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Keeping it Local 

Between the "Make Local Habit" bumper stickers and the new personal I.D. buzz word "locavore," there's a lot of talk about eating locally. It sounds

Between the "Make Local Habit" bumper stickers and the new personal I.D. buzz word "locavore," there's a lot of talk about eating locally. It sounds easy, but it's actually quite a challenge. Most of what you see in your local big box grocery store isn't produced in Oregon, or even the Northwest. Much of it isn't even produced in the U.S. So how does the owner of a grocery store or restaurant start to source local products?

That's where Katrina Van Dis and Phil Chang of the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council come in. With the help of OSU Extension offices, Central Oregon Environmental Center and the Oregon Environmental Council they are putting on a workshop to connect local producers with local food businesses.

The "Cultivating Our Local Food Economy" workshop is open to the public, but is specifically set up as a sort of matchmaking event for farmers, ranchers, retail food buyers and restaurant owners. "We are working toward facilitating new market connections so the local food vendors can tap into local food production and to try to crack the distribution issues that can keep local producers out of the cycle," Chang said.

The workshop focuses on building a regional food economy and includes a panel of food buyers, chefs and farmers, as well as food distributors like FSA. The workshop includes a locally produced lunch, featuring Country Natural Beef (formerly Oregon Country Beef) short ribs.

This is the start of an ongoing effort on the parts of Van Dis and Chang to make local sourcing a viable and smart economic choice. Van Dis is currently working on making farmers markets accessible to Oregon Trail Food Stamp and WIC recipients as well as a series of workshops to educate consumers how to eat more locally. - LJR.

For more information on the Nov 1st workshop log on to or email

Cultivating Our Local Food Economy

November 1st, 8:30AM-3:30PM, St Charles Medical Center. 541-504-3307

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