Food systems

1000 Friends of Oregon has been working since 1975 to protect farmland so it remains available for farming, and to facilitate the creation of cities, towns and neighborhoods that provide residents with access to the things necessary for a quality life – including healthy food.

Through our Food Systems Program, we partner with allies across the state to support the development of sustainable food systems. A “food system” is everything that it takes to get food to the person who eats it, including growing; harvesting, cleaning and processing; warehousing and transporting; getting it into stores or restaurants; preparing it for consumption, and dealing with the waste stream each of these activities produces.

We created the Food Systems Program in 2015 as a way to highlight these relationships and integrate them more fully into our work. This program refines and builds on the results of the Too Many Homes on the Range project we completed in 2004 and the work detailed in the reports below. 

Food Systems Reports
New Face of Farming

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.

Great and Growing

This report is the result of several months of research by 1000 Friends of Oregon’s 2013 Paul Gerhardt, Jr. Intern, Arturo Romo. It is an exploration into the statewide economic benefits of Oregon’s agricultural industry, or “agri-cluster.”

Envision Oregon

During 2006, more than 1,100 Oregonians from all around the state gathered to begin to develop answers to these questions – to “Envision Oregon.” This report summarizes what they have accomplished so far, and what comes next.

The work of the Food Systems Program is based on the inclusion of community members and is conducted largely through collaboration with other organizations.

The Rogue Valley Food Systems Network (RVFSN) serves as an excellent example of what food systems work looks like at 1000 Friends. The Network continues to grow and currently includes dozens of partners , including farmers, food banks, restaurants, businesses, universities, both Jackson and Josephine counties, several cities, faith communities, public health agencies, combined care organizations (CCOs) and numerous nonprofits that do everything from economic development to farmer training to education on land use advocacy.

The RVFSN is itself a member of the Oregon Community Food Systems Network, which is made up of nearly 60 organizations (many of which are themselves Networks with multiple partners) that brings together groups that are working to improve food systems in every corner of the state. 1000 Friends is proud to be a co-founder and participant in both of these networks.

Do you have ideas about how 1000 Friends of Oregon can work your community to foster sustainable food systems? Do you want more information and to know what you can do in your community? Contact our Working Lands Director, Greg Holmes.

Join our Forestry and Agriculture Advisory Committee

If you are an active farmer, forester, or rancher, your voice is needed to help inform our work and Oregon’s land use policy.