I am Oregon agriculture.
My name is Brenda Frketich and I am the third generation of Kirsch Family Farms. My family farms in the heart of the Willamette Valley growing a variety of crops. We raise perennial ryegrass seed that is sold all over the world, becoming lawns for families to play catch, golf courses for hole-in-ones, and athletic fields for world cup soccer games! Our hazelnuts, or filberts as they are often referred to by Oregonians, are in orchards that are over 20 years old. We have a few younger plantings too that are just coming into production. Most of these delicious nuts are actually shipped to China, it’s one of their most favorite snack foods!
Like all farmers we treat our land with care and respect. Because of that we rotate our crops, and crimson clover, wheat and vegetables have been our most recent rotation choices. Crimson clover helps us to control grassy weeds. The seeds are then harvested and sold to other farmers for cover cropping, which helps protect their soils! Our wheat, which also helps with weed pressure, is sold all over the world and makes very good flour for bread and pastries. The vegetable crops we grow have included beans for canning, peas for freezing and pumpkin seeds for eating. All of these are sold to Oregon packers, canneries and processors. I get to live in such a wonderful place and work in such a thriving industry. I know I can be proud when I am fortunate enough to say, “I am an Oregon farmer!”