About Bashaw Land and Seed
Meet Vicki, Eric, Tristan, & Marie; 3rd and 4th Generation Grass Seed Growers
You could say that grass has deep roots in our family – nearly a hundred years deep! Eric's great gramps, Jess Bowers, was one of the first farmers to grow grass seed in the Willamette Valley. Vicki's granddad, Noel Pirtle was also a grass seed farmer. The first species that Jess grew were Common Annual Ryegrass and English perennial Ryegrass (which later became known as Linn Perennial Ryegrass). The grass seed crop thrived on the wet clay soils of the south Willamette Valley.
Today, we farm granddad Noel's land and Vicki's great uncle's land, in addition to my 95 year old grandma Charity Curtis Bowers century farm and the farm that her and my gramps, Roy Bowers, bought when they were married, plus several other farms that we acquired from my dad Don and neighboring farmers over the years. We now raise several varieties of grass seed. These include Bashaw Tetraploid Annual Ryegrass and Gulf Annual Ryegrass, which are mostly used for pastures in the Gulf coast states and in Argentina, Paraguay, China, Korea, and Japan; Fawn Tall Fescue and Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue, two forage fescues; Big Green Tetraploid Perennial Ryegrass, another type of forage grass; and Turf type tall Fescue for lawns and parks. We also raise a little wheat and a crop called Meadowfoam, the seed of which is crushed for an oil that's used in cosmetics.
Our deep roots in south Linn and north Lane counties go beyond our commitment to the land. We raised two daughters on the land – Marie (now 25) and Callie (now 22). Both began running machinery when they were 12 and were running crews by age 17. They're both working off our farm now, but are still members of Oregon Women for Agriculture (along with their mom); in fact, Marie is 1st Vice President 2010-2011!
Both Vicki and I have been involved in a number of industry organizations over the years. I've been President of the Oregon Seed Council and Oregon Seed Growers League, have been a commissioner on the Oregon Tall Fescue Commission and served as the Oregon Seed Council Smoke Management Chair for 20 years. In January 2010, I received the Oregon Ryegrass Growers Association's Service Award; in November 2009, Vicki and I received Linn County Farm Bureau Farm Family of the Year. Vicki has served on the Harrisburg/Junction City Chamber of Commerce, and received the chamber's "Outstanding Citizen" award. Vicki also serves on the board of Church of God and on Sis-Q Meadows Camp Board.