With the state’s agricultural and ranching sectors booming, many are now thinking about how to make their agricultural areas more urban.
In addition to new subdivisions, cities are also being eyed for the agricultural land.
There is a new effort underway in Oregon to develop a $30 million urban agricultural program.
The state’s agriculture and ranch development assistant is now tasked with researching and evaluating new urban agricultural developments.
“We need to think about the urbanization of rural land in a way that is sustainable,” said Jim Tisdale, executive director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
“We need a plan to ensure that we get it right.”
According to Tisdales data, urban agricultural development is currently projected to generate $3.8 billion in economic benefits for Oregon.
The state is currently the fifth most populous state in the nation with more than 11 million residents.
Tisdale said urban agriculture has become more popular and sustainable due to climate change.
“The ability to have land that is more productive and can be productive in the wintertime and produce more vegetables in the summertime is a really big benefit for agriculture,” Tisdaly said.
Tidemarking Oregon’s agricultural landTisdales research suggests urban agriculture is becoming more popular in the U.S. and in Oregon.
Tadalale said that’s partly because cities have become a natural home for farmers.
“When you go to rural America, you tend to find a lot of older farmers who have been farming for generations,” Tadalale explained.
“They tend to live on the land.
They tend to have a lot more land than what is being developed in cities.””
The cities tend to be a little bit more of a land grab, where they have a little more land and they tend to look for people who are going to be willing to rent that land out,” Tidemarked.
“That’s been a very successful strategy for urban agriculture in Oregon.”
The Urban Urban Farm, Urban Farm Development & Farm Development program is an initiative to develop rural-specific agricultural properties for urban-oriented use.
The program was created in 2017 by the Oregon Agricultural Development Corporation and was expanded to encompass more than a dozen counties.
The Urban Farm was developed with the help of the Farmland Trust and the Oregon Urban Land Institute.
Tadalales data shows urban farms in the Portland metro area are growing at a rate of about 20 percent annually.