Small Farms program provides support for farmers during Pandemic

cover 19 support

Agriculture is essential work, and now more than ever our communities will benefit from – and need – our local food system. The OSU Extension Small Farms Program is working to provide relevant information and resources to farmers and ranchers related to COVID-19 to keep our communities safe, healthy, and supplied with local farm products.

Farmers Markets in the area are adding online sales and drive thru market options, farms are offering home delivery, and switching to new marketing models. Farmers are charging ahead with adaptations, creativity, and innovations, inherent in the way they already work.

Farms that supply restaurants and educational institutions are switching to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. Some farmers are providing boxes of farm products to customers as weekly offerings, others are working with neighboring farms to aggregate their products for one delivery option, and some are offering full season CSA shares.

With these sudden changes to marketing channels, the OSU Metro Small Farms Extension Program and Portland Area CSA Coalition have collaborated on a new website to support CSA farmers and ranchers. The site has an interactive Flow Chart with resources for best practices for incorporating CSA in your farm business.

The statewide OSU Extension Small Farms Program is working with community partners to provide current information that is relevant for small farms and local food systems during the pandemic. The resource page: Small Farms, Local Food, and COVID-19: What do you need to know – is available in English and Spanish.

The site has information on hygiene and food safety practices, communication with employees and customers, business changes, and financial assistance for farms and small businesses. It is updated with new information and guidance as it becomes available.

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