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Manufacturing, marketing & certification

Dairy production

ORS Chapter 621 and OAR 603-24-605 to 603-24‑651 require fluid milk production in Oregon to be grade A with one exception. The Oregon Department of Agriculture licenses and inspects all dairy farms and plants that do not qualify for the small-scale, on-farm exception (ORS 621.012) in order to ensure food safety and consumer protection.

Permits and licenses

Prior to becoming licensed, all prospective licensees-dairy farms (those farms that are not subject to the small-scale, on-farm exception) and dairy plants must submit a construction plan for the facility to Oregon Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Program. Every dairy facility must be approved before an ODA license can be issued. Additionally, a pre-operation inspection is required before production can begin.​

Fees

Gross sales volume
Annual fee (2013-2014)
$0-$50,000
$135
$50,001-$500,000 ​
$189
$500,001-$1,000,000 ​
$325
$1,000,001-$5,000,000
$487
$5,000,001-$10,000,000
$649
$10,000,000+
$812

Inspections

ODA inspectors, who are licensed environmental health specialists, inspect dairy production and distribution facilities a minimum of two times per year. The inspections are typically unannounced, and consist of a visual inspection of facilities and may include sampling of the milk or water. Repeat violations discovered during an inspection may result in suspension of grade privileges. Adulterated products will be embargoed.

Technical ass​istance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Food Safety Program
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone 503-986-4720
Web oregon.gov/ODA/FSD


Oregon State University

Animal Science Department
Phone 541-737-4926 or 541-737-3316

Food Science and Technology Department
Phone 541-737-3463 or 541-737-6520

    

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Direct marketing, roadside stands, and farmers' markets

Farmers’ markets and roadside stands are a popular venue to shop for fresh and local foods from Oregon. As market numbers increase and the number of participants grow, market participants need to stay informed of guidelines and requirements regarding food safety and measurement standards at the market.

Who must comply?

The general rule is that vendors who do not hold a current, valid ODA license for a location other than the farmers’ market must obtain a license from ODA to sell at a farmers’ market. There are several exceptions to the general rule.

An entity that administers and manages a group of vendors, “farmers’ market management,” is not currently required by ODA to be licensed as a “food establishment” under, ORS 616.706.

Farmers who bring their own fresh fruits and vegetables to a farmers’ market are not required to be licensed. OAR 6003-025-0030.

Vendors who hold a current, valid ODA license for a “bricks and mortar” food establishment are not required to obtain an additional license to sell at farmers’ markets as long as all food processing and preparation (including sample preparation) is done at the licensed location, not at the market.

HB 2336 (Farm Direct Bill)

HB 2336 passed by the 2011 Legislature, exempts from licensing, agricultural producers (farmers) selling what they grow and process directly to retail customers; however, not all foods are eligible for an exemption. For example, the sale of meat, poultry, fish, and dairy in any form are not eligible for an exemption. Furthermore, there is a cap on unlicensed sales of $20,000. For a complete list of the foods eligible for an exemption under the Farm Direct Bill, please refer to HB 2336, Enrolled.

Web www.oregon.gov/ODA/FSD/docs/pdf/fm_hb_2336.pdf​

Farm direct sales may include sales at farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture drop sites, buying clubs, church bazaars, and other venues. However, HB 2336 does not allow for commingling of agricultural products from more than one producer. Furthermore, HB 2336 does not change licensing requirements for selling through stores, restaurants, and institutions.

Scales

Vendors who operate scales used for commercial purposes (buying, selling, or processing commodities by weight, and using those weights to determine charges or payments), in Oregon, must obtain an annual scale license for each device from the ODA’s Weights and Measures Program, as provided in, ORS 618.121.

Permits and licenses

Any vendor needing a license to sell at a farmers’ market must obtain his/her license prior to participating in a farmers’ market. To obtain a license, a prospective licensee must apply, meet and consult with a food safety inspector, and pay a license fee. Contact ODA’s Food Safety Program by calling: 503-986-4720 to begin the licensee application process.

Any vendor operating a scale for commercial purposes needs to license that scale prior to use. Contact ODA’s Weights and Measures Program, by calling 503-986-4670 to begin the licensing application process.

Direct marketing and roadside stand related land use may require a land use permit. Check with your local land use planning office to determine what, if any, requirements must be met. 

Inspections

Because most vendors at a farmers’ market location are either exempt from licensing or have a license for a “bricks and mortar” establishment, farmers’ markets are not generally inspected. However, to ensure the safety and wholesomeness of the food being offered for sale at the markets, ODA inspectors, who are licensed environmental health specialists, may conduct audit inspections at farmers’ market locations when complaints are received. 

