OSU Metro Small Farms Program Updates
Clackamas, Multnomah & Washington Counties
Program Updates
We are nearing May Day and the signs of spring in the Willamette Valley are all around. The soil is warming, fruit trees are blooming, fields are getting worked, and lambs are frolicking. Veggie starts are going into the ground, and farm stands are dusting off the winter cob webs. The snow this week is a reminder we aren’t quiet out of frost danger yet, but we are getting closer.

Enjoy the spring, sow your seeds, and find something to celebrate this season. Greener days are just around the corner.   

Metro Small Farms Team

Heidi Noordijk
Outreach Program Coordinator

Clint Taylor
Education Program Assistant

Organic Vegetable Program
Nick Andrews
Professor of Practice


The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA)  Oregon Disaster Assistance Program (ODAP) is now open. This loan forgiveness program is for farmers that can show farm losses in 2021 in comparison to their annual average income from 2017-2019, based on Schedule F (learn about schedule F). Farmers will apply through approved 3rd party lenders during a short application period this spring. 

Fact Sheet

For farmers who are not able to apply for ODAP or federal funds, the Oregon Legislature allocated  $1.5 million to the Oregon Community Food Systems Network (OCFSN) for an alternative relief program. These funds will be given to farms that do not fit the requirements outlined by other disaster relief or are unable to show a Schedule F for 2017-2019 farm income for ODAP. The application period will open soon.

More Info

Ask the Expert Videos are now available on the Small Farm School website.

Want to learn more about the organizations and people that support small farmers in our region? Check out these 11 videos on the Ask the Expert section of the Small Farm School webpage. Experts from around the Willamette Valley introduce themselves and talk about what they do, and services they can provide to farmers. Special thanks to Cathy McQueeney of Clackamas SWCD for putting the videos together. 
Online Spring Workshop Series
for Equine Owners

Each online class is $5.00, register for one or for all. Questions? Contact: 

Tuesday, April 12 6:00-7:30 PM
Equine Pasture Management and Pasture Nutrition
Presenter: Dr. Shayan Ghajar, Assistant Professor, OSU Extension Service Small Farms Program
 From brood mares to retired easy-keepers, forage is the foundation of all equine nutrition. In this class, learn about pasture species, grazing systems, and pasture nutrition for equine & environmental health.
Tuesday, April 26 6:00-7:30 PM
Managing Mud and Manure on Horse Properties
Presenter: Melissa Fery, Associate Professor, OSU Extension Service Small Farms Program
The amount of mud and manure that can accumulate on horse properties can feel overwhelming. In this class we will explore options to establish sacrifice areas, build all-weather paddocks and compost manure to benefit your horse’s health and your property and hopefully your own frustration next winter
Tuesday, May 10 6:00-7:30 PM
Dangerous Plants in Pastures and Paddocks
Presenters: Hayley White, Program Coordinator and Melissa Fery, Associate Professor, both with OSU Extension Service Small Farms Program.
Horses can encounter poisonous plants and other vegetation that can cause injury. This class will teach you how to identify some of the common dangerous plants found in Western Oregon and how to manage them on your small acreage horse property.
Tuesday, May 24 6:00 -7:30 PM

Don’t Panic – What to do if Your Horse is Injured 
Presenter: Dawn Sherwood, Horse Specialist, OSU Extension Service Animal Science Program
It is stressful with your horse is bleeding or injured and often we’re not sure what to do. This class will cover some basic first aid procedures, help you determine when to call your veterinarian and some steps you can take until your veterinarian arrives. 
More Info
You’re invited to join us for an evening exploring opportunities for farmers in PNW to grow medicinal herbs for market. A North Willamette Research and Extension Center project has been focusing on what medicinal herbs grow well in our region some considerations for market quality, and where to start when adopting new crops.

Initial results will be released soon in this publication: Medicinal Herb Production in the Pacific Northwest: Opportunities and Obstacles in a Growing Market.

Come hear a summary of results, opportunities to engage in ongoing research, ask questions, and network and connect with other growers.

Thursday April 21st 6:30-7:30pm, Free to attend
Online REGISTER for link or contact Teagan.moran@oregonstate.ed
More Info

Micro (Drip) Irrigation for Small Vegetable Farms

Presented by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service - Science and Technology
National Technology Support Centers

Online Webinar
April 19th 11:00 am PST

What will you learn?

Join us as we discuss the basics of microirrigation terminology, layout, components, planning and design considerations with emphasis on small vegetable farms within the context of NRCS Conservation Practice.  This webinar is intended to enhance in-house awareness of key planning and design considerations for microirrigation in small farms with participants also exposed to design tools, templates, and other information resources, handouts, and factsheets. 
More Info

This new online course is for farmers and ranchers interested in adding an agricultural tourism business to their operation. Agritourism includes welcoming visitors onto a farm or ranch to sell products, engage with customers, offer various activities, enhance the visibility of local farms, and build connections in the community. 

