Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Contact: Greg Holmes, Food Systems Director

1000 Friends of Oregon Establishes Food Systems Program

[Portland, OR] – 1000 Friends of Oregon announced today that the organization has established a Food Systems Program.

A food system can best be described as the sum of all the activities and resources necessary to get food to the person who eats it – from growing it, to trucking it, to cooking and eating it. Oregon’s food system is made up of numerous community and regional food systems, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. One thing they all have in common, though, is that they rely on the right types of land in the right places, and a transportation system that gets food and people together in the same place.

1000 Friends of Oregon has been working with Oregonians since 1975 to protect farmland so that it remains available for farming, and to facilitate the creation of cities, towns and neighborhoods that provide residents with access to the things they need for a quality life—including healthy, nutritious food. The Food Systems Program will tie this work together in new ways through collaboration with community-based organizations throughout Oregon.

 “This is a natural evolution of work we have been doing for years,” said executive director Jason Minor. “It builds on the New Face of Farming project we initiated in 2011 and the Great and Growing study we conducted in 2013. It is a formal recognition of the collaborative work we have been doing in communities across the state, explaining and connecting our mission to the lives of Oregonians everywhere.”

The organization’s longtime Southern Oregon Advocate, Greg Holmes, will serve as the Director of the new program. Holmes has been working with local farmers and residents to support the protection of farmland since joining 1000 Friends in 2002. He recently served as Vice-Chair of the Jackson County Agricultural Task Force, which resulted in ongoing policy changes at the County to help farmers be more economically successful.

In 2012 Holmes was asked to sit on the Steering Committee for the Jackson County Community Food Assessment, and was subsequently elected Chair of the Rogue Valley Food System Network, serving both Jackson and Josephine counties. In that role he is working with community leaders around the state who want to launch similar programs where they live. He also represents 1000 Friends in a coalition of nearly three dozen organizations working to create a statewide food systems network.

“I am very excited about expanding 1000 Friends’ role in food systems work,” Holmes said. “I get to work with incredibly creative and passionate people to strengthen Oregon’s agricultural economy and provide Oregonians improved access to healthy, nutritious food.”

Holmes will manage this statewide program out of 1000 Friends of Oregon’s Grants Pass office.

For more information call 541.474.1155 or email