Kizer & Son, Inc.
Kizer & Son, Inc. started over 100 years ago when CP Kizer began raising sheep near Harrisburg in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, USA. CP raised certified sheep with his son, Beryl, and traveled the country by rail, including visits to the World’s Fair when it was within reach to market the sheep. In the early 1920s, Kizer & Son Farm became one of the first farms ever to grow annual ryegrass in the valley and bought their first seed cleaner in 1940. Through the years, the animals, crops, and methods have changed but the family’s love of farming never has.
Beryl kept quite detailed records; his farm budget even included an allotment for his beloved chewing gum. He also loved to read. He spent his entire life checking out books from the local library. Once he had read them, he would write a review in pencil on the inside flap. The story goes that people would search out his reviewed books and rely upon his advice for reading.
In the early 1980s, Beryl’s son, Charles, answered the open call for membership to OMGA, the precursor to OMG, Natural Plant Products’ parent farming cooperative. At that time, Charles’ son Wayne was graduating from Linn-Benton Community College and becoming more involved with the farming operations as well. Due to meadowfoam’s heartiness and ability to be grown in wet soil, Kizer & Son, Inc. has grown its total meadowfoam crop to approximately 20% of its acreage. Wayne Kizer served as the chairman of the board of OMG for 10 years and also recently formed KB Seed Solutions with another OMG family farm, Tydan Farms. This partnership allows both farms to be their own seed distributors across the world and distribute for other growers as well.
In realizing this enormous undertaking and achieving his goal of being strongly involved in downstream marketing of the farm’s products, Wayne reminisces about what his grandfather Beryl used to say, “What can’t you dream of?”
Pictured:Wayne Kizer examines a meadowfoam field in early June.