Meet a Grower: Ed Beitel

When did you start farming?
In 1972 I started farming my parents’ place. I raised registered polled Herefords, sheep and some bentgrass. I was about 17 years old at the time.


Tell us about the history of your family farm.
My grandfather bought the place in 1937, he gave it to my dad, who then passed it on to me. Dad was a logger who did a little farming on the side, but was happy to pass the farming to me. I worked the home place while working for a big farm owned by Bob Mertz. Bob taught me what he knew about farming but passed away unexpectedly and I assumed farming his place for the next 15 years.


What do you currently farm? How many acres?
I currently farm perennial ryegrass, fine fescue, bentgrass, sweet corn, green beans and wheat. The farm is around 1400 acres currently.


Where are you located?
Around Stayton, Oregon


How long have you been in the area?
All my life. I was born in Stayton and still live on the original farm.


Are there any differences between your farm now and your farm when you were a kid?
Lots. My dad farmed one piece of property that was 100 acres with an old Farmall M. I farm eight different farms, with modern machinery equipped with GPS and auto-steer. I try to be progressive and keep up with the latest developments in farming.


What is your favorite part about farming?
Being outside and watching things grow.


What is your least favorite part about farming?
The paperwork and government regulations.


Have you ever considered getting out of agriculture for a different career? If so, what type of work did you think you might want to do?
When I was young, I tried logging and mechanic work, but I definitely like farming the best. I have never considered anything else since then.


How long have you been growing for Barenbrug?
I planted Bridgeport chewings fescue for Barenbrug in 1987.


What does farming mean to you?
“A way of life,” not just a career.