In fewer than 100 years, hazelnuts have gone from an unknown crop to Oregon’s State Nut. It took the dedication, diligence and risk from a few farm families all those decades ago to launch the hazelnut trend in the state. Goodpasture Farms were among those pioneers. Today, the family continues to set the standard for a now-burgeoning hazelnut farming industry.
Jim Goodpasture is the third generation of his family to harvest these acres. Goodpasture is the archetype of the American farmer. Passionate about his land and orchards, he epitomizes hard work. When asked how the family has been successful hazelnut growers for 80 years, Goodpasture credits work ethic.
Mechanization continues to evolve in agriculture, but nothing compares to some elbow grease and getting your hands dirty in the orchards. Take a stroll with Goodpasture through one of his orchards and he can recall the history of each tree. You’re also likely to hear stories about coming face-to-face with a cougar or a black bear.
Goodpasture was recognized by his peers as the Nut Growers Society “Grower of the Year” in 2001. His strategies and management practices have informed growers throughout the state. His orchards sit near the McKenzie River just east of Eugene, Oregon, which requires diligence in water and soil quality management. Goodpasture Farms is an example of growers finding ways to maximize production and overcome obstacles like pests and diseases, all while being good neighbors and striving to protect the wonderous natural resources around them.
He is slowly transitioning the day-to-day orchard caretaking to his children; however, he’s not sure what he will do with an increase in free time. The orchards are home, and Jim Goodpasture is dedicated to protecting his home for years to come.