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Oregon farmers cut out the middle man

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Whether it’s selling at farmers’ markets and roadside stands or marketing through community supported agriculture, Oregon producers are more likely than their counterparts in other states to cut out the middle man:

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According to the Census of Agriculture, Oregon ranks sixth in the nation with more than 6-thousand farms reporting direct sales of agricultural products to individual consumers, accounting for 44-million dollars in sales. The numbers don't surprise producer Barbara Boyer, a member of the State Board of Agriculture::

BOYER:  “No, because the consumer is getting more educated. I think they are realizing they want to close the loop on when the produce leaves the field to when it makes it to their plate.”  :10

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Boyer co-founded the McMinnville Farmers’ Market and has seen tremendous growth in the past decade in terms of vendors and shoppers. Laura Masterson, another Board of Ag member, says farm direct marketing makes sense especially for smaller growers:

MASTERSON:  “Your return on investment is higher because you are going direct from the farm to the consumer without anyone in between.”  :09

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Masterson markets her fresh, local produce through CSAs, which provide subscribers with weekly deliveries. Oregon ranks tenth in the nation in the number of farmers providing for CSAs with most of them located in the populated urban areas including Lane, Marion, and Multnomah counties. However, farm direct marketing is taking place in all 36 Oregon counties. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

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MASTERSON is not surprised to see Oregon rank high nationally in farm direct marketing:

“The opportunities for people to buy direct, the growth has been exponential in farmers markets, CSAs, in all of those areas. We’ve been reaching into new markets, reaching new people, reaching suburban audiences that didn’t have access before, and all that equals more opportunities for more farmers.”  :18

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BOYER is a co-founder of the McMinnville Farmers’ Market and has first hand experience with the growth in farm direct marketing       :

“Starting the McMinnville Farmers Market in 2001, we had 600 shoppers. Then when I left in 2012, we had 4,000 shoppers. That’s a big increase.”  :11

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