Mid-Willamette Valley Program


Living on the Land Resources

Land Stewardship Planning 


Weed Management

Pasture Management

Manure (and Mud) Management

Woodland Management 

Water Rights

Well Water 

Septic Systems



Sept 20 - Oct 18 - Living on the Land - CLASS FULL

Living on the Land is a workshop series tailored for small acreage landowners and those new to managing land. There are 5 classes in the series. Classes are from 6:00-8:30pm on Thursday evenings, Sept 20-Oct 18 at the Polk County Extension office.

Our Dallas class has been wildly popular and is all filled up! If you are still interested in taking Living on the Land this fall, not to fear! Our South Valley Small Farms team is hosting a Living on the Land class in Scio, from Oct 4 - 25.

More information about Living on the Land in Scio HERE.


Oct 27 - Women in Agriculture Conference: Pump Up Your Financial Fitness

Registration is open for the 7th annual Women in Agriculture Conference!

"Pump Up Your Financial Fitness" is the theme for the seventh annual Women in Agriculture Conference. Join us for this one-day conference that will be engaging, interactive, full of inspiration, learning and networking with other women farmers.  The conference is held simultaneously in 34 locations throughout Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The Salem location will be a mix of livestreamed and in-person interactions.

Featured Speakers

Robin Reid and LaVell Winsor will present, "How Does Your Cash Flow."  Together they will help you build and improve your annual cash flow system. You will learn strategies to start projections for the coming year, monitor cash flow against actual income and manage family living expenses.

Sarah Beth Aubrey's keynote, "Attention Women: YOU are a Valuable Part of Agriculture" will include ways to prioritize and do the most important things first. You will hear "fresh facts" from research that prove the distinct value women bring to the farm! You won't want to miss her ideas for encouraging women to farm and some easy ways to develop the women you employ. This is the right time for women to celebrate their contribution to agriculture and be recognized for their unique impact!


Each event location will have a panel of local women farmers who will talk about how they balance their lives - with their top tips for handling finances and their personal lives.

Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact. It will be a full day of learning and networking!

This conference is designed for all women farmers and anyone who works with women farmers.  If you have been farming for years, are a new and aspiring farmer, a banker, lender or anyone in the agricultural industry, this conference is for you!.

Registrations fees are: $30 if you register between September 10 and October 14; $35 if you register between October 15 and October 26.  Your registration fee includes a light breakfast, lunch and all the conference materials, along with a great bag to take everything home!

The Salem location will be hosted at 1320 Capitol St NE, Second Floor Board Room, Salem, OR 97301.


Oct 29 - Season Extension with Low Tunnels 

New workshop on low tunnel season extension for strawberries! The workshop will include a demonstration on how to build, use, and compare the different options and prices for commercial use of this system. Low tunnel season extension is a great option for off-season strawberry production and other vegetable crops and has to the potential to aid producers with early and late cropping in the spring and fall.

There are multiple options for constructing low tunnels including structure materials used, spacing, plastic types and tying. This workshop will showcase these options as well as best practices for utilizing this method and costs of materials and production.

Javier Fernandez-Salvador (Strawberry Extension Faculty), Erica Chernoh (Faculty Research Assistant) and Will Osmer (Bioscience Technician for the project), will lead this workshop at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center where their strawberry trials are located, and participants can see the low tunnels in action.


Join us on Monday, October 29, from 1:00 to 3:00pm at NWREC, 15210 NE Miley Rd, Aurora.

Cost: Free. Suggested donation $5

Questions? Contact Victoria Binning at Victoria.binning@oregonstate.edu or 503-373-3774.


Farmer at farmers' market interacting with couple purchasing produce

Nov 1 - Business Management Workshop: Record Keeping for Small Farms

Are you managing your farm business? Or is your farm business managing you?

The OSU Small Farms Program is teaming up with Chemeketa Community College's Agribusiness Management Program to offer a business management class tailored to the needs of small farmers. This three hour workshop will focus on what every business needs to be sustainable: good records and how to keep them.

This workshop will be hosted at the Chemeketa Community College - Eola Campus, 215 Doaks Ferry Rd NW, Salem, OR, 97304, on November 1, from 2:00-5:00pm. Doors open at 1:30pm. The workshop is $15 per participant. Snacks and drinks will be provided.


For inquiries, contact Victoria Binning at 503-373-3774 or victoria.binning@oregonstate.edu.


Dec 12 - Pesticide Applicators CORE Videoconference Training

CORE ODA Credits - $15 per person

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Session 1: 9:45am - 12:00pm (2 credits)

LUNCH BREAK (*Bring your own lunch*)

Session 2: 1:00pm - 3:00pm (2 credits)

More information HERE 


Farm scene: blueberries in foreground, red barn, Mt. Hood in background

Jan 22 - Mar 5 - Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management, Hybrid Course

Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management provides farmers with the tools and knowledge needed to develop and manage a successful farm business. This course is intended for people who are considering starting a farm business, those within their first five years of farming and others who may be considering major changes to their farm business.

The core Growing Farms course is a series of six online modules that lead you through the basics of managing a successful farm business. The combined online/on-site course option includes the six online modules PLUS several face-to-face classes and one full-day field trip. Classroom times are from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Meet with other students in an instructor-facilitated learning experience. There will be three evening classes (2-3 hours each), plus a full day of farm tours.


January 22 - 6:00-8:30pm

February 5 - 6:00-8:30pm

February 19 - All-day field trip

February 23 - Small Farms Conference (included)

March 5 - 6:00-8:30pm

The course was developed by OSU Small Farms Program faculty and other farm management experts, and is presented in an interactive and graphically rich format. Modules include more than four hours of video created specifically for the Growing Farms course, and feature six Oregon farmers who share their experience and insights about farming (see Featured Farmers). Although the course draws on examples from Oregon's robust farming communities, its innovative examples, models and insights are highly relevant to farmers nationwide.

