It will take a long and sustained series of messages to move the needle when it comes to increasing the purchase, preparation and consumption of healthy, locally produced food, but after a successful six months of the "Celebrate Oregon Agriculture" campaign, momentum is gathering, officials say.
The effort by Oregon ag is creating a new campaign for 2013
"This campaign hits the target market we are looking for," says Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba: "People not necessarily familiar with all that goes into Oregon agriculture, but who cherish local foods."
To highlight Oregon ag and what it means to the state economy is "very important," she believes.
Coba is a lead campaign spokeswoman in TV ads aired on Portland's KATU Channel 2 since last year. Her tagline: "We're Oregon agriculture. Ask for it at your grocery store, farmers' market or restaurant."
Aimed at parents and caregivers of school children, the campaign uses print and online media as well.
Launched with USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program dollars, and administered via ODA, the program is also financed by the Agri-Business Council of Oregon and the Oregon Dairy Council/Oregon Dairy Products Commission.
KATU and ediblePortland have been major vehicles to disseminating the campaign message.
"We wanted to kick it off and we were hoping others would join in," says Coba. "That's exactly what has happened.
"From producer groups to processors to grocery stores, a variety of groups have signed on and are supporting the campaign. I'm thrilled that we are getting to this point."
In the first six months of the campaign, "we were able to feature more than 47 great Oregon agricultural products," observes ODA Farm-to-School Program Manager Michelle Ratcliffe.
"We are excited to highlight the producers and processors of these great products."
Among the partnerships in the campaign are Norpac Foods and Whole Foods Market.