Meet the Farmers
When Hilary met Jared in 2006, she was a renewable energy developer for a multinational company and a vegetarian, and Jared was working for a mortgage bank doing residential and commercial financing. They married, bought a home for their family and set out to live more intentionally, particularly in the area of sourcing food. They soon developed a small urban vegetable CSA, and, as Hilary experienced changing nutritional needs from pregnancy, they began to explore options for educated and intentional meat consumption. When Dillon was born, Jared stepped away from the mortgage industry to be a stay-at-home dad and to develop a policy consulting business focused on access to capital, specializing in challenges faced by small, local food producers. After daughter Genevieve was born, they started exploring opportunities to acquire an existing farming operation with room for improvement. In 2014, with the intention of raising their kids in an agrarian lifestyle while making more of an impact in the wider food system, they purchased the cattle-beef operation that was to become today’s Nehalem River Ranch.
These days, Jared is the primary operator of Nehalem River Ranch and Nehalem Valley Provisions and continues his work as a policy consultant focusing on access to capital in the agricultural space. He holds leadership roles with the Oregon Pasture Network, the Oregon Community Food System Network and collaborations with Ecotrust, including being a member of, and adviser to their pilot “Ag of the Middle” program. Jared is also leading the effort to create the Astoria Food Hub to build out a resilient food system in the North Coast. Additionally, Hillary’s work as the farm and forest specialist for Tillamook County’s Community Development Department adds a wide and prestigious network of professionals and business owners. Through her work she has become an expert in navigating regulatory and bureaucratic mazes, and in facilitating grant writing and reporting.
Regenerative & Sustainable Practices
Nehalem River Ranch champions regenerative practices in low-stress animal husbandry, soil-building rotational grazing, and ethical meat production. Their practices are backed up with certifications including: Animal Welfare Approved, certified Grassfed cows, and only working with a handful of budgets who are audited and certified as Animal Welfare Approved. Additional regenerative practices include:
- They follow holistic management principles and plan intensive rotational grazing for their animals to ensure a healthy environment and to maximize biodiversity in the land they steward
- They recognize that the trampling and feeding of cows on grasslands as they rotationally graze is the key to building sustainably healthy lands, and it allows them to manage their pastures organically without herbicides or pesticides
- They encourage and facilitate their animal's natural behavior and provide them with a tranquil environment. They also never de-horn or use nose rings on their animals
- For beef, they raise Angus and Hereford crosses, a breed suited to their climate. All of their beef is aged for a minimum of 14 days which allows the natural enzymatic and biochemical processes to develop a unique flavor and improved tenderness
- For pork, they breed and raise heritage Gloucestershire Old Spot crosses that spend their lives foraging on high-legume pasture and are supplemented with Oregon milled non-GMO grains with no corn or soy