Mid-Willamette Valley Program


Living on the Land Resources

Land Stewardship Planning 

Woodland Management 

Pasture Management

Manure Management


Weed Management

Water Rights

Well Water 

Septic Systems




Sept 5 - Communities, Food, Resilience Livestream

Conversations and reflections on the role of land grant universities, Oregon's community food systems, the partnerships, and paths ahead. More info here.

Local livestream event:
September 5
Lunch, resources, ignite talks: 1:00pm
Livestream: 2:30-5:00pm
Grand Ronde Community Center
9615 Grand Ronde Road, Building B, Grand Ronde, OR 97347

Contact Victoria Binning, victoria.binning@oregonstate.edu
or Francene Ambrose, FAmbrose@marionpolkfoodshare.org for more information.


Sept 20 - Oct 18 - Living on the Land

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 focus on Land Stewardship Planning, Woodlands & Riparian Area Management, Pasture & Manure Management, Soils & Weeds, and Well Water & Water Rights.

Classes will be hosted by OSU Extension Service in Polk County at their office in Dallas. Classes will be on Thursdays, from 6:00-8:30pm. Register for $30 for the whole series, or $45 for two farm partners. Registration for the whole series is available now: CLICK HERE.  The Polk County Extension Office is located at 289 E Ellendale Ave Suite 301, Dallas, OR 97338.

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

Farmer at farmers' market interacting with couple purchasing produce

Nov 1 - Business Management Workshop: Record Keeping for Small Farms (Note Change of Date)

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 Eola campus, Doaks Ferry Rd NW, Salem, OR, 97304, on November 1, from 2:00-5:00pm. Doors open at 1:30pm. Registration will open September 1. The workshop is $15 per participant. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

Stay tuned for more information on this workshop. For inquiries, contact Victoria Binning at 503-373-3774 or victoria.binning@oregonstate.edu.

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 Saturday farm tour.


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

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.