Gwin mentors small farmers and processors in OSU program
The way Lauren Gwin sees it, helping small farmers and processors thrive is right in Oregon State University’s sweet spot as a land-grant university. It’s all about collaboration, sharing information and wading through the regulatory thicket.
A successful local food system, she says, bridges the gap between farmers and community nutrition and public health in a way that producers don’t get caught in the “price-point conundrum.” Meaning they can make a living while providing people access to an affordable, healthful diet.
It’s a complicated challenge, but it has become part of the College of Agricultural Sciences’ mission at OSU. Gwin is associate director of the college’s Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems. She and center Director Garry Stephenson head up a program that helps beginners and small-scale producers learn how to raise crops, operate machinery, find markets, improve soil, understand regulations and many other lessons.