Monthly Archives: December 2020

Hindsight is 2020: Looking Back on the Year in Review

As we leave 2020 in the rear view mirror, we look back at a year that was unpredictable and exasperating for many.  Time and time again, Oregon dairy farmers, processors and those in the dairy community proved to be resilient and rose to challenge after challenge. Among them; the pandemic, temporary supply chain disruptions, increased hunger, and historic wildfires. Throughout it all, Oregon dairy farmers proved they were there for their communities while working to provide nutritious dairy products – all without skipping a beat.

March abruptly impacted any previously made plans for the year. With the beginning of a statewide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19, toilet paper made headlines as Oregonians began stocking up on supplies, but they also started to clean grocery shelves out of butter, cheese, milk and ice cream. Stores, and all those throughout the supply chain, quickly adjusted to meet the increased demand for milk and dairy foods.  As restaurants and retailers closed their brick and mortar locations to the public, people were advised by government officials and medical professionals to Stay Home, Stay Safe and Stay Healthy.

Fuel Up to Play 60 Ambassador and former NFL football player Anthony Newman helped by promoting good nutrition and health for kids quarantining at home with our ‘Stay Healthy’ series.  His advice on how to stay mentally and physically healthy still resonates months later. You can now catch part of the series on the national Fuel Up to Play 60 Homeroom.  

As the entire country shifted to working and staying at home, online learning and experiences took off. Farmers tuned in to industry professionals on our Lunch & Learn webinars.  Local farmers and the Oregon Dairy Princess assisted with videos for classrooms and online farm tours. Even cows got in on the action, assisting Liz Collman from Cloud Cap Farms as she read books from their farm’s pasture to kids staying at home.

As the shutdown continued, restaurant and retail closures unfortunately followed throughout the year, with notable Portland establishments like Toro Bravo, Beast and the much-loved Cheese Bar closing permanently. The closures impacted dairy and many other locally produced foods that supply restaurants and food service companies.

More people took to making their meals at home, using pantry staples like butter, milk, yogurt and cream.  Stacy Foster, from our own team, joined in with her daughter, creating a delicious recipe from Food Hero.

Although though most summer events, like the Oregon State Fair, were cancelled due to the coronavirus, ingenious solutions were created to keep traditions going. The Oregon Dairy Women celebrated the 51st year of their Red Barn Ice Cream event by taking it on the road with the help of Wilco. By the end of the summer, they had visited five cities in Oregon and served hundreds people their famous cones and shakes.

Hunger relief efforts also intensified as more people lost their jobs and businesses stayed closed. Safeway and Albertson’s Nourishing Neighbors program helped donate $450,000 in emergency grant funding to 159 local schools that aided school nutrition professionals in getting food to kids and families in need. Tillamook County Creamery Association, Rogue Creamery, Briar Rose Creamery and others also donated to food banks and their local communities.

Free summer meals were extended throughout Oregon through the year, resulting in nutritious food boxes and assistance programs that helped kids and families across the state. 

And some farmers gave to their communities personally, like Rickreall Dairy, which celebrated the farm’s 30th anniversary by donating several hundred grocery bags full of food and milk to neighbors in need in their community. Tillamook dairy farmer Derrick Josi (aka TDF Honest Farming) bought meals for linesmen following a severe windstorm and for first responders during the subsequent wildfires.

In September, wildfires swept through California and Oregon, creating orange skies filled with smoke and haze that covered most of the state.  Farmers kept their cattle hydrated and worked together to move livestock and supplies, while also helping their communities and supporting fire fighting efforts.

Despite the many challenges, bright spots appeared throughout the year. In October, Governor Kate Brown named October 18th Blue Cheese Day in Oregon, in celebration of Rogue Creamery’s historic win of “best cheese in the world” at the 2019-2020 World Cheese Awards in Bergamo, Italy.

Threemile Canyon Farms won the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy for its work demonstrating how growing crops and milking cows can complement one another in a regenerative, closed-loop system, resulting in zero waste. This recognition was a testament to the vision, leadership and commitment of the farm’s general manager, Marty Myers, and will serve as a lasting legacy following his untimely passing in early December.

