Bringing People Together Through the Shared Language of Farming and Food

by Anne Morse, Adelante Agricultura Marketing and Outreach Coordinator
 This month Adelante Mujeres hosted its second farmer mixer event at the Forest Grove Grange with the help of the Adelante Agricultura Advisory Committee. Our main objective was to facilitate an exchange of farming experiences between beginning Latino farmers and more established farmers in the community. We also wanted to share a tasty meal in celebration of local food, our farmers and their community supporters.

Charlene Murdock, a member of the Agricultura Advisory Committee and farmer Reyna Rojas made delicious homemade tamales for the potluck. The 45-plus attendees provided a bounty of good food that included locally produced lamb sausage from the farm of Al Hershman, another Advisory Committee member, and homemade fresh cheese made by a local farmer. In addition to their contributions to the meal, Advisory Committee members helped to facilitate three topics of discussion:

• How to start a CSA and other marketing ideas
• Cost benefit analysis regarding production of crops
• How to include value-added products to your farm business

At the end of an hour-long discussion, the whole group came together to report back about the individual sessions. According to Alejandro Tecum, Director of Adelante Agricultura, “This event is a way to unite different groups around a topic that is important to both. Without the usual language barrier, there is an atmosphere of cordiality and learning.”

In addition to the main event, Charlene Murdock and her husband Richard White, also a member of the Advisory Committee, displayed photos from the Lexicon of Sustainability project, and Alejandro Tecum presented a slideshow about the evolution of La Esperanza Farm, Adelante Agricultura’s farm incubator.
Adelante Mujeres is excited to be involved in bringing together the farming community at the Forest Grove Grange. This past December we hosted our first farmer mixer event. In January we coordinated an event with Friends of Family Farmers to discuss land access for new and beginning farmers with landowners in Washington County. Additionally, the Dairy Creek Community Food Web  hosts monthly food movies at the Grange through its continuing series Food Film Festival.

Stay tuned for upcoming events and contact Adelante Mujeres if you would like to get involved.