Dryland Organic Agriculture in the PNW:
Meeting Opportunities and Challenges
A special symposium of the 2011 Tilth Producers of Washington Conference
Speaker Bio - Eric Nelson
Eric Nelson is a 4th generation dryland farmer located in Pendleton Oregon. He owns and operates a 900-acre organic farm. His organic certification process began in 2006, and by 2010 all 900 acres were certified organic. Dryland alfalfa was the primary crop used to transition the farm.
Eric graduated from Willamette University in Salem, OR, then spent some time in Southern California pursuing golfing ambitions. When that did not pan out, Eric moved to Portland, OR and worked for Harvest States Cooperatives as a grain buyer. An opportunity arose for Eric to get involved with the family farm in the mid 1990’s, and with a slowly developing conviction, he has accepted the challenge of becoming caretaker of the land.
Eric, his wife, and two children live in a passive solar straw bale home that Eric helped to build with straw from the farm. It sounds idyllic, but it’s just a normal life.