Gylan Mulkey Farms
The Mulkey family has a long history of farming in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. In the 1860’s they travelled the Oregon Trail and settled on the west side of the valley between Monmouth and Corvallis. The Mulkeys farmed the land in that location until the start of WWII when the United States Government took over a large area in the region to establish “Camp Adair.” This area was used by the military to train troops for battle in Germany. Garth’s father Gylan was able to purchase part of the original farm in the mid-1960s and the family has called the area home since that time. Gylan was also one of the founding members of the OMG cooperative.
After high school, Garth received a degree in Manufacturing Technologies and spent 10 years traveling the country, racing motorcycles, and working as a machinist and mechanic for national caliber racing teams. When he returned home for his 10-year high school reunion, Garth rekindled his friendship with Susan (whose family settled near Lebanon, Oregon, also after traveling the Oregon Trail). They fell in love, were married eight months later, and have now been farming together for over 20 years, as well as raising three children.
Garth sees the push for crop diversification to be the largest change in agriculture in the Willamette Valley during his lifetime. During this time, the valley has become recognized worldwide for quality in specialty seed production. Indeed, in the last five years the Mulkeys have grown over 25 different crops. These crops include grass, wheat, Austrian winter peas, hairy vetch, chard, vegetable seeds and many other products. In 2009 they founded their own company for the production and marketing of their specialty radish seed called NitroRadish.
Susan and Garth grow meadowfoam on their land for a variety of reasons. Susan loves meadowfoam because it is beautiful and is the first crop to be harvested each year, thus signifying the beginning of harvest season on the farm. Garth says that the rotational benefits of growing meadowfoam in a no-till farming system are extraordinary and that being an owner in the farming cooperative model guarantees consistent opportunities to grow crops. The Mulkeys agree that the long-term vision of the farming cooperative fits with their goals for the future of their farm.
Pictured:Garth and Susan Mulkey are long-time meadowfoam growers based in Monmouth, Oregon.