The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the final 2017 Census of Agriculture figures in mid-April; statistics for all of Multnomah County are available here. The census findings highlight the importance of EMSWCD’s working farmland protection efforts, as Multnomah County lost 15% of its farmland from 2012 to 2017 – or about 2.5 acres a day.
Farmers in Multnomah County are on average 2 years younger than their peers across Oregon and the US, which is reinforced by our Headwaters Incubator Program for new and beginning farmers. And with the average per-acre value of agricultural land and buildings increasing 75% in Multnomah County to the second highest of any county in Oregon, the importance of our work to improve access to affordable farmland is greater than ever.
East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) is pleased to announce that the working farmland protection component of its Land Legacy Program has closed on the acquisition of its first-ever working farmland easement. This month, EMSWCD secured the permanent protection of a 57-acre farm property in the Gresham area.
The acquisition of the easement occurred in conjunction with the sale of the property, which EMSWCD had owned since 2011. EMSWCD acquired the property when it was listed for sale and at risk of no longer being available for productive use by the local farming community. Proceeds from the sale will be used by EMSWCD to protect additional working farm properties.
A working farmland easement is a legally binding blueprint for the future of the property which ensures it will remain in active and highly productive agricultural use. The recently released U.S. Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture underscores the need for these working farmland protection efforts, with Multnomah County losing an average of 2.5 acres of farmland a day during the period from 2012 to 2017.
- About 14 acres of the property is comprised of forest, steep slopes and streams which drain to the Sandy River
The easement for this property also seeks to address the growing challenges of farmland access and affordability. Farmland affordability is a challenge in Multnomah County, with the Census of Agriculture finding a 75% increase in the value of farmland and buildings from 2012 – 2017 and the second highest average farmland/farm building values of any county in Oregon. The easement incorporates provisions that ensure the property will remain in the ownership of a farmer and limits residential infrastructure that could make the property unaffordable for agricultural operators. As part of the transaction, EMSWCD also secured an option to acquire a working farmland easement on another 20-acre property owned by the buyers. Read more
EMSWCD will hold a public hearing on March 28th, 2019 at 5:00 PM at Multnomah Grange #71, 30639 SE Bluff Road, Gresham, OR 97080 in connection with the acquisition of a conservation easement for working farmland. This easement is being acquired in connection with the sale of EMSWCD’s Oxbow Farm and will ensure the property remains in agricultural use in perpetuity.
EMSWCD acquired the property in 2011, when it was listed for sale. At the time, EMSWCD was concerned that a sale could result in the local farming community losing access to one of the most productive farms within our district. That concern motivated EMSWCD to purchase the property and then make it available for lease to two Multnomah County farmers. Read more
This is a farmer-contributed post in our “From our farmers” series, written by Catherine Nguyen of Mora Mora Farm, who is enrolled in our Farm Incubator Program.
Mora Mora Farm is a single-farmer, half-acre, diverse vegetable operation that just wrapped up its first season through the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program. Mora Mora grows produce to sell at one weekend farmers’ market and for a handful of friends in the city. When people find out that it’s just me running the farm, doing everything from seeding and harvest to bed preparation and marketing, the normal response is, “Wait. You’re doing this all on your own?!”
The decision to begin as a single-farmer operation simply stemmed from my own personality. I like being able to see the whole picture: production and sales, starting up my farm and setting up systems to maintain it, figuring out where operational weak points are, and how I can optimize the system as a whole. I knew if I ever wanted to have ownership of a farm and manage people well, I’d better know what the heck I was doing and why.
Of course, being a single-farmer operation comes with its challenges: Read more
Join us for a screening of the documentary Farmers for America.
- When: Wednesday, November 28th. 6:30 – 8:30 pm.
Columbia Grange #267
37493 NE Grange Hall Rd.
Corbett, OR 97019
FREE! Snacks provided.
Let your friends know you can make it on Facebook.
about the film
For questions or special accommodations, please contact Chelsea at (503) 935-5376 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are pleased to announce that our Working Farmland Protection program has closed on yet another important working farmland transaction. This September, EMSWCD acquired a 20-acre property in Corbett, ensuring a future for agriculture on this blueberry, raspberry and blackberry farm.
In the short term, the property will be made available for lease to agricultural operators. The property will likely ultimately be sold to a farmer with the protections of a working farmland easement – a legally binding blueprint for the future of the property which ensures it will remain in agricultural use. As part of the transaction, EMSWCD also secured an option to acquire a working farmland easement on another 20-acre property owned by the sellers. Read more
Are you considering applying for a Small Projects and Community Events (SPACE) Grant? Please see the SPACE Grant webpage for detailed information about grant requirements and eligibility.
Check out our new online application system for SPACE grants! Applying for a SPACE grant is now done online through ZoomGrants, an online grants management system.
Visit the SPACE Grants
page to learn more
We hope you will find ZoomGrants easy to use and we are here to help if you have any questions. For all queries, please contact our Grants Manager, Suzanne Easton: Suzanne@emswcd.org.
updated October 2nd, 2018
This is a farmer-contributed post in our “From our farmers” series, written by Nicki Passarella and Irina Schabram of Amica Farm, both enrolled in our Farm Incubator Program.
Amica Farm is the product of two female friends who forged a bond through hard work, sweat equity and a deep love of agriculture and community. We work with one-half acre of land, growing an extensive array of annual vegetables, herbs and strawberries to sell directly to our community at two weekly farmers markets.
As first year farm business owners, having the opportunity to utilize the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program (HIP) has already proven invaluable in our first months of participation. The obvious places of gratitude to start with include land, water, propagation space, and the ability to share orders to get bulk pricing and keep shipping low. There are also scheduled learning sessions with industry professionals about farm financials, record keeping and more. A less tangible benefit is the community with other farmers at Headwaters and the direct support from EMSWCD staff we are experiencing. Read more