Pierce County Agriculture Strategic Plan

Barney & Worth assisted Pierce County, Washington with a project designed to better understand and boost the agriculture industry’s competitiveness. Barney & Worth managed the project, evaluated land use planning / zoning impacts on the ag sector, led community outreach and researched nationally the most effective strategies to enhance the agricultural industry’s competitiveness. The consultant team analyzed the local crops – vegetables, fruits, flowers and nursery crops – that were marketed in Tacoma area farmers markets, CSAs, directly to restaurants, roadside stands and conventional wholesale markets. The study also identified the major economic factors that will drive future growth prospects for sales of local food products.

The result was the first-ever Pierce County Agriculture Strategic Plan, adopted by the County Council. The County and partners enacted many of the Plan’s key provisions: creating a “farmbudsman” position; establishing a “Buy Local” preference program for food purchases by County institutions; funding a program to help market local agriculture projects; forming a “farm team” of specialists within the County planning department: and revising building codes to make them more “farm friendly.”

View all projects from category: Strategic Planning and Communications

Oregon Forest Resources Institute: Telling the Story of Oregon’s Forests

The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) in 1991 to improve public understanding of the state’s forest resources and to encourage environmentally sound forest management through training and other educational programs for forest landowners.

Barney & Worth led the strategic planning effort to update and reshape OFRI’s strategic plan: exploring emerging opportunities and adjusting to changes in the economy that have impacted forest sector profits and OFRI revenues.

Strategic planning started with an extensive statewide stakeholder interviews inviting state and local policymakers, environmental leaders, private timber landowners and mill operators, OSU extension agents and professors, non-profits and others to help identify OFRI’s priorities. Other tasks include researching the effectiveness of forest education programs in Oregon and other states / nations, conducting a SWOT analysis, facilitating strategic planning workshops with OFRI board members, and producing and presenting the strategic plan.

View all projects from category: Strategic Planning and Communications

Oregon Agricultural Development and Marketing Division: Strategic Communications Plan for Specialty Crops

Potential buyers of Oregon’s specialty crops need comprehensive and up-to-date information: what’s available, when it is ready, sources. Often, buyers look to the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) as a primary resource, so the department must be prepared with communications strategies in place and compelling information ready in a variety of accessible formats.

The goal is to position Oregon’s premium specialty crops as a clear top choice in local, domestic and targeted international marketplaces. Barney & Worth assisted the ODA Agricultural Development and Marketing Division to set a plan for the future and put in place contemporary marketing materials.

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Yamhill County Agri-Business Economic and Community Development Plan

Yamhill County undertook a groundbreaking research project – in partnership with leaders from ten communities and state agencies – to find ways that the local agriculture and tourism sectors can coexist and jointly contribute to the economy.  The County’s agriculture sector is an economic mainstay, contributing $300 million annually.  As a premier wine producing region, an estimated 1.5 million visitors are attracted to its wineries each year, presenting opportunities to significantly grow the local tourism industry.

The County hired Barney & Worth, Inc. to design and conduct the study, analyze the findings, and draft the plan document.  From the start, the project team sought to involve a full variety of perspectives – farmers, business operators and workers, agency staff and officials, economic and workforce professionals. The resulting plan reflects these voices and promotes cooperative regional economic and community development.  The plan’s recommended strategies point the way forward to help ensure thriving agriculture and tourism industries in the region.

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Portland Farmers Market/Direct-Market Economic Analysis

The City of Portland, in collaboration with local market leaders, sought answers to the most pressing questions about the forces of supply and demand that will shape the future of the city’s farmers markets.

The Barney & Worth team was hired to take a comprehensive look at the current status and economic benefits of Portland’s markets, make comparisons with successful farmers market operations across the nation, and analyze potential challenges and opportunities to sustainability and expansion.

The resulting report: Growing Portland’s Farmers Markets, serves as a guide for the city and advocates in planning for the future of Portland’s cherished farmers markets, which have become an integral part of our community’s way of life.

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WIRED – Worksystems, Inc. and OCCWD

Barney & Worth provided communications and program planning services to support the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (OCCWD) and Worksystems, Inc. – administrators of a three-year federal grant.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s WIRED (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) program aimed to transform the regional economy by building partnerships and implementing strategic workforce development programs.  Partners include state governments, community colleges, workforce agencies and employers across the ten county, bi-state WIRED region.

Barney & Worth supported the grant administrators and its multiple partners to work together and maximize the impact of the grant.  Consultant tasks included: organizing and conducting a leadership retreat, facilitating meetings of the Regional Workforce Council and the grant coordinating committee, and developing a comprehensive communications program, including website enhancements to reach internal and external audiences.

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SEDCOR – Regional Economic Profile and Strategic Assessment

Barney & Worth served on the consultant team to prepare a comprehensive regional economic profile and strategic assessment for the tri-county region of Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties in Oregon. Conducted under the auspices of the Strategic Economic Development Corporation (SEDCOR), the assessment provided the context for economic planning and implementation by public agencies and economic development organizations serving the mid-Willamette Valley region with 460,000 residents.

Barney & Worth designed the assessment process and guided the project team through the strategic planning process.  An array of local economic leaders, employers, educators and workforce development professionals contributed information and perspectives. The firm’s report – Quest for Talent – analyzed current conditions, identified future challenges and outlined priority workforce development strategies.

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Oak Lodge Sanitary District GO Bond

In 2009, Oak Lodge Sanitary District authorized the sale of revenue bonds to support construction of new and upgraded wastewater treatment facilities. In the aftermath of the bond market collapse last year, the Oak Lodge Sanitary District determined that it could save customers $20 million in borrowing costs over 15 years by switching from revenue bonds to G.O. (General Obligation) bond funding.

The Barney & Worth team was retained by the District in late August to initiate public opinion research, develop a public education plan and develop themes and messaging for education outreach.  An initial telephone poll fielded in mid-September determined only 32% of district voters supported this approach.  However, the poll and focus groups suggested District customers were also hungry for information and responded well to informational messages that described project benefits.  Barney & Worth’s fast-paced public education campaign spread the word to every household.  In the end, by election day (November 2) the G.O. bond measure passed with 85% voter support.


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Franzen Reservoir Rehabilitation

Barney & Worth developed a communications plan and materials to inform Salem area water customers about the Franzen Reservoir Rehabilitation Project.  The project would shut down the City of Salem’s 100 million gallon reservoir for two summers, requiring customers to curb their water usage.

With the City’s water reserves drastically reduced, it was crucial to increase public understanding and develop widespread participation in conserving water.   The communications strategy covered every water customer – from the “top ten” industrial users to individual homeowners.  Barney & Worth devised the innovative and highly successful “One Inch Per Week” lawn watering campaign, which distributed thousands of watering gauges and resulted in vital water conservation during construction at Franzen.

View all projects from category: Facilities Planning and Siting

City of Bend

Barney & Worth worked with the City of Bend, Oregon, on a study to revisit and analyze parking management strategies and strategic pricing for its downtown. A key driver for the study was the pending construction of a new City-owned parking structure in the downtown. The City’s goal was to complete its comprehensive review of downtown parking in preparation for opening the new garage.

The consultants employed several public involvement methods and tools – including committees, stakeholder interviews, public workshops, project website, web survey, public meetings and information materials – to invite full community participation, earn broad-based consensus and support, and produce lasting solutions. The new parking plan was implemented in conjunction with the successful opening of the Centennial Parking Plaza.

View all projects from category: Parking Management