Throughout it all, Oregon dairy farmers have been there, supporting their communities in ways too numerous to count, with delicious and nutritious food, helping their communities and caring for their animals and the earth. In 2020, dairy truly made everything better for a lot of people.

From our families to yours, we hope this next year is a safe, healthy and happy one.

Top Ten Stories of 2020:

OREGON’S THREEMILE CANYON FARMS WINS NATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

IN MEMORIAM: MARTY MYERS

MEET SIX WOMEN MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN DAIRY FARMING

NINE REASONS TO ENJOY REAL MILK IN YOUR HANDCRAFTED COFFEE DRINK

“BLUE CHEESE DAY” CELEBRATES AMERICA’S FIRST GRAND CHAMPION CHEESE

OREGON ICE CREAM TRAIL

DASH DIET EATING PLAN

THROUGH THE FIRE: OREGON DAIRY COMMUNITY SHOWS RESILIENCY, GENEROSITY

GET CONNECTED WITH DAIRY EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES ONLINE

VIRTUAL TOURS BRING DAIRY FARMS TO THE CLASSROOM

Last Minute Holiday Gifts For Dairy Lovers

Looking for that last-minute gift for the dairy lover on your list? Check out these inspired ideas from local dairy makers across Oregon!

Know a quarantined ice cream lover who’s looking for a more immersive experience? Transport them to one of Salt and Straw’s famed shops with A Whiff of Wafflecone, Salt and Straw’s new fragrance with Portland perfumery Imaginary Authors. Notes of vanilla, heavy cream, and salted caramel will carry them away to ice cream heaven without the wait!

Temperatures are dropping, but these curds are popping! Face Rock Creamery has the spicy cheese lover on your list covered. Try giving one of their Creamery Curd Samplers, which includes their spicy “In Your Face” three-pepper curds and ever-popular Vampire Slayer garlic curds.

If you’re looking for something that’s truly world class, try a wheel or slice of Rogue Creamery’s award-winning Rogue River Blue cheese, grand champion of the 2019-2020 World Cheese Awards. Each wheel is hand-wrapped in organic, biodynamic Syrah grape leaves that are soaked in pear spirits made from locally harvested fruit.

Trying to find the perfect gift for that person who has everything? We’ve been there. If you’re looking for something unique, try TMK Creamery’s single cow cheddar cheese. The only cheese in the world made from a single cow! And when that cow is Miss TMK herself, well… let’s just say sometimes it’s good to buy a gift for yourself too!

While you’re celebrating the holidays in these next couple of weeks, remember there are plenty of great, locally-produced seasonal ice creams, eggnog, flavored coffee drinks, and artisanal cheeses to enjoy.

And if you’re cooking or baking something special, don’t forget to stock up on ingredients like butter, cream, and of course milk to go with the cookies for Santa.

All the best to you and yours, and have a very dairy new year!

Related Posts:

Oregon Cheese Guild

“BLUE CHEESE DAY” CELEBRATES AMERICA’S FIRST GRAND CHAMPION CHEESE

GOING ROGUE: OREGON CHEESE MAKES A BIG STATEMENT

WOW YOUR HOLIDAY GUESTS WITH THESE CHEESE AND CHOCOLATE PAIRINGS

WHITE CHOCOLATE MINT WHOOPIE PIES

In Memoriam: Marty Myers

Innovative, visionary, brilliant, genuine, caring – friends and colleagues have used all these words and more to describe Marty Myers. Marty was the General Manager of Threemile Canyon Farms since 1998 and served on the board of the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council since 2013. He passed away unexpectedly on December 1 at his home, and the loss will be felt throughout dairy, agriculture and local communities where he made a positive impact.

The following is a statement from Warren Chamberlain, Chairman of the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council’s Board of Commissioners:

We were saddened by the news that Marty Myers, general manager of Threemile Canyon Farms, died this week.

On behalf of our Board and staff, we wish to express our sincere condolences, thoughts, and prayers to his family.