The Weights and Measures Program examines all licensed weighing and measuring devices in the state, usually within a 12-14 month time period. The examination includes making sure the device is National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) approved, accurate, and being used in the proper manner and application.

Technical assistance

Current information related to farmers’ markets

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Food Safety Program
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone 503-986-4720
Fax 503-986-4729
Web oregon.gov/ODA/FSD

 

Guidelines related to weighing and measuring

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Weights and Measures Program
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone 503-986-4670
Fax 503-986-4784
Web oregon.gov/ODA/MSD

 

Marketing or promotional assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Marketing Program
1207 NW Naito Parkway, Suite 104
Portland, OR 97209-2832
Phone 503-872-6600
Fax 503-872-6601
Email agmarket@oda.state.or.us
Web oregon.gov/ODA/ADMD

 

Questions about license requirements for temporary restaurants and food for immediate consumption at the market

Local County Health Department
Web public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/LocalHealthDepartmentResources


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Export seed testing services

Who must comply?

Many states and foreign countries require a phytosanitary certificate for the importation of seed crops. Often, regulations require a laboratory test be conducted by an official testing laboratory in the country of origin, and the test results must be recorded on the phytosanitary certificate. The laboratory in the Plant Health Program, Market Access and Certification Programs, is qualified to carry out such tests.

Submitting samples

For test results to be considered official, the samples submitted for testing must have been collected by a state or federal regulatory official. Growers or companies producing seed for export who require phytosanitary certificates for their crops, should contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Market Access and Certification Programs to request assistance with official sample collection.

Phone 503-986-4620

Fees

The basic fee for performing laboratory tests is $70 per hour, with a minimum fee of $35. A separate fee schedule has been set for specific routine tests performed. This fee schedule is described in OAR 603-052-1150 or is available by contacting the Market Access and Certification Programs at 503-986-4620 and at:


Reports

Laboratory test reports are available electronically or in hard copy. Reports can generally be issued within 48 hours of test completion. NOTE: Some tests take longer than others to complete because of the official protocols we are required to use. Please contact the department if you have questions about how long a test will take.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture

Plant Health Program
Dr. Nancy Osterbauer, Plant Health Program Manager
Phone 503-986-4666
Web oregon.gov/ODA/CID/PLANT_HEALTH/Pages/programs.aspx#Seed_testing_program

US Department of Agriculture
Federal phytosanitary certificates
6135 NE 80th Ave Suite A5
Portland, OR 97218
Phone 503-326-2814


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Field inspections for export seed certification

Who must comply?

Many states and foreign countries require a phytosanitary certificate for the importation of seed crops. Often, regulations require a growing season inspection by an official certifying agency in the country of origin, and the results of the inspection must be recorded on the phytosanitary certificate. Inspectors in the Plant Health Program, Market Access and Certification Programs, are qualified to carry out these inspections.

Application

Growers or companies producing seed for export who require phytosanitary certificates for their crops, should contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Market Access and Certification Programs to request an application for field inspection of seed for export. Applications must be postmarked by April 1 for fall planted or perennial crops and May 1 for spring planted crops.

Phone 503-986-4620
Web oregon.gov/ODA/CID/PLANT_HEALTH/pages/applications.aspx

Fees

Inspection fees are currently $6.50 per acre with a $50 per field minimum and $450 per field maximum. There is also a $3 fee for processing each application. Bean seed fields inspected for certification for replanting in Malheur County are charged a fee of $3.50 per acre, with a minimum per field charge of $30. Contact the Market Access and Certification Programs to verify the fee schedule.

Reports

Inspection reports are currently issued at the request of the grower or company. Reports can generally be issued within 48 hours of request.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Plant Health Program
Dr. Nancy Osterbauer, Plant Health Program Manager
Phone 503-986-4666
Web oregon.gov/ODA/CID/PLANT_HEALTH/pages/seed_crop_field_disease_inspec_program.aspx

US Department of Agriculture
Federal phytosanitary certificates
6135 NE 80th Ave Suite A5
Portland, OR 97218
Phone 503-326-2814

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Food processing

Definitions 

In Oregon, food processing includes: cooking, baking, heating, drying, mixing, grinding, churning, separating, extracting, cutting, freezing, or otherwise manufacturing a food or changing the physical characteristics of a food. Food processing also means the packaging, canning, or otherwise enclosing of such food in a container, but does not mean the sorting, cleaning, or water-rinsing of a food.

