Mid-Willamette Valley Program


List of events hosted by the Mid-Valley Small Farms Program in 2017. See text below for upcoming.

Up Next:

May 18th, Soil Testing and Nutrient Management Workshop

Sometimes deciding how to design your nutrient management strategy can be quite the puzzle, especially for annual organic crops. OSU Small Farms agents Javier Fernandez-Salvador and Nick Andrews will be discussing best practices for soil and cover crop sampling, how to interpret soil test results, and how to develop an organic fertility program using soil test results at our next workshop. Our case study will be broccoli on a diverse vegetable farm. Join us to learn all about sampling!

WHEN: May 18, 3-5pm

WHERE: Minto Island Growers, 3394 Brown Island Rd SSalem, OR 97302

COST: $10 - Register Online Here

QUESTIONS: Contact Victoria Binning

June 4th, Integrated Pest, Pollinator, and Native Hedgerow Management

Mid-Valley Small Farms has teamed up with OSU Organic Growers Club to offer a class on IPM, Pollinators, and Native Hedgerow Management. 

All participants will take part in the following activities:

  • Explanation of the organic farming methods on site for the rotational vegetables and perennial caneberry systems.
  • Identification and tagging – from willows to pollinator gardens, herbs and cut flowers!
  • Insect collection and ID
  • Native bees and Bee Hotels
  • Delicious hot lunch from the earth oven!

WHEN: June 4, 9am-1pm
WHERE: The Student Farm at OSU
COST: Event is free, but growers can make a suggested donation of $10 here

For more information contact:
Growers: Victoria Binning – Marion County Extension
Students: Robert Yarnall – Event Assistant Coordinator

June 13th, Organic Strawberry Plug Workshop

Are you interested in a workshop for how to produce organic strawberry plant plugs? We have the opportunity to host this workshop in Salem as a hands-on, practical skill learning event. We will discuss the reasons for using this method and how to do it in compliance with NOP. Participants will be able to take a "six pack" of plants they pot home to follow up on their development. Of note, in order to host this workshop, we need at least 15 people to register. Please do so here, if interested.

WHEN: June 13, 9-11am

WHERE: Marion-Polk Food Share Youth Farm

COST: $10 - Register Online Here

QUESTIONS: Contact Victoria Binning


Save the dates for 2017 Berry Field Days

Strawberry Open House: June 7th, 1-4 pm

Caneberry Field Day: June 28th, 1-5 pm

Blueberry Field Day: July 12, 1-5 pm

More details will be posted as they become available.

Who We Are

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, 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, OSU Open Campus Coordinator

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 this spring and summer 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 will be joining 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.


Scott Robbins and Javier Fernandez-Salvador taking a break after their cherry harvest workshop

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.