Jun 04, 2015

I’m a third generation Oregon farmer; my family came here in 1885 and started growing hops in 1904. Depending on the time of year, we employ anywhere from six to 60 people. The very nature of our business hinges upon sustainability; being stewards of the land is how our industry survives.

Climate change is affecting our industry. This season in particular, I’m very concerned that our snowpack is so low. As part of my job I attend wine grape symposiums every year, and for last several years climate change has been a pressing topic of discussion. Climate change will influence which types of crops thrive in Oregon, and which ones won’t. Farming jobs depend on a healthy climate. The future of our award-winning wine and beer industry depends on it, too.

At Goschie Farms, we’re doing our part to conserve water and use the land responsibly. We take pride in how much we prioritize sustainable farming practices. Our farm was the first hop farm to be certified as Salmon-Safe, recognized for adopting ecologically sustainable practices that protect water quality and our native salmon. We’re accountable – for run-off, for pesticides, for knowing that what we do affects the whole. There are things everyone can do to conserve and live sustainably. As farmers we’re doing our part to both conserve and be accountable for what we use, and we urge others to take responsibility for the resources they use as well.

I love what I do, and I love my employees. Even though some jobs on our farm are only seasonal, those same employees come back year after year. They love this work just as much as I do. It’s a very cool part of my job to be able to have such a great connection with good people. They’re tuned in to the farm and the land just like I am.

As farmers, we can do our part to practice sustainability. These sustainable practices will become even more important as the effects of climate change become more widely known. We all must do our part to protect jobs, maintain the health of the land and safeguard Oregon’s natural resource heritage – which includes internationally known wine and beer. These are the things we love and value as Oregonians. They’re part of our legacy, and I support Renew Oregon’s work to protect the Oregon we love.

Gayle Goschie is a 3rd generation Oregon farmer and President of hops and wine grapes at Goschie Farms, Inc. in Silverton.

Check out Gayle in action on the farm. She's a great part of this story:

Renewing Brew