Who must comply?

If you are making a food product and offering it to others for consumption, then you must be licensed by the ODA, unless those consuming your product are limited to family members. Licenses are issued for bakeries, food processors, domestic kitchens, and any other place that makes food not intended solely for immediate consumption.

Permits and licenses

Prior to becoming licensed, all prospective licensees (bakeries, food processors, domestic kitchens, and the like) should submit a facility plan for review to: Oregon Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Program, 635 Capitol St NE, Salem, OR 97301-2532. Additionally, a food safety inspector must inspect and approve every food processing facility before an ODA license can be issued and production can begin.

Check with local land use planning officials to determine any zoning requirements.

Note: Refer to the “Exclusive farm use (EFU) zones and permitted non-farm uses” section of this handbook for more information.

Inspections

ODA inspectors working in the Food Safety Program are registered as Environmental Health Specialists with Oregon Health Licensing. Food safety inspectors inspect food establishments as required, based on risk. Generally, inspections are conducted between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The inspections are typically unannounced, and consist of a visual inspection of facilities as well as an investigation into processing, record reviews, and employee practices. Violations discovered during an inspection may result in a range of regulatory actions, depending on the severity of the violation. Possible regulatory actions may include, but are not limited to: a warning letter, embargo, cease and desist order, license suspension and civil penalties.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Food Safety Program
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone 503-986-4720
Fax 503-986-4729
Web oregon.gov/ODA/FSD​

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Global Food Safety Inititive (GFSI) Audit Programs

Oregon Department of Agriculture offers GFSI benchmarked audits to the following standards: GlobalG.A.P., PrimusGFS and SQF through a partnership agreement with NCSI Americas. These third-party auditing services are performed on a voluntary, fee-for-service basis. This service gives Oregon producers access to local auditors familiar with farming operations within the Northwest to meet market requirements for these certification services.

Producers or handlers wanting more information about these programs should contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Market Access and Certification Programs
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone 503-986-4620
Email gfsi@oda.state.or.us
Web oregon.gov/ODA/CID/pages/gfsi.aspx​

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Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices (GAP/GHP)

USDA Audit Verification Program

Oregon Department of Agriculture offers Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices (GAP/GHP) and Harmonized Produce GAPs audits under a USDA Federal-State Cooperative Agreement. These audits, based on the Food and Drug Administration “Guidelines to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables,” are part of a nationally recognized cooperative partnership between USDA, the state of Oregon and other federal-state inspection services. These auditing services are performed on a voluntary basis. This service gives the consumers of Oregon’s produce confidence that they have not only purchased the best quality produce and tree nuts available, but they were cared for and handled in a manner to reduce potential contamination.

Producers and handlers that have completed the GAP/GHP program and pass an on-site audit are listed on the USDA Fresh Products Branch website for their customers and future customers to review. Producers or handlers wanting more information about the program should contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Market Access and Certificatiion Programs
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone 503-986-4620
Web oregon.gov/ODA/CID/Pages/ghp_gap.aspx​


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Grain inspection

Who must comply?

Congress passed the US Grain Standards Act on August 11, 1916 for the purpose of establishing a third-party, uniform inspection system for use in marketing grain. Although no actions are required of the farmer pertinent to the official inspection or weighing of farmers’ grain under the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) standards, it is against the law to deliberately adulterate grain, e.g., add fumigant or insecticide for the purpose of masking musty or sour or commercially objectionable foreign odor.

Further, it is against the law to deceptively load a truck or trailer with inferior quality grain on the bottom so as to prevent the inferior grain from being included in the probe sample obtained by official inspection personnel. There are other prohibited grain handling practices too numerous to include, but which can be explained by FGIS or Oregon Department of Agriculture officials. Other Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laws must be adhered to when pertinent. Offenses are subject to general penal statutes and could result in fines and/or imprisonment.

Some states are officially delegated to perform export inspection and weighing services, but at this time Oregon is not operating in this capacity. FGIS operates in export locations where state delegated agencies are absent. The US Grain Standards Act establishes and maintains official US standards for barley, wheat, corn, canola, flaxseed, oats, rye, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, triticale, and mixed grain.

Technical assistance

For information regarding the Grain Standards Act, regulations, and grading standards, contact FGIS, Portland Field Office, 503-326-7887. Groups of farmers, county elevator operators, and other interested parties may request grain grading seminars to be conducted by FGIS field office personnel at the Albers Mill location.

