Dryland Organic Agriculture in the PNW:
Meeting Opportunities and Challenges
A special symposium of the 2011 Tilth Producers of Washington Conference
Speaker Bio - Eric Zakarison
Eric Zakarison, along with his partners (wife) Sheryl Hagen-Zakarison and (parents) Russell and Elaine Zakarison, operate a 1,300-acre diversified family farm located north of Pullman, Washington. The Zakarison Partnership farm is composed of two parts. The first is a conventional dryland, industrial small grain farm, where they produce winter and spring wheat, barley, oats, and Austrian winter peas. The second component is a sustainable crop and livestock operation, where they produce pastured poultry, lambs, organic hay and no spray small grain. Zakarison Partnership includes a growing feed business, which supplies feed to 25 other small farms. Eric has plans to expand the organic/sustainable portion of the farm.
In 2011, the farm marketed approximately 600 broiler chickens directly to local consumers, plus 100 turkeys. The commercial White Dorper sheep flock numbers 80 ewes and pasture lambs in May. Locker lambs are marketed directly to consumers and processed locally in Potlatch, ID. The organic hay is fed to the sheep and to Eric’s draft animals - a mule team, which provides sustainable farming motive power.