Central Oregon Local Food System

Central Oregon is one of the fastest growing regions in the US. This population increase coupled with shifting socioeconomic demographics has produced a higher demand on regional communities for fresh and locally produced agricultural goods and services.

COIC works with a collaborative network of partner organizations to contribute to a sustainable local food system. Integrating local food production, processing, distribution, and consumption, COIC focuses on supporting locally produced goods.

Our goals in the Local Food System are to:

  • Improve the local food system economy
  • Improve community resiliency
  • Preserve the region’s quality of life as a desirable place to live and work

Our role in the community is to:

  • Convene, facilitate, coordinate and collaborate with partners
  • Identify gaps or needs and prioritize actions
  • Develop funding and leverage local, state and federal resources
  • Provide technical support and assistance to producers, processors, wholesale and retail distributors
  • Provide research, data collection, and strategic planning

Current Projects

Central Oregon Regional Food Hub

For more information on our local food systems program, please contact: Janel Ruehl, CED Program Administrator, by Email


Economic Impact of Local Food on the Central Oregon Economy

Local food connects communities with their farmers and ranchers and adds value to the economy, but the scale of this value has proven difficult to measure.

In 2016, COIC partnered with Oregon State University to pioneer an economic impact study based on the USDA Economic Impact of Food Systems Toolkit. Through surveys and interviews with 28 local farmers and ranchers, we were able to detail earnings and expenditures, then analyze this data to highlight the local economic contributions of these food producers. In 2017 we published our results, which demonstrated that these producers created a total of 28 full and part-time jobs and generated $1.5 million in sales, with $248,000 in wages and salaries on their farm operations.

The study also used this data to estimate the potential growth in this economy by modeling three scenarios: 1) increasing current production; 2) establishing a regional food hub; and 3) shifting grocery store purchases of vegetables to locally grown products.

Overall, the report demonstrates that local food producers have an important role in our economy, and that with minor shifts in overall production they could add additional jobs and revenue throughout the region. Check out the full study, read an overview, or share our PowerPoint presentation:

General resources for businesses and employees: Central Oregon SOS - Support for Employees and Employers

SBA programs:


OSU Innovation Lab

Oregon State University Cascades Innovation Co-Lab

Opportunity Knocks- A fantastic 

Opportunity Knocks



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