Policy & Advocacy

Why Advocacy?

We know farmers markets struggle to stay connected to state and federal policy developments — let alone trying to influence policy. Our chances improve when we work together.

OFMA, as part of the benefits that we offer our members, stays connected to state and federal organizations that share our concern for farmers, community food security and other aspects of the food system.  We do this to stay informed and advocate where feasible.  See below to learn more about our historical successes and current action alerts, followed by links to some of our many policy partners.

We continue to work on state and federal issues that impact our members, their vendors and their customers, and are committed to alerting our members and partner organizations when their are opportunities for action!


Current Policy Priorities – 2018-2019

State

  • OFMA has taken a “No” position on Ballot Measure 103.  We believe this to be a poorly written measure, with broad impacts unrelated to its stated purpose that will benefit major corporate grocery interests, not Oregonian farmers or consumers.
  • OFMA supports a statewide farmers market SNAP matching program to ensure that Oregonians of all income levels have access to fresh, healthy local foods.

Federal

  • OFMA supports a federal Farm Bill that promotes food justice and food system innovation through preserving and expanding SNAP benefits and the “small but mighty” programs covered under the LAMP proposal, such as the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), LFPP and FINI.

Policy Partners

We want to give a shout out to our partners in farmers market advocacy!  “Team work makes the dream work” as they say, and we couldn’t do anything without their collaborative efforts:

  • The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is often the best source for national policy affecting small farms and farm direct agriculture. Here is their blog.
  • Farmers Market Coalition works closely with NSAC and state organizations like OFMA, and has recently expanded their work in support of farmers-market-friendly federal policies.
  • The Oregon Community Food Systems Network (OCFSN) is a collaboration of 40 nonprofit organizations, including OFMA, and allies dedicated to strengthening local and regional food systems to deliver better economic, social, health and environmental outcomes across the state.
  • Friends of Family Farmers builds a strong and united voice for Oregon’s independent family farmers, food advocates, and concerned citizens who are working to foster an approach to agriculture that respects the land, treats animals humanely, sustains local communities, and provides a viable livelihood for family farmers.

History of OFMA’s Advocacy Efforts

OFMA has a strong history of working on behalf off our member markets to enact policy changes that help farmers markets in Oregon thrive.  We have worked with our partners to help enact groundbreaking programs such as…

  • Oregon’s cottage food bill, which helped pave the way for many new value added producers to launch farmers-market-based businesses with a minimum of red tape.
  • Advocating for federal Farm Bill programs, such as the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), SNAP, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), and the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program (FINI).