Mar 24, 2021
First NASDA Women’s Farm2Food Accelerator chooses Oregon women

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Foundation, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Washington State Department of Agriculture, has launched the first Women’s Farm2Food Accelerator.

The Women’s Farm2Food Accelerator will help women farmers and entrepreneurs with food and beverage products enter or expand into new markets.

“Congratulations to all the amazing women selected for the first-ever Women’s Farm2Food Accelerator program,” said Alexis Taylor, ODA, Director. “The women chosen come from all over the state, producing everything from herbal teas, liquors, and pot pies. I think this is an exciting opportunity where we as a state department of agriculture can help a group of Oregon women makes their farm businesses more profitable and successful.”

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Foundation chose 10 applicants from Oregon and 10 from Washington. Participants will receive training in marketing, product development, food safety, packaging and pricing, and working with buyers. The virtual series of short courses will begin in March and run through September. The Accelerator will help women farmers and entrepreneurs launch new products or enhance existing products and connect to a network of local resource providers, guest lecturers, and instructors.

In its first year, the Accelerator focuses on supporting women farmers who grow specialty crop ingredients for a value-added product or those who source specialty crop ingredients from Oregon or Washington in the products they make. A value-added product is defined as a product that has changed in its physical state or form, such as milling wheat for flour or making strawberries into jam. Specialty crops include fruit, vegetables, tree nuts, herbs and specialty flowers. The Accelerator is designed to support small-scale businesses with less than $500,000 in annual gross sales and less than 20 employees.

2021 NASDA Foundation Women’s Farm2Food Accelerator Oregon participants:

Chef Kristen Inc, Jacksonville, OR Kristen Lyon

Chow This! LLC, Milwaukee, OR Maria Rice

Circle A Bees, La Grande, OR Caroline Barnes

Elysian Acres, Jefferson, OR Jennifer Skouras

Kiger Island Blues, Corvallis, OR Mindi (Marilyn) Miller

Margalaxy LLC, Portland, OR Margaux Miller

Minto Island Growers LLC, Salem, OR Elizabeth Miller

Oshala Farm, Grants Pass/Appelgate, OR Elise Higley

Pleasant Valley Organics, Gresham, OR Aurora Ashkar

R & Arie LLC, Portland, OR Reeba Daniel

Elise Higley owns and operates Oshala Farm near Grants Pass with her husband Jeff. Photo: Oshala Farm

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