Oregon's Organic Agriculture and Processing Industry
Organic agriculture and food processing is a relatively small but rapidly growing segment of Oregon's total agriculture industry.
When you hear the term "organic farmer," you may have a picture of a counter-culture, tie-dye wearing hippie-type living "off-the-grid" in Takilma. You may be right in some cases. But for the first time, the 2002 Census of Agriculture contains data about Oregon's organic farms and farmers. Of Oregon's approximately 40,000 farms, only 515, or 1.3 percent, were certified organic at that time. According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture, most organic producers are 45 years of age or older. About one in seven were older than 65. Most organic certified farms were small operations in 2002. About one in three had total sales of less than $1,000. Total sales were less than $10,000 for 82 percent of certified organic farms (Graph 1). The 2007 Census of Agriculture was recently completed but won't be released until February 2009. (more...)