A new “Farm2Food” accelerator grant in Oregon and Washington aims to help women farmers expand their businesses. Amy Gilroy with the Oregon Department of Agriculture said the program is the first of its kind.
“The idea with the accelerator," said Gilroy, "is to provide some of the training around food product development, consumer research, and food safety to really help equip these women with the skills and knowledge necessary to get their products into bigger markets like grocery stores, wholesale markets, even into some of our export markets.”
Gilroy said the 10 Oregon grant winners will attend virtual courses led by industry experts. She said 44 percent of the state’s farms and ranches are run by women, which ranks fourth in the country. The robust support network, said Gilroy, should help the initiative succeed.
Regional winners include blueberry farmer Mindy Miller of Kiger Island Blues in Corvallis and Elizabeth Miller of Minto Island Tea Company in Salem.