Mid-Willamette Valley Culinary & Agritourism Studio

Photo Credit: Camron Settlemier

Travel Oregon, in partnership with a local steering committee, hosted a two-day workshop series in the Mid-Willamette Valley region of Benton & Linn counties. This region includes the communities of Corvallis, Philomath, Alsea, Monroe, Albany, Lebanon, Sweet Home, Brownsville and the greater Mid-Willamette Valley communities.

Culinary and agritourism development have great potential to strengthen the economic impact across regions with agricultural roots. Experiential tourism — anything from visiting working farms, sipping wine in a vineyard, to attending a farmers market — is booming, particularly in rural communities.

This two-day workshop was designed for those interested in developing unique visitor experiences such as farm stands, tasting rooms, guided fishing trips, or hands-on culinary and agricultural tours in the Mid-Willamette Valley.


Workshop Part I
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | 1 p.m. — 4:30 p.m.
Historic Old School Event Center | Corvallis, Ore.


Notes, Day 1 & 2

Evening Networking & Familiarization (FAM) Tour
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | 5 p.m. — 8 p.m.

Workshop Part II
Thursday, March 21, 2019 | 9 a.m. — 4 p.m.
Historic Old School Event Center | Corvallis, Ore.


Workshop Presenters:

Maura Schwartz 

Maura is a nationally and internationally recognized cooperative business consultant. Maura provides technical assistance and training to new cooperatives, associations and rural community leaders, both overseas and in the Pacific Northwest. She currently works for the International Finance Corp. in Washington, D.C. Maura holds two degrees in agriculture: BS in Animal Sciences and MS in International Agricultural Development. This background shines through in her love of helping people understand and value all aspects of food systems. She initiated the High Desert Educational Agriculture Tours (HD-EATs), working with local farmers, OSU Extension and the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance. HD-EATs offered half-day tours to Jefferson County farms to learn about local food production, niche farming, commercial operations and the impact on the local economy. She was the co-proponent in establishing and managing the Madras Mountain Views Scenic Bikeway, participated in Travel Oregon’s Rural Tourism Studio for River Canyon Country and helped develop the Central Oregon Cultural Byway.

Erika Polmar 
Content Expert – Agritourism Policy

Erika Polmar created Plate & Pitchfork Farm dinners to reconnect diners with the people and places that grow and craft their food. In the process of growing her business she developed a keen understanding of the land use, regulatory and economic issues that often challenge the agricultural and culinary producers. She is committed to developing pathways, partnerships and policies to overcome these obstacles and support the continued development of responsible agritourism in Oregon. Erika honed her marketing, product development and competitive intelligence experience in positions at citysearch.com, Ecotrust, Eleven, the Oregon Multimedia Alliance and J.K. Carriere Wines. She’s enthusiastically working to end hunger in Oregon in partnership with Farmers Ending Hunger, and spends her time off in the woods with her loyal Labrador. You’ll find her at PlateAndPitchFork.com or on Instagram @pitchforkpdx.

Want more information about Mid-Willamette Valley Culinary & Agritourism Studio?

If you have additional questions or comments about Mid-Willamette Valley Culinary & Agritourism Studio, please contact the appropriate member of the Travel Oregon staff listed below.

  1. Kayla Dunn