local food

Recorded on: November 20, 2015

Air Date: November 23, 2015

Eugene’s City Council will soon consider a proposal to expand the urban growth boundary near Clear Lake Road in West Eugene. The proposed zoning changes are part of the Envision Eugene land use update, which has job growth as a central objective. The City has worked to identify economic development focus areas where our community can build upon regional strengths. One of those focus areas is food and beverage production, processing, and distribution.

Rachael McDonald

All Oregon school districts now have access to funds allowing them to purchase locally grown food. The Oregon Legislature voted to provide an additional 3.3 million dollars to the Farm to School Program.

Eighty percent of the total funding will be accessible for any school district to buy food. The rest will be part of a competitive grant program for farm, food and garden based education.

Farm to School program director Megan Kemple says some Lane County schools currently participate in farm education programs.

Rachael McDonald

Oregon’s Farm to School and School Garden programs may get a boost next school year. A bill to increase funding by over four million dollars passed through a legislative committee last week.

Lawmakers heard from 12 stakeholders of farm to school programs. They passed the bill unanimously to the Ways and Means committee, which will now decide the level of funding. Megan Kemple is with the Farm to School Network. She says the bill will allow all school districts in Oregon to participate through a non-competitive process:

Amanda Butt

Over 200 food producers and buyers gathered at Lane Community College for the annual Local Food Connection Conference Monday.

The Center for Meeting and Learning was buzzing with people talking about local food. Those in attendance were eager to put their products on shelves or to find someone growing a needed ingredient.

Many had attended in years past and say they keep coming back for the same reason, to network.

David Clark owns Cousin Jack’s Pasty Company in Eugene:

Food for Lane County

Food for Lane County has received a one hundred thousand dollar grant. KLCC's Desmond O'Boyle reports an anonymous donor wanted the money to utilize local products.

Food for Lane County's Intentional Food Program works with local farmers to produce food to be distributed to hungry families. Apple Sauce, Lentils, and Barley Flakes are some of the items currently funded and produced in this manner. Dawn Marie Woodward is a spokeswoman for Food for Lane County. She says the donor heard about the Intentional Food Program and contacted the Oregon Community Foundation.  

Karen Richards

The group "Support Local Food Rights" continues to fight to get its anti-GMO initiative on the November ballot in Lane County. Today (Tuesday) a judge heard challenges to the measure's wording.

The local food group wants to restrict genetically engineered seeds from being grown in Lane County. A Junction City farmer who plants genetically modified sugar beets claims the title of the ordinance is not legal.

Rachael McDonald

Oregon State University has launched a new center aimed at strengthening local food systems.

OSU's Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems is under the umbrella of the Extension Service. It is tapping into the continuing growth in local and organic food. Director Garry Stephenson says their goal at the center is to help Oregon farmers take advantage of consumer demand.