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Spring Newsletter

Dear OOC Community:  

We kicked off 2024 with good news – the OOC’s Organic Marketing Development Grant (OMDG) Proposal was funded by USDA! We are incredibly grateful to all of the partners who supported our proposal, as well as our grant writer, Elizabeth Sachs. We will be leaning on the organic community to ensure we meet not only OMDG goals, but also those in our TOPP, Transition to Organic Partnership Program, partnership.


Both OMDG and TOPP are part of USDA's Organic Transition Initiative. Please help us succeed in both of these programs through your participation and engagement. Read more about the Organic Transition Initiative in this Ambrook piece.

Transition to Organic Partnership Program

Are you considering organic certification? Have questions about the certification process? The Northwest Transition to Organic Partnership Program (NW TOPP) now offers services to help producers through the organic certification process:

●      Connect with a certified organic mentor through a farmer-to-farmer mentorship program. Mentors available throughout Oregon!

●      Talk with an organic certification specialist for one-on-one assistance with the certification process, paperwork, and understanding regulations.

●      Attend educational events, including workshops, webinars, field days and more all centered on organic production and certification.

●      Get help with navigating organic certification and production resources.


Learn more, find events, resources, and apply for mentorship at


The Northwest Transition to Organic Partnership Program (NW TOPP) is a new USDA initiative that supports producers through the transition to organic and organic certification process. TOPP is a network assembled by the USDA’s National Organic Program. All services offered free of charge to producers in Oregon and other northwest region states.

Good Food Awards

As part of the OMDG award, OOC has a three year partnership with the Good Food Foundation in order to showcase Oregon organic products, build new organic markets, and connect more Good Food Makers with organic producers. Tickets are now live for the upcoming Good Food Awards weekend, April 27 to 29.

On April 27, legendary Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, will lead a full-day workshop designed for new and seasoned food business entrepreneurs. Special pricing is available for makers and retailers participating in Good Food Mercantile. More information on the Saturday, April 27 workshop can be found here.


The fun continues on April 28th with The Good Food Mercantile. The Mercantile encompasses an “un-trade show for tasty, authentic and responsible food,” bringing together 150 of the nation's most talented food and drink crafters. The event will be hosted at the Oregon Convention Center from 4 - 6pm, with tickets priced at $15 per person, which includes a $5 coupon towards on-site purchases. Industry tickets are open to retailers, media, chefs and distributors and offer full access with smaller crowds ($45 for 6-hour tickets).


Come say hi at the Mercantile as the OOC will be at the Host Table along with the Culinary Breeding Network and the Oregon Organic Hazelnut Collective. Beautiful custom hazelnut art will be available and is not to be missed!

On April 29, capping off the weekend, will be the 600-person Good Food Awards Ceremony and After-Party. Dubbed the “Oscars of the food movement,” the celebration brings the food world together to fete 200 of the country’s most talented food and drink makers in 18 categories, from pickles and preserves to cider and spirits. OOC Coalition Member Hummingbird Wholesale is a previous double Good Food Winner!


Throughout the month of April, Portland specialty grocers World Foods and Barbur World Foods will spotlight winning producers with in-store end cap displays of 2024 Good Food Award Winners. These award-winning products will be offered for 10% off during this time.

Recent Happenings

On February 28th, the OOC and other organic stakeholders hosted a screening of Organic Rising at the Art House Theater in Eugene. It was a treat to see old and new friends, and meet the visionary filmmaker, Anthony Suau. Watch the inspiring trailer below! You can stream the film for $5 here.

The OOC also attended OSU’s Small Farms Conference, where the expansion of the Organic Extension Program was officially announced, and we participated on a panel organized by OCFSN, the Oregon Community Food Systems Network.

Congratulations to the Organically Grown Co. for winning Organic Company of the Year! 

 Hosted by The Organic Center and Organic Voices, “An Organic Night Out” showcased honorees in eight categories – all nominated and chosen by their peers.This award recognizes the company that has done the most to advance interest, awareness, sales and support of certified organic products. The award went to our esteemed peers at OGC, a company that has put organic front and center and has championed organic agriculture for almost 50 years.

We're so proud of OGC for this well-deserved recognition!

Legislative Session Updates

OOC's two priorities for the 2024 Short Session were ensuring ongoing protections for brassica seed growers in the Willamette Valley Protected District (WVPD) and securing funding for an Organic Policy Specialist at the Oregon Department of Agriculture.


Seed stakeholders hoped for a permanent solution to the long-standing canola debate and make significant concessions in support of a compromise legislative concept. However, the canola and biotech industries did not support the compromise solution and at the end of the Session, we were successful in maintaining the current 500-acre limit on canola in the WVPD until January 2028. We anticipate this issue will return sooner than the 2027 Legislation Session though, and are already working to expand our seed coalition to ensure that permanent protections in the WVPD are meaningful for both conventional and organic seed growers.


While funding was not allocated for the Organic Policy Specialist Position at the Oregon Department of Agricultural, we were encouraged to bring this request back during the next session.


OOC also lent support to other important legislation and budget asks, including funding for the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program, and the priorities of new coalition member, Oregon Business for Climate.


Last session, the OOC secured funding for four additional Organic Extension Specialists at OSU's Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems. We are thrilled to announce the Position Descriptions have been finalized and the search process for them will be getting underway shortly.

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