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Oregon Agriculture is a Festival for Foodies

Posted by Dave Losh, Oregon State Statistician, National Agricultural Statistics Service in Conservation
Feb 21, 2017
Oregon State Infographic
Oregon Berries ripe for the eating - out of hand, in jams and jellies and pie, oh my! Check back next week for another state spotlight drawn from the 2012 Census of Agriculture.

The Census of Agriculture is the most complete account of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Every Thursday USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will highlight new Census data and the power of the information to shape the future of American agriculture.

Living and traveling in Oregon offers many great opportunities – from exploring the vast outdoors, to discovering Portland’s hotspots, to treating your taste buds to a festival of locally-grown foods. With more than 230 agricultural commodities raised in our state, Oregon agriculture delivers a festival for foodies according to the latest Census of Agriculture. Whether you are visiting the state or are an Oregonian, this means you have great access to buy and enjoy Oregon Agriculture!

According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, the value of Oregon’s agricultural products reached nearly $5 billion. Of that, $44.2 million was from direct sales to consumers through places such as farmers markets, roadside stands and community supported agriculture programs (CSAs). Also, 1,898 farms marketed products directly to retailers, including Oregon restaurants featuring farm-to-table menus. So if you are looking to shop and eat in our state, we have an abundance of delicious, fresh and local options.

If your taste buds aren’t dancing yet, let’s talk about some of the must-have Oregon-grown products. Berries! Oregon ranks number one in the United States for blackberries, black raspberries and boysenberries. In 2012, more than 24,573 acres of farmland in Oregon were dedicated to berry farming. Of those, 6,700 acres were for blackberries alone. Blackberries are so widely grown in our state that the Marion Blackberry is named after Marion County, Oregon.

According to the agriculture census, our state also ranks fourth in the country for cultivated blueberries, with 9,488 acres of land in tame blueberries and third in the nation for sweet cherries with 15,602 acres. But the diversity of Oregon agriculture provides much more than fruit.

Second in the nation for hops, Oregon harvested nearly 7.7 million pounds of hops in 2012. This access to key local ingredients equals great local brews for our state. If you want a steak or burger to go with your drink, nearly a third of our state’s farms, 11,420 operations, specialize in beef cattle. And with 148,915 acres of harvested vegetables in 2012, Oregon agriculture also offers everything from broccoli and green peas to potatoes, onions and sweet corn.

With such an abundant selection of locally grown products, Oregon agriculture has something to delight the taste buds of everyone!

Category/Topic: Conservation