stories of Farmers

Volunteer videographer Peter Ovington visited several of the participating farmers from our New Face of Farming series, to hear their personal stories and detailed ideas about Oregon agriculture today. We are proud to share these stories below. We'll continue posting stories over the next couple of weeks.

Throughout the state, hardworking farmers and ranchers like these form the foundation of our economy. They come from many places and grow many crops, but they share a strong commitment to the health and productivity of Oregon soils and landscapes, to drive our economy and put food on our plates.

Ramsey McPhillips, farmer, McMinnville.

Jennifer Euwer, orchardist, Parkdale.

Mike Iverson, farmer, Aurora.

If you have questions about the New Face of Farming initiative, please contact Craig Beebe at craig@friends.org.