The success of agricultural systems has led to a decrease in the cost of food.
Volume XI | Issue 1 | Spring 2011
Cover Story

Prospering through a greater role in food

Oregon rancher Connie Hatfield often visits urban grocery stores in her role as co-founder of the Country Natural Beef cooperative. When she tells customers that she is from a ranch family, they inevitably thank her for producing the naturally grown product. “And then, they tell me about their grandpa who used to have a ranch,” she says. “But there aren’t as many of those stories as there used to be.” In the last half century, as food production has become mechanized and centralized, the quantity of food produced by each farmer and rancher has increased dramatically, and the number of farmers and ranchers has declined precipitously.

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© 2000-2021 The Ford Family Foundation. Anne Kubisch, President; Mandy Elder, Editor; Megan Monson, Assistant Editor

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Perspective changes to hope

I’ve often mentioned to family and friends, and sometimes to our leadership classes, that being the director of the Ford Institute has changed my life. Quite literally it has changed my perception of...  Read More

Prospering through a greater role in food

Oregon rancher Connie Hatfield often visits urban grocery stores in her role as co-founder of the Country Natural Beef cooperative. When she tells customers that she is from a ranch family, they...  Read More

A flat of different kinds of berries

Research offers insights

The “buy local” food movement is gaining popularity nationwide, and new research is giving people new reasons to buy into it. A recent report on food systems in Lane County, for example, puts an...  Read More

An old-fashioned storefronts sit in the middle of a remote area

A challenging enterprise

When Angela Jones and her parents, Don and Sharon Jones, bought the Dayville Mercantile in 2006, they were pleased to continue a rural tradition. The store has served as the community center for the...  Read More

Picture of a grocery store and cafe

Studies focus on solutions

The townspeople of Leeton, Mo., had been without a grocery store for almost 10 years when a new one finally opened in the largely abandoned downtown district. It wasn’t operated by a grocery chain...  Read More

A woman in a cook's apron holds a box of fresh rhubarb

FoodHub helps buyers, sellers find each other

It’s all about making connections, and FoodHub, Oregon’s online matchmaking service between food buyers and food sellers, has been making tasty ones for more than a year.  Read More

A row of apron-clad women pack produce

Gleaners provide a hand up, not a handout

Twice a month, the cavernous warehouse at Linn Benton Food Share fills up with the good-natured chatter of 75 or so hard-working volunteers, gathered there to repackage bulk quantities of donated...  Read More

A mounted cowboy rides herd on a handful of cattle

Supporting sustainable agriculture

When Doc and Connie Hatfield first began researching markets for the hormone and antibiotic-free beef raised on their Brothers ranch, it was the late ’80s— a challenging time for ranching. Red meat...  Read More

Cover of the book "Better Together"

Restoring community

Best-selling author Robert Putnam takes a new look at civic renewal.  Read More

A woman wraps meat in a store

Ranchers reach out to meet their consumers

A big challenge in the early days of the Country Natural Beef cooperative was getting the word out to the public about the availability of the co-op’s natural beef products. The best solution at the...  Read More

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