Registration coming soon. More information here


POSTPONED: Date TBA - Using Sensory Education as a Marketing Tool: A Chocolate Case Study

This workshop is intended for small farmers to take your marketing to the next level. Learn how to convey the sensory experience of an on-farm, value-added product to potential clients. Examples include kimchi, honey, kombucha, jams, etc. Learn how to educate your customers with demonstrated sensory evaluations. This workshop is focused on marketing for small farmers with or interested in producing value-added products.


  • Eat early, light lunch
    • Avoid smell foods (garlic, onion, etc.)
  • Refrain from fragrant body sprays and perfumes
Cost: $20 per participant, limited to 10 small farmers
NOTE: this event is for farmers ONLY


The Broadfork Radio Segment & Podcast

Broadfork and radio waves

The Broadfork: Digging into Small Farms in the Willamette Valley

We showcase local farming practices, tips, and resources for small-scale agriculture by interviewing both farmers and university experts on agricultural topics. 

Listen in on Third Wednesdays on KMUZ at 88.5FM or 100.7FM during the Willamette Wake-Up at 8:00am.

Past episodes:

09/19/2018 - The Pilot: An Introduction to The Broadfork 

  • The Broadfork is a new monthly segment on KMUZ. Host, Victoria Binning talks with Erica Chernoh, Oregon Extension Service, about research to advance cultivation of strawberries and olives in the mid-valley.

Who We Are

Team Photo

Javier Fernandez-Salvador, Assistant Professor of Practice


Javier Fernandez-Salvador is an Assistant Professor of Practice at Oregon State University who joined the OSU Small Farms Program in May 2016 with his main focus being on organic and conventional production systems of pastures, specialty grains, berries and other agronomic and horticultural crops as well as farm food safety and organic regulatory compliance.

Heather Stoven, Community Horticulturalist and Small Farms Agent


Heather Stoven is the Community Horticulturalist and Small Farms Extension Agent for Yamhill County.  Her position is housed in McMinnville and she oversees the Master Gardener program, community horticulture and small farms. Her strengths include pest management, plant problem diagnosis, greenhouse growing and nursery crops. 

Erica Chernoh, Horticulture Instructor


Erica Chernoh is a sustainable agriculture specialist. She holds a joint position between Chemeketa Community College, where she is a Horticulture Instructor, and OSU where she works with Extension in Marion and Polk counties and serves as an OSU Open Campus Coordinator. Erica specializes in organic agriculture, vegetable crop production, strawberries, and sustainable soil management, as well as organic certification and food safety. 

Victoria Binning, Agriculture Program Coordinator


Victoria Binning is the Agriculture Program Coordinator for Marion County Extension Service. She is excited to work with both the Small Farms program and Community Horticulture. Her diverse background is in sustainable agriculture, children's garden education, fisheries management, and wine.

Erin Wever, Student Project Assistant

Erin Wever is a second year student at Oregon State University, double majoring in the fields of Environmental Economics and Policy and Environmental Sciences. In addition, Erin is a recipient of the Beginning Researcher’s Grant Program and will be working with our Mid-Valley Small Farms Team to determine the needs of small farmers throughout Marion County. Throughout the course of her research, Erin is looking forward to learning more about the various agricultural communities located within Marion County, as well as being able to gain hands on research experience.

Tessa Barker, Student Project Assistant

Tessa joined the Small Farms team in the fall of 2017 after completing an internship with the OSU Organic Growers Club over the summer. She will be assisting with projects including the use of cover cropped aisles in strawberry production systems, as well as up-potting and propagation techniques for olives. Tessa is originally from Marion County, and has spent time working and volunteering at small farms across the Willamette Valley.

Logan Hailey, Student Project Assistant

Logan Hailey is an aspiring small-scale ecological farmer. Logan is completing her degree in Ecological and Sustainable Horticulture Production from Oregon State University and is gaining farm experience across the country, including right here in the Willamette Valley. She has devoted her life to growing nutritious food while preserving and enhancing the soil, water, air, and biodiversity of our planet for generations to come. When she isn’t farming, Logan enjoys working on her off-grid short bus conversion, saving seeds, and exploring the wilderness with her life partner and three dogs.


Web Banner


The Mid-Valley Small Farms Program serves commercial small farm entrepreneurs as well as non-commercial small acreage landowners. Our focus embraces both organic/biological and conventional farming systems and emphasizes the following areas:

  • Organic and Sustainable Agriculture 
    • Addressing soil, pest, and crop production issues for organic and sustainable agriculture systems. Soil and water conservation, IPM, and enhancing biodiversity are emphasized.
  • Olive Growing in the Willamette Valley
    • Conducting research trials in collaboration with industry. Olives are an upcoming and innovative crop in the state of Oregon as growers look to diversify and to anticipate future climate possibilities for a non-traditional specialty crop. 
  • Small Fruit and Berries: Organic and Conventional Production Systems
    • Addressing the needs of small fruit and berry farmers, both organic and conventional. Providing guidance, advice and resources based on OSU research from the statewide berry program, to promote the success of small producers in the Mid-Willamette Valley. 
  • Latino/Spanish Language or Spanish Speaking Farmers 
    • Bridging the gap for this historically underserved community of farmers in the Mid-Willamette Valley and the State. Providing culturally appropriate classes, workshops, and resources in Spanish for beginner and experienced Latino farmers to be successful in their agricultural ventures.
  • Certifications
    • Addressing and assisting the specific marketing needs of transitional and certified farmers. Provide guidance and training to growers in their efforts to obtain organic or food safety certifications to comply with regulations and better market their agricultural products.