Enhancing the Wholesale Marketplace and Access to Specialty Crops
Funded by USDA Local Food Promotion Program Grant and ODA Specialty Crop Block Grant
The purpose of these projects was to enhance the wholesale marketplace to improve access to and production of locally produced agriculture products. Activities included:
- Conducted an economic impact analysis and producer need assessment with OSU and the High Desert Food & Farm Alliance to understand the farming landscape
- Provided direct technical assistance to farmers including grants to improve and workshops about food safety
- Improved institutional buying and infrastructure investment
- Provided support for Crook and Jefferson County on-farm events
- Developed a local food challenge
Farm to School
Funded by USDA Farm to School
COIC worked with Sisters, Redmond and Crook County school districts (20 schools total) and the tribal community of Warm Springs to improve institutional procurement and support existing farm-to-school and farm-to-garden projects.
This effort included hiring a FoodCorps service member to teach classroom and garden curriculum within the Sisters school district, support in-class and after school activities with OSU Extension at the Warm Springs Academy and develop a Food Fair for Redmond school district. This project impacted on over 12,600 students, their parents and the agricultural community. Now, the farm to school program is managed by the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance.
Growing the Market for Specialty Crop and Value-Added Producers
Funded by Oregon Department of Agriculture
COIC worked in collaboration with Wy’East RC&D, OSU Extension Service and Jefferson County Soil & Water Conservation District to provide farm management workshops focused on marketing, production, fiscal and business operations, and a Food Summit II (fall 2014).
This project expanded the Food & Farm Directory and regional marketing campaign, and provided marketing materials to farmers, as well as technical assistance training and networking opportunities with food businesses.
Development of the Local Food Value Chain
Funded by Rural Development Initiatives
COIC and the High Desert Food & Farm Alliance assessed the local food value chain and explored opportunities to build out and fill infrastructure gaps within the chain. This also included a supply and demand study to understand the flow of wholesale food within the region.
Cultivating Local Food Projects in Central Oregon
Funded by Meyer Memorial Trust
COIC provided community gardens and season extender grants, improved food skills education opportunities at community gardens; increased transportation and distribution options for local food, developed a Farm Share program where disadvantaged families had access to local food through a discounted CSA, and established a regional marketing campaign, Buy Fresh Buy Local.
An outcome of the project was a partnership with the High Desert Food & Farm Alliance and the creation of the Central Oregon Food & Farm Directory as a community resource for individuals and businesses to buy and sell locally grown and made food products in Central Oregon.
Central Oregon Food Hub and Development Project
Funded by USDA Rural Development and Farmers Market Promotion Program
COIC developed an outline for the Central Oregon Food Hub project in conjunction with regional partners including a public/private partnership model to increase direct markets and access for Central Oregon farmers and residents, particularly low-income. Download the full Central Oregon Food Hub Feasibility Study.
Farmers Market Accepting Oregon Trail and Debit Cards
Funded by USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program
COIC helped to promote and create sustainable farmers markets in the Central Oregon by increasing consumer and farmer participation in farmers markets; expanding access to markets by providing machines that process SNAP benefits; and an overall marketing campaign.