Story:

Brenda’s grandfather started this farm over 60 years ago as a dryland farm.  Her father took over in the 1970s and Brenda is now being transitioned to run this 1,000-acre operation.  In the last 30 years, irrigation was added to three quarters of our ground.  With water and great soil the farm is able to be very diversified.  The farm raises perennial ryegrass, hazelnuts, straw, wheat, green beans, squash, and crimson clover. Products are sold worldwide through farmer-owned co-ops, and other processors and distributors.

Continuous Improvement:

“I’m responsible for tracking our cost of production and staying within the farm’s budget. As input costs rise, I analyze to find ways to remain profitable through efficiency and revenue gains. For example, I put in a new linear irrigation system on a 280-acre piece of property.  This high level of irrigation efficiency is a great benefit in energy and water usage.  I experiment with no-till and minimum tillage practices to reduce both erosion and fuel use. I also worked to get a Variable Frequency Drive for our irrigation pump, creating a high level of energy savings.

How I’ve Told My Story:

“I Facebook, Tweet, post to Youtube, and blog.  I volunteer for Agriculture in the Classroom.  I am part of “Adopt a Farmer”, which brings urban kids to our farm for field trips, and I go to their classrooms to teach about farming.  I have given legislative testimony and am a spokesperson for the End the Oregon Death Tax campaign.  I have done both taped and live syndicated radio interviews.  I participated in AFBF’s strategic issues communication training and was featured on the front page of The Oregonian for my farm work last year.

Organizations:

American Farm Bureau, Oregon Farm Bureau (Young Farmers & Ranchers Vice-Chair), Marion County Farm Bureau (Board Member & Young Farmers & Ranchers Coordinator), Oregon Seed Grower’s League (past Board Member), Chemeketa Community College Agribusiness