- About Us
- Why Buy Local
- Where to Buy
- Get Involved
- Business Resources
Our one-of-a-kind Rogue Flavor businesses are an integral part of our distinctive regional character. The unique character our valley is what brought us here and will keep us here and keep visitors coming back. A local economy of diverse, unique businesses also attracts today's skilled workers and investors who can choose to settle and grow businesses anywhere.
The Southern Oregon Farmer Incubator helps beginning farmers start and sustain their businesses while providing needed fresh produce to the Rogue Valley community. The program is a collaboration between the Oregon State University Small Farms program and Thrive in partnership with Friends of Family Farmers and Rogue Farm Corps. Participants can opt to participate in one or more program elements focusing on:
Rogue Farm Corps Interns live and work full time on a host farm for an entire growing season, receiving ongoing instruction, and learning in-depth skills unique to the host farmer’s operation. The work experience is tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual host farm. Host farmers are required to offer close supervision and mentoring to promote mastery of the basic skills needed to operate their farm. Interns are exposed to all aspects of the farm operation and develop skills throughout the growing season. In addition, each intern creates an independent study project to take place during the farming season. RFC assists in the development of mutually beneficial independent study projects and evaluates the progress and success throughout the season.
Growing Agripreneurs is a 7-Month program for those seeking skill-building without a full-time commitment. Five classes will be offered from April to October including field work, farm walks and skill-building. Growing Agripreneurs is designed for beginning farmers interested in gaining hands-on skills, the most up-to-date production information and one-on-one mentoring.
Rogue Farm Corps' Farms Next program is a 28-module educational curriculum that offers instruction in skills and topics necessary for success as a farmer. These classes occur two to three times per month throughout the growing season and include a tour of each host farm. Through this curriculum, participants are exposed to numerous farming operations and offered instruction in systems that may not be employed on their host farm.
Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management is an annual class series offered by the OSU Small Farms team. The curriculum integrates the biological, physical, financial and family aspects of the farm business. The diverse teachings are divided into 6 subject areas: strategic planning, farm operations, farm finance, marketing strategies, production and managing liability.
Next step business courses include five courses geared to those in their first two years of business. Class participants will be encouraged to bring their specific business challenges to the sessions and professional experts will be available for one-one-one consultation and follow-up. Topics include:
Rogue Valley Local Foods online farmers market is a convenient way to bring farm goods to market via the internet and allows new farms and food businesses to sell with minimal investment and to begin honing their crop planning, harvesting, packaging and marketing skills. Rogue Valley Local Foods is a website where farmers can post the products they have available on a weekly basis. Customers purchase from multiple farms and pick up their orders once a week at six different locations from Ashland to Grants Pass.
The New Farmer Subsidy Program pays new farmers for food delivered to area food banks and community meals. This generosity is made possible through a grant from the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation. Farms and ranches must be in their first five years of business and complete an application prior to receiving compensation. For an application and more information, contact the Thrive office at 541-488-7272.
Friends of Family Farmers has developed iFarm Oregon, a land and resource connection service with an online database. This project connects farmers exiting agriculture with those who are entering the world of farming. Through the iFarm Oregon program, new farmers can use our online database to search for agricultural land, partnerships, mentors, educational opportunities, and financial resources to help start or expand a socially responsible farm business. In addition, greenhorns can find tools and resources such as selfassessments, business planning workbooks, marketing possibilities, as well as articles on new farmers and farmer blogs. Experienced or retiring farmers and landholders are able to post available land, unique leasing arrangements, partnership opportunities and find resources to assist with farm transitions.
The League of Women Farmers provides women farmers with opportunities for business networking, expanding knowledge, and socializing in a supportive, open environment. Phone 541-776-7371 for more information.
Check back for information about additional groups forming.