Initial success of farm loop has spawned a need for more participation

Canby’s farm loop program has proven to be a successful experiment in getting more people out and exploring the Canby area’s rich farm culture.

Based on its initial success, the Canby Area Farm Loop is taking applications for new farm stop members who would like to be part of the group during the 2014 season.

The farm-to-farm driving loop tour connects visitors with 21 different farm stops in the Canby area, including local farms, specialty nurseries, food processing plants and wineries, events and businesses.

“The farm loop program is all about forming and maintaining agritourism marketing groups,” said Mary Stewart, Canby Area Farm Loop coordinator. “It serves to organize and build capacity for local farms and wineries, agriculture value-added operations, farm-related businesses and events that are in a logical, limited geographic proximity, and connects the farms with visitors who are interested in buying farm products and experiences.”

In addition to the agricultural products and country experiences that visitors will encounter on each farm stop, the Canby Area Farm Loop also offers loop-wide events including Dinners in the Field, Wine & Cheese in the Garden, Alpaca Days on the Farm Loop, Blueberry Farm Loop Cycling Classic and Farmeroo!, which is a day packed with open barns, berry picking, wine tasting and other fun family farm experiences, explained Stewart.”

The success of the farm loop concept in this area has inspired a serious effort to create them elsewhere, said Stewart.

“In 2013, the Molalla Country Farm Loop had 32 members and the Canby Area Farm Loop had 21. A new loop is being built in Wilsonville, West Linn and Milwaukie,” said Stewart. “Farm loops are an important way to keep farming viable in the local area.”

Farms and farm-related businesses and events that would like to be part of the 2014 Canby Area Farm Loop should contact Mary Stewart at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-570-0133. For more information,

Some of the visitor attractions of the farm loops are:

  • Visitors find sources of high-quality, local agricultural products.
  • Visitors find a place for a farm experience — different from their usual leisure time pursuits, and also a way to learn more about what it takes to produce food and fiber, to connect with the land and even to strengthen intergenerational relationships when families use farms to spark conversations about family history.
  • It is an adventure for the visitor — driving along a route that is scenic, and being able to select what they want to see or do that weekend, day or half-day from a wide variety of options. The farms are ever-changing in what is growing, blooming, ripening, baby's born, new candy or wine to try, etc.
  • The website interactive map and the printed maps, and the road sign, makes it easier for visitors to find the individual farms.
  • Visitors often get to meet and build a relationship with the farmer or vintner.
  • The farm stops bring profit to each other through cross-marketing and referral.
  • They bring profit to the closest population centers, when visitors seek lodging, restaurants, entertainment and other retail.
  • They easily integrate with other tourism objectives, such as outdoor recreation, or heritage.
  • Farm loops, as an organized entity that values collaboration and positive attitude, act as a positive force and influence to the communities they are near.
  • Each loop strives for a mix of offerings: fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and grains, lamb, beef, chicken or other poultry, eggs, nursery stock, flowers, lavender, horses, horse sports or events, rodeos, pet or feed farm animals, wineries, baked goods, candies, mills-food processing or animal feed processing, Christmas trees, bed and breakfast or inns, historical or informational tours.
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