Urban Oregon loves its locally sourced ingredients. Studies show they want to hear the back story, too. Oregon Aglink tells that story, bringing urban and rural Oregonians together.

Oregon Aglink is a non-profit organization powered by its members and volunteers. It promotes agriculture’s role in the state economy and finds unique ways to connect farmers with the urban community that enjoys their bounty.

Oregon Aglink’s strength is in its members. Ranchers, farmers and processors come together to emphasize the importance of agriculture in the state’s economy.

“In a day and age where people forget that milk comes from cows and fruits and vegetables aren’t grown at the grocery store, it’s more important than ever to engage Oregonians about where their food and fiber come from,” the association says on its website.

“Research shows that Oregonians generally hold positive views about agriculture, but fail to understand its issues or see how it relates to their daily life,” the site continues. “It’s up to us, professionals in agriculture and its supporting industries, to help make that connection for all Oregonians.”

Funded by member dues, Oregon Aglink employs its three-prong Cultivating Common Ground initiative to share the story of Oregon agriculture.

> Its “Adopt a Farmer” program connects middle school classrooms in urban areas with a farm or ranch for a school year. Students get to know their adopted farmer and Oregon Aglink pays for a field trip to the farm so students can touch, hear, see and even taste and smell life on a farm.

The farmer also visits the school during the year to help children understand the science of farming.

> The Road Crop Identification Signs program raises public awareness to agriculture as they drive by. With exposure, travelers begin to recognize what crops or animal breeds are along their routes. More than 200 signs already on display.

> The association’s multimedia efforts focus on the same message and includes the “I Am Oregon Agriculture” TV campaign and the OregonFresh.net consumer website.

Oregon Aglink also hosts a booth during the annual Oregon Ag Fest at the state fairgrounds in Salem. As in other efforts, the goal is to convey the story of farming with children and their families.

Originally founded as the Agri-Business Council of Oregon, Oregon Aglink has been serving the state’s agriculture industry since 1966.

Members range from farmers, ranchers and processors to the accountants, equipment dealers and other related businesses that support our efforts.

For more information about the Oregon Aglink and how to become a member, visit www.aglink.org or call them at 503-595-9521.

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