Friends of French Prairie: Enhancing Oregon's historic breadbasket through family farmingMasthead photo: Harvesting wheat and straw in the French Prairie at Fargo, circa 1912. Courtesy of Salem Public Library, Oregon Historic Photograph Collection

What is Friends of French Prairie?

FOFP is made up of people who live and farm in the geographic area that has historically been referred to as French Prairie since the 1820’s.  We are sensitive to the area’s history and well aware of the development pressures that arise from being on the southern border of metro Portland. We work to promote prosperous through (among other things) our French Prairie Branding Program, and identifying critical Land Use issues.

Our Vision: Enhancing Oregon’s historic breadbasket through family farming
Our Mission: Advocating for appropriate growth and facilitating sustainable and prosperous farming

What is French Prairie?

French Prairie is a historic term coined to describe the north end of the Willamette Valley west of the Pudding River, originally settled by French Canadians in the 1820’s and 1830’s. The prairie was used for millennia by native Kalapuya people, and was the first portion of the state of Oregon settled by non-natives. French Prairie generally describes the area bordered on the west and north by the Willamette River, reaching east to the Pudding River and south to Lake Labish (now a dry lakebed at Keizer). Learn More

French Prairie contains some of the highest quality farmland in the continental United States and the most available groundwater in the state.  It is one of the areas surrounding Metro Portland under the most developmental pressure, and has been designated “Foundation Agricultural Land” by the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture. Learn More

French Prairie is possibly the most historic piece of real estate in the entire West, certainly in the Pacific Northwest, and it must be protected.

French Prairie Branding Initiative

The French Prairie Branding Program is an initiative to develop brand awareness for products grown and produced in historic French Prairie, with the intent of helping local farmers prosper through enhanced public awareness, marketing opportunities and improved sales & distribution. Learn More

Current Critical Land Issues

The northeast part of French Prairie, south of Wilsonville along the I-5 corridor, is the area under the greatest pressure for development.  These pressures include development of the Langdon Farms Golf Course, commercial expansion in and around the Aurora Airport, as well as Metro Portland and City of Donald Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) expansions.  Some of these developments are so critical that should they happen, the “door way to French Prairie” could open, allowing significant development along I-5, and taking out large quantities of agricultural land in the process. Learn More

Get Involved Today!

Promoting prosperous farming requires work in many areas to develop brand recognition, help local farmers find and develop new markets and connect with new opportunities—as well as preserving farm land. As new and varied demands for land arise, careful management and strong advocacy will be necessary to ensure that important values are observed and strengthened. Together we can guide development of the French Prairie area. We need your help, and we need your donation—today! Learn More

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