SALEM, Ore. — Earlier this month, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Foundation, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Washington State Department of Agriculture, launched the first Women’s Farm2Food Accelerator. The Farm2Food Accelerator will help women farmers and entrepreneurs with food and beverage products enter or expand into new markets.
“Congratulations to all the amazing women selected for the first-ever Women’s Farm2Food Accelerator program,” said Alexis Taylor, ODA director. “The women chosen come from all over the state, producing everything from herbal teas, liquors, and pot pies. I think this is an exciting opportunity where we as a state department of agriculture can help a group of Oregon women makes their farm businesses more profitable and successful.”
The NASDA Foundation chose 10 applicants from Oregon and 10 from Washington. Participants will receive training in marketing, product development, food safety, packaging and pricing, and working with buyers. The virtual series of short courses will begin in March and run through September. The Accelerator will help women farmers and entrepreneurs launch new products or enhance existing products and connect to a network of local resource providers, guest lecturers, and instructors.
In its first year, the Accelerator focuses on supporting women farmers who grow specialty crop ingredients for a value-added product or those who source specialty crop ingredients from Oregon or Washington in the products they make. A value-added product is defined as a product that has changed in its physical state or form, such as milling wheat for flour or making strawberries into jam. Specialty crops include fruit, vegetables, tree nuts, herbs and specialty flowers. The Accelerator is designed to support small-scale businesses with less than $500,000 in annual gross sales and less than 20 employees.
2021 NASDA Foundation Women’s Farm2Food Accelerator Oregon participants:
Chef Kristen Inc, Jacksonville, OR
Chow This! LLC, Milwaukee, OR
Circle A Bees, La Grande, OR
Elysian Acres, Jefferson, OR
Kiger Island Blues, Corvallis, OR
Mindi (Marilyn) Miller
Margalaxy LLC, Portland, OR
Minto Island Growers LLC, Salem, OR
Oshala Farm, Grants Pass/Appelgate, OR
Pleasant Valley Organics, Gresham, OR
R & Arie LLC, Portland, OR
— Oregon Department of Agriculture
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