Willamette Farm & Food Coalition
The Willamette Farm and Food Coalition facilitates and supports the development of a secure and sustainable food system in Lane County, Oregon.
We envision a secure and sustainable food system as one in which our farms are economically viable, our agricultural lands are supporting a much larger percentage of Lane County’s food needs, and all members of our community have access to fresh local foods.
We believe that a strong local food system contributes to the integral health of our entire community and we work to facilitate greater understanding of the social, economic, and environmental impacts of our food choices.
WFFC promotes the purchase of locally grown and produced foods:
Since our incorporation in 2000, the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition has drawn on our networking roots of a local food community that has been organizing for 30 years. Our earliest incarnation was the Edible City Resource Center. ECRC incorporated in 1979 with the broad mission of promoting urban gardening and increasing awareness of food related issues. For 18 years, ECRC activities supported the individual passions and work of members. ECRC volunteers published the Edible City Resource Manual, a guide demonstrating how to revitalize urban communities through sustainable development approaches.
In 1993, two local EarthSteward Network volunteers who were promoting worm composting in local schools decided to expand their work and begin a newspaper. The Worm Digest approached the Edible City Resource Center and asked to be part of our organization. The Digest was welcomed under our non-profit umbrella because the missions of both organizations were aligned at that time.
In three years the Worm Digest grew from an 8-page to a 32-page newspaper with 1,100 subscribers from all around the world. The Worm Digest is now its own organization with staff and a website (http://www.wormdigest.org) and is based in Ohio.
In 1998, a committed group of board members and volunteers, including Worm Digest founders, farmers, educators and activists began to meet regularly to explore the history of ECRC and to take a critical look at our future as an organization. In 1999, the board reached out to the community to help us identify community needs and build collaboration. In early 2000 volunteers and board members surveyed 40 Lane County producers, processors, retailers, restaurateurs, and other institutions and organizations in person and by telephone. We gathered their concerns, ideas and suggestions for developing a stronger local food and agriculture system that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and just. In the summer of 2000, we established a more focused mission statement and updated our by-laws. We also legally changed our name to the Lane County Food Coalition and elected a new board with diverse members representing those we aim to serve.
In 2005 the Coalition hired its first staff, and changed its name again to the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition. This name better suits those we serve and our geographic home (not to mention diffusing the confusion that we are associated with a county agency, which we are not).
Harper Keeler, President
University of Oregon, Urban Farm
Erica Trappe, Vice President
Sweetwater Farm and Nursery
Bret Parzuchowski, Treasurer
Jessica Blaine, Secretary
Marché Restaurant & Provisions
Lisa Aherin, Ph.D.
Lane Community College, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management
Laughing Stock Farm
Sprout! Marketplace, Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation
Local Food Market Place
Watkinson Laird Rubenstein
Farm to School Program Director
Farm to School Education Coordinator
Managing Editor, Locally Grown
AmeriCorps Farm to School Educator