Majestic Oak Farms
During World War II, the US Government claimed a large section of land in the Willamette Valley forCamp Adair and housing its soldiers. In 1963 John’s parents, Earl and Berneice, relocated their farm from the confines of the Albany area to the current farm near Suver where John and Mary Jane farm today. The Kennels are the second family to own the property since it was reprivatized. In fact, John still finds spent practice artillery shells buried in his fields from time to time. In the 1947, John’s grandfather (John S. Kennel) and father (Earl W. Kennel) bought the first self-propelled combine harvester in the Willamette Valley. There were two of these self-propelled machines delivered to Oregon. One went east of the mountains and one stayed in the Willamette Valley. There were 50 farmers that wanted these machines, but the manufacturer chose John S. Kennel because of his excellent mechanic skills. John S. used the combine for 30 years before it was sold to a farmer in Fall City, Oregon and it has not been seen since.
Much like other farmers in the Willamette Valley, John and his brother Bob grow a variety of seed crops ranging from red clover and triticale to staples such as oats and wheat. In addition, the Kennels recently joined two other farming families and released the first vintage of a Pinot Noir wine called Treos. They are quite excited about this new venture and have had great reviews on the small lot wine.
John Kennel is on the Board of Directors of OMG, the parent farming cooperative of Natural Plant Products, and enjoys the task of future planning for the cooperative. The Kennels have been farming meadowfoam since 1996 when Gylan Mulkey introduced John’s father, Earl, to the crop. At the time, annual ryegrass had seen a sharp decrease in price so they were looking for new rotational crops to grow. John enjoys farming meadowfoam because it increases the rotational diversity of his land, returns a consistent profit, and maximizes efficiency with his equipment rotation.
Pictured:John and Mary Jane Kennel with their children and puppy