Mid-Willamette Valley Program


Participate in our Small Farms Needs Assessment

Farmer participating in needs assessment

Wondering what the Mid-Valley Small Farms team can do for you? We are too!

We are currently conducting a Mid-Willamette Valley Small Farms Needs Assessment and your participation is needed. This is your opportunity to provide feedback on our workshops and programming, as well as to let us know what you would like the OSU Mid-Valley Small Farms team to offer in years to come. The results of this survey will be used to help direct our programming for the next 3-5 years, providing you with the opportunity to have your ideas and opinions reflected in our educational services. 
It is very important to us to receive your input so we are conducting the needs assessment in two ways. You can take the survey online from anywhere (with an internet connection), or we would love to come out to your farm and interview you in person.

Thank you in advance for your participation! And thank you to those of you who have already participated. 

Participate online HERE - Participate in person, by contacting Victoria Binning HERE 


OSU Small Farms Conference

Oregon State University Campus in Corvallis at the LaSells Stewart Center and CH2M Hill Alumni Center

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Registration is now open.

The Oregon Small Farms Conference is a daylong event geared towards farmers, agricultural professionals, food policy advocates, students and managers of farmers markets. Twenty-seven educational sessions are offered on a variety of topics relevant to the Oregon small farmers and include a track in Spanish. Speakers include farmers, OSU Extension faculty, agribusiness, and more. 
More info here.
The Mid-Valley Small Farms Team is excited to host the Spanish track at this year’s OSU Small Farms Conference. Sessions include:
  • Identifying and trapping insects that are common in Oregon agricultural crops - Dalila Rendon, OSU entomologist
  • Introdution to vegetable plant physiology for small farmers - Isabel Hernandez, UC Davis vegetable physiologist
  • Personal history as a farmer and strategies to make a small farm business successful - Javier Zamora, small farmer in California

More info here.

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.

Eliza Smith, Student Researcher

Eliza Smith is a student at Oregon State University, majoring in Bioresource Research with a focus in plant growth and development, and minoring in Spanish. She comes from a 3rd generation family farm in Woodburn and has worked on farms in various production systems: grass seed, wheat, nursery, vegetable, and berry production. She is also an IOIA-trained organic inspector and an independent consultant for organic certifications and GlobalGAP food safety certifications.

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.

Jose Ortega, Student Project Assistant

Jose Ortega is majoring in Agricultural Science with an emphasis in Ag Education. He joined the OSU Small Farms survey team during the 2017 summer term to both conduct survey interviews with Spanish-speaking and Latino farmers throughout the state and to research the feasibility of olive production in the Willamette Valley. He hopes to provide a more accurate depiction of the current state of affairs of all farmers and looks forward to collaborating with them with regards to both Spanish-language resources and olive research.

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.


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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.