The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon

$80,000 to Live on Your Own Farm?

December 4, 2009

By Karla Kay Edwards
Cascade Policy Institute

Oregon is a leader in the “buy local food” movement, and buying fresh produce from local farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) could become an even stronger trend in our state. People not only want to know where their food is coming from, but they also like the fact that they are supporting the local rural economy.

Unfortunately, Oregon’s onerous land-use regulations stand in our farmers’ way. Oregon has an arbitrary rule requiring a piece of property zoned as high-value farmland to generate $80,000 in annual sales before a dwelling can be built for the farmer. More than 83% of all farms in Oregon generate less than $50,000 in sales annually.

Many farmers participating in farmers’ markets and CSA are small farmers who often have off-farm jobs in addition to farming. They produce perishable commodities like tomatoes and strawberries that must be watered and harvested daily, so it is an extreme burden on them and their families if they are not allowed to live on the property they farm. This hardship often results in farmers deciding to let the land sit fallow.

Oregonians need to demand that this $80,000 rule be repealed. People should have the right to live on the land they own and the opportunity to generate income for themselves and commerce for their local communities.

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Local Food Roundup « Garden Variety December 4, 2009

[…] From Natural Resource Report: A quick post explaining a rule that sets a minimum farming revenue level Oregon farmers much reach in order to live on their farm land. Leave a Comment No Comments Yet so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Click here to cancel reply. Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <pre> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> […]

Richard Hoefer December 7, 2009

Concerning your article on the $80,000 doller rule, I am curently fighting with Jefferson County, I grossed over $87,000 and they said
that I could not include my water and power in my income, that it looked
like a reimbursement, putting me just under the limit, I am apealing,
any sugestions, I know of several families with this same problem, how
could we change the rules?? Adding a single family dwelling to farm ground would only inhance the productivity and the value of the land,
Oregon needs to change this.

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