As the state’s second largest economic driver, Oregon’s agriculture industry is vital. Facts and figures help tell the story:
• About 98 percent of Oregon’s 34,600 farms are family-owned. There are 1,175 Oregon farms recognized as centennial farms, remaining in the same family for at least 100 years. Thirty-three farms have reached a 150-year status.
• Oregon agriculture is directly and indirectly linked to about $50 billion in sales of goods and services, which is more than 13 percent of the statewide total of sales involving all industry sectors.
• The state’s agriculture supports approximately 326,000 full- or part-time jobs, comprising nearly 14 percent of total jobs in the state.
• Oregon’s agricultural offerings are vast and varied, with more than 220 recognized crop and livestock commodities.
• Agritourism destinations, agricultural education, thriving agribusinesses, exports, local food partnerships and more encompass Oregon’s industry.
• Oregon ranks No. 1 in the nation for production of Christmas trees, hazelnuts, blackberries, boysenberries, several varieties of grass seed and peppermint. Oregon is second nationally for hops and sweet cherries, and third nationally for nursery stock, pears, strawberries, red raspberries and snap beans.
• Oregon’s top 10 commodities also include cattle and calves, hay, milk, wheat, potatoes and wine grapes.
• Oregon agriculture goes beyond crops and commodities and prides itself on agricultural sustainability. This includes diversity in crops, production systems, farm sizes and markets that help keep the industry resilient. Big or small, organic or conventional, growing for local or export markets, Oregon is home to all types of agriculture.
• Oregon farmers and ranchers help protect wildlife habitat and the state’s natural resources. Just a few management techniques used by Oregon landowners include planting streamside vegetation, controlling invasive species and keeping some land out of production for conservation purposes.
As Oregon agriculture continues to grow, the industry is poised for further success.
Fresh for Fido
Consumers in Oregon have a wide array of choices for fresh, local, homemade goods – and so do their four-legged friends.
Thanks to businesses like Portland Pet Food Company, Oregon canines can enjoy artisan, all-natural dog food and treats. The company uses natural-grade human food, locally sourced and sustainable, to make fresh-frozen dog meals, grain-free dog treats and beer biscuit dog treats. They plan to expand to include cat food and treats in their offerings. Oregon is home to several other pet food companies, offering all-natural meals and treats. Find out more about Portland Pet Food products at portlandpetfoodcompany.com.
Flavorful, cheesy and hard to put down, Chedz snacks are a must-try Oregon product.
The wholesome snack is a product of family-owned Hall Brands LLC of Portland, which uses only the highest quality ingredients for its natural products. Chedz was developed, in part, in a kitchen at the Food Innovation Center – a Portland facility jointly operated by Oregon StateUniversity and the Oregon Department of Agriculture. The cheese bites come in two flavors, spicy and mild, with gluten-free versions of each. They are made with simple ingredients, including real cheese, and contain vitamin A, calcium and protein. Eat them straight from the bag, or toss them in with party mixes, soups, salads and more.
To read more about Chedz and other products from Hall Brands, visit chedzsnacks.com.
You’re probably already familiar with fermented foods such as yogurt, but the fermented food scene is growing in popularity and offerings to include kimchi, krauts, kefirs and more. Lacto-fermented foods are probiotic powerhouses with fabulous flavors, boosting levels of good bacteria in your digestive system.
Oregon Brineworks in Hood River sources 90 percent the ingredients for their pickles and unique krauts (such as beet apple) from within a 150-mile radius in order to start the fermentation process within a few days of harvest.
Choi’s Kimchi Company in Portland makes a variety of kimchi in small batches with local produce, using traditional Korean methods. Kimchi, made with vegetables, herbs and spices, is considered to be one of the world’s healthiest foods. Learn more at oregonbrineworks.com and choiskimchi.com.