Marty was an inspiring and visionary member of our Oregon and Dairy Nutrition Council Board of Commissioners, and a true friend.  Marty’s insight, thoughtfulness, and willingness to work with all points of view benefitted not only ODNC, but Oregon’s dairy industry overall.

Under his guidance, Threemile Canyon Farms has become a leading example of Oregon agriculture in workforce development, adaptation of new technologies, community support, and sustainability.  Marty’s vision of a closed-loop system and other sustainability innovations earned Threemile Canyon national recognition.  This year, the farm was recognized as a 2020 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability award winner by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

As a fifth-generation Oregonian, Marty gave much to the state in a lifelong agricultural career. We will continue our work at ODNC in the spirit of Marty’s vision and in the memory of his friendship.

This is a statement by Tim Curoe, CEO of R.D. Offutt Company, the parent company to Threemile Canyon Farms:

“Marty Myers was the visionary force behind Threemile Canyon Farms. He had a vision for the farm to be a sustainable operation, which was well ahead of the times. He brought that idea into reality by creating a ‘closed loop’ system where nothing would be wasted, and that remains the foundation for the farm’s remarkable and continued success.

“There just aren’t enough kind words to use when describing Marty. He was thoughtful, quick to laugh, and someone who always focused on what was possible.  But most of all, I will remember him as friend and a true partner. He will be dearly missed but his vision will most certainly live on.”

Marty Myers leaves an impressive and lasting legacy, and he will be missed. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, Marty’s family is encouraging donations to Blanchet House and Oregon Food Bank in his honor. Cards, letters and remembrances can be sent to:

The Myers Family

c/o Janet Hersey

75906 Threemile Road

Boardman, OR, 97818

Related Links:

Threemile Canyon Farms Mourns the Loss of Leader Marty Myers

Threemile Canyon Farms GM Marty Myers dies at 68, Capital Press

Oregon’s Threemile Canyon Farms Wins National Sustainability Award

Oregon Safeway and Albertsons Shoppers Register Support for Schools and Hunger

Generous Safeway and Albertsons shoppers in communities throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington are making a substantial impact for local schools – at a time when students need it the most. As part of the Nourishing Neighbors program and the “Help Feed Families During the Crisis” campaign, $450,000 in emergency grant funding is supporting 159 local schools. 

In Oregon, there are more than half a million people who do not get enough to eat, and more than 194,000 of them are children. An estimated 1 in 6 kids nationally lived with food insecurity heading into the pandemic, and now it is expected to be closer to 1 in 4 as more households are struggling with declining income or unemployment. 

In partnership with GENYOUth, a national nonprofit that creates healthier school communities, Safeway and Albertsons and other contributors are funding grants to supply much-needed resources for meal distribution and delivery. Nationally, more than $10 million has been deployed in emergency funding supporting more than 8,600 schools. 

From soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, to protective gear for food service sanitation and safety, this equipment will ensure that children continue to receive the nutritious meals they need. 

“Our meal program has provided nearly 200,000 meals free of charge to the children in our community over the last 6 months,” said Alex Singer, Nutrition Services Director for Central School District in Independence/Monmouth. “The support from Safeway and Albertsons has shown how communities can rise up and come together to support the needs of children.” 

Through donations at the cash register, the Nourishing Neighbors program raises awareness, engages volunteers and raises funds to support innovative and effective programs throughout the country. The program ensures every child in America has access to nutritious food. It is part of the Albertsons Companies Foundation, which has invested over $1 billion in communities nationwide since 2001. 

“I truly hope our customers know that when they say yes at the PIN pad, they are helping children in their very neighborhood receive immediate and much needed hunger relief,” said Gineal Davidson, President, Portland Division of Safeway Albertsons. 

Related Links:

#THANKS4GIVING HIGHLIGHTS LOCAL COMMUNITY HEROES

THROUGH THE FIRE: OREGON DAIRY COMMUNITY SHOWS RESILIENCY, GENEROSITY

DAIRY COMMUNITY RESPONDING, ADJUSTING TO COVID-19 IMPACTS