US Department of Agriculture, GIPSA
FGIS Portland Field Office
1100 NW Naito Pkwy
Portland, OR 97209-2818
Phone 503-326-7887
Fax 503-326-7896


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Market development

The Agricultural Development and Marketing Program offers an integrated program to address market and development needs of Oregon’s farmers, fishers, ranchers, food processors, and food manufacturers.

Our program operates in five principal areas:

  • Local business and market development
  • Regional and national market development
  • International market development
  • Business development
  • Commodity commission oversight

We have integrated our program to provide a stepwise approach to meet the needs of Oregon producers and processors. Creating sustainable opportunity for Oregon agriculture is at the core of what we do.

We actively partner with other agencies and organizations to extend the reach of services we provide to Oregon agriculture.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Marketing Program
1207 NW Naito Parkway, Suite 104
Portland, OR 97209-2832
Phone 503-872-6600
Fax 503-872-6601
Web oregon.gov/ODA/ADMD

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Organic certification

Background

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) requires that all products labeled “organic” must be certified by a USDA accredited certifying agent. Producers whose organic gross sales are $5,000 or less, are exempted from organic certification, but must still follow USDA NOP standards. The Oregon Department of Agriculture has been an accredited organic certifying agent since 2009.

All certification services are conducted on a voluntary, fee-for-service basis. The Oregon Department of Agriculture certifies organic operations for crop production and handling.

Technical assistance

Certification, standards, and general information

Find out how to have your operation certified organic to the National Organic Program (NOP) standards.

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Market Access and Certification Programs
Phone 503-986-4620
Email cid-organic@oda.state.or.us
Web oregon.gov/ODA/CID/pages/organic.aspx

US Department of Agriculture
National Organic Program
1400 Independence Ave SW, Rm. 4008-S, Ag Stop 0268
Washington, DC 20250
Phone 202-720-3252
Fax 202-205-7808
Web ams.usda.gov/nop​

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Organic Cost Share Reimbursement

The Organic Cost Share Reimbursement Program is funded through the Farm Bill and funds are made available annually through the USDA to applicant states. The program provides reimbursement to growers, processors, and handlers who obtain organic certification from any USDA accredited certifier. The Oregon Department of Agriculture administers these funds for qualified Oregon residents.

Growers, producers, and handlers are eligible to receive reimbursement for 75 percent of certification fees, up to a maximum of $750 per certification or category of certification, per year. The National Organic Program (NOP) currently recognizes four categories of certification: crops, wild crops, livestock, and processing/handling. Operations may receive one reimbursement per certification or category of certification.

 

Technical assistance 

Cost share applications and information

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Market Development Program
1207 NW Naito Parkway, Suite 104
Portland, OR 97209-2832
Phone 503-872-6600
Fax 503-872-6601
Email agmarket@oda.state.or.us
Web oregon.gov/ODA/ADMD/Pages/organic_costshare.aspx


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Seed Regulations

Sales of seed are regulated in Oregon under Oregon Revised Statute 633 and Oregon Administrative Rule 603. Records are required to be retained for three years after total disposition of the seed lot.

Seed record requirements

Seed dealers, shippers, and handlers are required to maintain and make accessible for inspection, a complete record of each lot of seed. The complete requirements for record keeping are specified in, ORS 633.511 through 633.750, OAR 603-056-0030 through 603-056-0490, the Federal Seed Act, and the Federal Seed Act Regulations, part 201.

Seed records must be maintained in such a manner to allow for comparison of records by other persons for the same lot of seed. This is to allow for factors such as germination, variety, purity, etc., to trace the lot from the grower to the ultimate consumer.

A COMPLETE RECORD of a seed lot in Oregon, whether it is certified, commercial, or certification isolation lot, must include the following information:

Receiving records

  • Record keeping requirements
  • Delivery/scale ticket
  • Bill of lading
  • Analysis tags
  • Laboratory reports
  • Other lot receiving records showing lot number and pounds received, the first record showing the lot number assigned to the lot (once a lot number is assigned, it cannot be changed without first changing the lot by cleaning, blending, etc.)
  • Inventory card showing the disposition of the lot origin and location of the lot

Seed growers

Seed growers are responsible to provide seed conditioning warehouses information regarding variety and crop kind, field number(s), and whether the seed lot is certified, certification isolation, or commercial. Growers can combine fields of the same variety together to make a seed lot, however they need to provide information regarding weight estimate and the field numbers for components of these seed lots.

