Release Date: 07-27-2011
Memorial weekend in the wine country annual benefit supports nationally-recognized farm to school efforts
PORTLAND, Ore. – For the second consecutive year, the Willamette Valley Wineries Association (WVWA) has teamed up with Ecotrust’s Farm to School program as the fundraising beneficiary of their annual Memorial Day Weekend in Wine Country. Over $9,000 was raised at the recent holiday event to support Ecotrust’s work to bring regionally grown food into school lunchrooms, educate students about agriculture and support regional farmers.
A 21-year-old tradition, the holiday weekend features special wine tastings, accompanying foods and an assortment of arts and educational activities. WVWA works to highlight the Willamette valley wine-making region, which includes two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards and is recognized as one of the premier Pinot Noir producing areas in the world. A record-breaking number of wineries participated in this year’s event, over fifty of which donated a portion of the weekend’s proceeds to Ecotrust.
The funds will directly support the innovative projects the Farm to School Program hosts as a leader in the national farm to school network. “Targeting the next generation of Oregonians, the Farm to School program took root in 2007 and promotes healthy, regionally grown food in school cafeterias statewide. We’re thrilled the Willamette Valley Wineries Association shares our deep commitment to keeping Oregon’s agriculture sustainable and our children healthy,” said Deborah Kane, Vice President of Food & Farms at Ecotrust, who just returned from an early July visit to the White House, where she was named a “Champion of Change” for rural agriculture and had the opportunity to tell President Obama about Ecotrust’s efforts to bring healthy, local food into our schools.
In addition to their ongoing work organizing a steady stream of farm-to-school gatherings, workshops, and field trips, other recent highlights of the Farm to School Program’s initiatives include a pivotal role in the unanimous bi-partisan passing of House Bill (HB) 2800, the Farm to School Garden Bill in the Oregon State Legislature this past June, and serving as the Regional Lead Agency for the eight-state western region of the national Farm to School Network, which coordinates and supports the efforts of farm to school practitioners throughout the U.S.
WVWA will be partnering with Ecotrust again soon for their Pinot in the City event to be held September 10–11 in Portland’s Pearl District, showcasing more than 100 wineries and regional food. More information and tickets can be found at http://willamettewines.com/events/pinot-in-the-city/
About Ecotrust’s Food & Farms Program
Ecotrust’s mission is to inspire fresh thinking that creates social equity, economic opportunity, and environmental well being. With regard to our Food & Farms program, we improve public understanding of agriculture and the challenges it faces and increase the market share of regionally grown, processed, and manufactured foods. Whether by introducing a farmer to a chef or a food processor to an institutional buyer, Ecotrust is a trusted “benevolent broker” that has been making connections between food buyers and sellers in the Pacific Northwest for a decade. Learn more at ecotrust.org.
About Willamette Valley Wineries Association
The WVWA is a non-profit industry association dedicated to achieving recognition for Oregon’s acclaimed Willamette Valley as a premier Pinot Noir producing region. Currently, the WVWA has 180 members representing wineries and tasting rooms throughout the Willamette Valley region —from Portland to Eugene. Memorial Weekend in Wine Country and Wine Country Thanksgivingare the two oldest WVWA sponsored touring events in Oregon. Learn more at www.willamettewines.com.