When driving up to McAdams Hazelnut Orchard in Gaston, it’s hard not to become mesmerized by the rolling hills that are home to this 10,000 tree hazelnut orchard.
This 400 acres of land has been in the McAdams family since the 1940s and is now being farmed and managed by David McAdams and his daughter Nellie.
With the average age of Oregon’s farmers higher than it has ever been–59.6 years on average–one of the major challenges facing multi-generational farms right now is succession planning.
Nellie and her father are working together, along with many others, to raise awareness about this issue. Through her role as Farm Preservation Program Director with Rogue Farm Corps, Nellie has been traveling throughout rural Oregon hosting educational succession planning workshops for local farmers and ranchers.
“It’s truly alarming the rate at which Oregon’s farmland is being sold out of farm families, with the potential of being taken out of production,” explained Nellie McAdams. “Right now we have a significant opportunity to help protect our state’s second largest economic driver, the livelihoods of many rural communities and the continuation of our vibrant local food networks.”
Watch, as two generations of McAdams farmers talk about the future of Oregon’s agricultural lands.