Variety records

Invoices or other documents establishing variety, grower’s declaration of variety, or VNS, must be maintained by the person obtaining the seed from the grower. Seed records necessary to disclose the variety including planting, certification tags, or breeders’ affidavit should be kept.

Conditioning and handling records

  • Records of operations you performed on the seed such as cleaning, blending, and treating, regardless of whether or not you own the seed or whether the seed lot is certified, commercial, or certification isolation
  • Records of bagging/packaging all above mentioned seed lots
  • Conditioners are responsible to maintain a record of all their conditioning activities. Records such as grower, crop and variety, field number(s), and exact or estimated weight from each field for a grower/cultivar should be maintained for certified, commercial, and certification isolation lots.

Test records

  • All test reports received on the lot shipped, including endophyte, sod quality, purity, germination/viability, and other tests
  • Test reports on all component lots, if the lot shipped was a blend or mixture and the labeling was determined from the analysis of the components
  • Sales and shipping records
  • Invoices and scale tickets, bills of lading, or other transportation records
  • Inventory records (show sales and amount remaining)
  • A specimen of the analysis tags developed from tests reports
  • Phytosanitary certificates
  • File samples

Record retention period

A complete record of each lot must be maintained for three years after disposition of the entire lot; the file samples must be for one year after disposition of the entire lot. (Three years for documents, one year for file samples after final sale of the lot.)

Accessibility of records

The records shall be accessible for inspection by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Seed Certification Service and the USDA for the effective administration of the Oregon Revised Statute, Oregon Administrative Rule, and the Federal Seed Act, at any time during customary business hours.

Technical Assi​stance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Market Access and Certification Programs
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone 503-986-4620
Web oregon.gov/ODA/CID/pages/seed_services.aspx​

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Virus certification of ornamental and fruit tree nursery stock

Who must comply?

The Virus Certification Program for fruit and ornamental trees has been providing fee-supported testing services for Oregon nurseries since 1977. This is a voluntary program provided by the Plant Health Program, within the Market Access and Certification Programs. In this program, fruit and ornamental varieties of Malus (apples and crabapples), Prunus (cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, etc.), Pyrus (domestic pears, Asian pears, and flowering pears), and Cydonia (quince) are tested for viruses of quarantine significance to Oregon´s interstate and international consumers (e.g., Canada). Nurseries interested in participating in the program must meet specific requirements for the handling of their certified plants. These requirements are outlined in OAR 603-051-0855 to -0859. Plant Health Program staff are also available for assistance.

Application

Nurseries interested in participating in the program should contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Market Access and Certification Programs. Program participation forms must be submitted to the department by March 31 of each year.

Phone 503-986-4620
Web oregon.gov/ODA/CID/PLANT_HEALTH/pages/programs.aspx​

Fees

There is a $200 annual fee for participating in the program. The testing fee schedule is set at $10 per sample per Ilarvirus test (Prunus necrotic ringspot virus and prune dwarf virus), $7 per sample per tomato ringspot virus test, and $7 per sample per each additional virus test requested. Contact the Market Access and Certification Programs to verify the fee schedule.

Reports

Nurseries are issued individual reports discussing their virus testing results. A summary of the certified varieties grown by each nursery in the program is sent to state, federal, and Canadian officials each year upon request. This summary is also available to nurseries participating in the program.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Plant Health Program
Dr. Nancy Osterbauer, Plant Health Program Manager
Phone 503-986-4666
Web oregon.gov/ODA/CID/PLANT_HEALTH/pages/programs.aspx

US Department of Agriculture
Federal phytosanitary certificates
Portland, OR
Phone 503-326-2814

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Weed-free Forage Program

There is increasing demand in Oregon, and throughout the West, for certified weed-free hay, straw, and mulch. This voluntary, fee based program provides industry the ability to certify products free from weeds listed on Oregon and North American Weed Management Association lists of noxious weeds. The certification standards are designed to limit or reduce the spread of noxious weeds.

All Region 6 (Pacific Northwest Region) US Forest Service lands require weed-free forage, mulch, and rehabilitation products.

The requirement for hay, straw, and mulch on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho says, you must not possess, use, or store any hay, straw, or mulch that has not been certified as free of prohibited noxious vegetative parts and/or seeds at any time of the year. Certification must comply with the state, regional, or federal Weed-Free Forage Certification Standards.

Technical assistance

Growers wishing to participate in the program should contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Market Access and Certification Programs.

Certification standards and general information

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Market Access and Certification Programs
Phone 503-986-4620
Web oregon.gov/ODA/PLANT/WEEDS/Pages/weedfreeforageprogram.aspx


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