Barney & Worth assisted Pierce County, Washington with a project designed to better understand and boost the agriculture industry’s competitiveness. Barney & Worth managed the project, evaluated land use planning / zoning impacts on the ag sector, led community outreach and researched nationally the most effective strategies to enhance the agricultural industry’s competitiveness. The consultant team analyzed the local crops – vegetables, fruits, flowers and nursery crops – that were marketed in Tacoma area farmers markets, CSAs, directly to restaurants, roadside stands and conventional wholesale markets. The study also identified the major economic factors that will drive future growth prospects for sales of local food products.
The result was the first-ever Pierce County Agriculture Strategic Plan, adopted by the County Council. The County and partners enacted many of the Plan’s key provisions: creating a “farmbudsman” position; establishing a “Buy Local” preference program for food purchases by County institutions; funding a program to help market local agriculture projects; forming a “farm team” of specialists within the County planning department: and revising building codes to make them more “farm friendly.”
The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) in 1991 to improve public understanding of the state’s forest resources and to encourage environmentally sound forest management through training and other educational programs for forest landowners.
Barney & Worth led the strategic planning effort to update and reshape OFRI’s strategic plan: exploring emerging opportunities and adjusting to changes in the economy that have impacted forest sector profits and OFRI revenues.
Strategic planning started with an extensive statewide stakeholder interviews inviting state and local policymakers, environmental leaders, private timber landowners and mill operators, OSU extension agents and professors, non-profits and others to help identify OFRI’s priorities. Other tasks include researching the effectiveness of forest education programs in Oregon and other states / nations, conducting a SWOT analysis, facilitating strategic planning workshops with OFRI board members, and producing and presenting the strategic plan.
Potential buyers of Oregon’s specialty crops need comprehensive and up-to-date information: what’s available, when it is ready, sources. Often, buyers look to the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) as a primary resource, so the department must be prepared with communications strategies in place and compelling information ready in a variety of accessible formats.
The goal is to position Oregon’s premium specialty crops as a clear top choice in local, domestic and targeted international marketplaces. Barney & Worth assisted the ODA Agricultural Development and Marketing Division to set a plan for the future and put in place contemporary marketing materials.
Yamhill County undertook a groundbreaking research project – in partnership with leaders from ten communities and state agencies – to find ways that the local agriculture and tourism sectors can coexist and jointly contribute to the economy. The County’s agriculture sector is an economic mainstay, contributing $300 million annually. As a premier wine producing region, an estimated 1.5 million visitors are attracted to its wineries each year, presenting opportunities to significantly grow the local tourism industry.
The County hired Barney & Worth, Inc. to design and conduct the study, analyze the findings, and draft the plan document. From the start, the project team sought to involve a full variety of perspectives – farmers, business operators and workers, agency staff and officials, economic and workforce professionals. The resulting plan reflects these voices and promotes cooperative regional economic and community development. The plan’s recommended strategies point the way forward to help ensure thriving agriculture and tourism industries in the region.
The City of Portland, in collaboration with local market leaders, sought answers to the most pressing questions about the forces of supply and demand that will shape the future of the city’s farmers markets.
The Barney & Worth team was hired to take a comprehensive look at the current status and economic benefits of Portland’s markets, make comparisons with successful farmers market operations across the nation, and analyze potential challenges and opportunities to sustainability and expansion.
The resulting report: Growing Portland’s Farmers Markets, serves as a guide for the city and advocates in planning for the future of Portland’s cherished farmers markets, which have become an integral part of our community’s way of life.