More Info



Nutrient management is one of the most important aspects of managing a farm. This course is designed to improve farmers' nutrient management skills, to help them reach the production and profit goals they have set for their farm business. In this course, we use the word organic in its broadest sense to indicate an ecological, whole-system approach to nutrient management

This is an intermediate- to advanced-level course, so we also recommend that participants have at least four years of farming under their belts. Beginning farmers are welcome to join, but may find the material challenging.
Register Now

Youth Tractor Safety Certification Training

Cost $95/participant (non-refundable)

Two three-day sessions will be offered this year:
June 22-24 (Wednesday - Friday)
June 27-29 (Monday - Wednesday)

The Youth Tractor Certification Course is a 22-hour program designed to teach safety as it relates to driving and managing farm implements. It offers both classroom and hands-on tractor driving experiences, for youth ages 14-17 who are interested in summer employment opportunities in the upcoming agricultural season.

Students must be 14 by June 20, 2022. 4-H / FFA membership not required

Participants must attend all three days of the session and pass both a written and driving test to receive certification.

Hurry - sessions fill quickly!

More Info
You're Invited to a Climate Resilience  Farmer-to-Farmer Learning Circle with My Brothers' Farm on 04/21
Join OrCAN on 04/21at 5:30pm for a farmer-to-farmer conversation led by the team at My Brothers' Farm. They'll share their story of shifting from an annual rye grass farm in Creswell, Oregon to a diversified orchard, ranch, and riparian forest. Register here today. 
What to Expect? OrCAN Farmer Learning Circles via Zoom
The team from My Brothers' Farm will lead this evening conversation (from 5:30-7pm) by sharing some of her experiences from their diversified ranch, orchard and riparian forest.

This is also a space for us to all learn from each other. We will be setting the stage for an interactive and engaging session. Attendees will receive conversation questions ahead of the event. Everyone will be invited to keep their cameras on if possible and we'll go into break out rooms for short, more in-depth conversations.

We hope you can bring us your questions, your experiments, and your favorite resources to share.

And, we're excited to experiment with an evening time session this time around! We know the farm work day is full for many right now. Feel free to bring your dinner or happy hour snacks to the session!
Register Now
2022 Agricultural Biodiversity on Western Farms: Habitat Working for Farmers is a virtual conference on practices to develop habitats that conserve agricultural biodiversity and their benefits in western farming systems for farmers, conservationists, and other agricultural professionals. The event is sponsored by Benton, Clackamas, Marion, East and West Multnomah and Tualatin Soil Water and Conservation Districts, National Center for Appropriate Technology and the Oregon IPM Center. 
  • Farmer preferred habitats and practices
  • Best methods and plants for practices
  • Benefits and beneficial insects associated with biodiversity and their impacts in Western cropping systems               
Dates: Tuesday May 24th and Wednesday May 25th   8:00am – 12:00 PM  
Registration and Agendas:
Contact: Gwendolyn Ellen   Oregon State University, Oregon IPM Center, 541-829-3337
More Info

This is a quick reference for those interested in establishing a vineyard in Oregon. A step-by-step format guides readers to the basic information they would need to consider before developing a vineyard, including how to develop a business plan, determine site suitability, investigate cultivars, and order plant.

View It Now
The Metro Small Farms Program is based at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC). Variety trials and small-scale workshops occur on our two-acre learning farm. There are many other programs at NWREC that serve farmers in our region. Watch this 7-minute video to learn more.
COVID-19 Advisory. Metro OSU Extension is working to keep our communities safe. All Extension programming is being provided virtually, postponed or canceled. We are available via email, phone and web conference
Oregon State University Extension Service prohibits discrimination in all its programs, services, activities, and materials on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, familial/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, genetic information, veteran’s status, reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. This publication will be made available in accessible formats upon request. Program accommodation requests related to a disability should be made by calling 503-373-3774.

Please help us to monitor the effectiveness of our civil rights and affirmative action efforts and fill out our anonymous survey.

El Servicio de Extensión de Oregon State University prohíbe la discriminación en todos sus programas, servicios, actividades y materiales en base a la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, identidad de género (incluyendo la expresión de género), orientación sexual, discapacidad, edad, estado civil, estatus de la familia/padres, ingresos derivados de un programa de asistencia pública, creencias políticas, información genética, estado de veterano, represalia o represalia por actividad previa de los derechos civiles.

Te invitamos a indicar voluntariamente tu origen étnico, raza, y género en este formulario para ayudarnos a monitorear la efectividad de nuestros esfuerzos en cuanto a derechos civiles y acción afirmativa.

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