Troy Hadley is a fifth generation farmer in Silverton, OR. His family farm was started in 1878 with a purchase of land made by his great-great grandfather after moving to Oregon from California. In the over 130 years that the Hadley family farm has existed, they have farmed a variety of crops including hops, strawberries, cereal grains, and pole beans. Since the 1970s, the farm has settled into a rotation of fine fescue grass, meadowfoam, oats, and even some canola.
Troy spent part of his time during high school working and learning at another OMG cooperative farm, Ioka Farms. After college, he began to have more input in the management of his family’s farm. He wanted to try crops other than fine fescue and having helped farm meadowfoam at Ioka Farms, so he joined OMG and introduced meadowfoam into the crop rotation. Now that his father is retired, Troy manages the family farm, which is comprised of about 10% meadowfoam annually, with his wife Kathy.
Troy’s wife Kathy’s grandparents moved from Kansas to the Willamette Valley in the 1940s and eventually settled on a farm near Rickreall, Oregon, in the early 1960s. The crops they have farmed include many different forage and turf grass seeds, wheat, oats, clover, field peas, and alfalfa hay, among others. Additionally, they raise beef cattle. In 2009, Troy and Kathy joined forces and now operate the 350 acre Hadley operation in Silverton, in addition to playing an integral role in Kathy’s family’s 850 acre Rickreall farm.
Kathy is currently the Oregon state chair for Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R), a program from the Oregon Farm Bureau, which is open to agricultural producers aged 16 to 35. YF&R helps young farmers develop leadership and communication skills, make friends and contacts with peers, compete and test skills in state and national competitions, raise participation in local agricultural events, and organize the annual YF&R Food Drive, which benefits local food shelters. As Troy’s brother and sister have both moved away from the farming operations, it is up to Troy and Kathy to keep the 130 year farming legacy intact. There has been a learning curve in operating a large farming operation, but they work hard and learn together. As much of the Hadley land is difficult ground to farm, they are happy to use meadowfoam in their crop rotation as it helps ensure the economic and environmental sustainability of their land for future generations.
Pictured:Troy and Kathy Hadley with their boys Cody and Grant.