Sam Sweeney: An Oregon Story

Wed, 03/13/2019 (All day)

Meet Sam Sweeney, longtime member of 1000 Friends of Oregon and a member of our Farmer Advisory Committee. Along with his son Tom, daughter-in-law Pieper, and grandson Austin, he runs Country Heritage Farms near Dayton. Together, the Sweeneys grow a wide variety of the crops the Willamette Valley is known for, including hazelnuts, marionberries, vegetables, grass, and clover seed. Their four-generation family farm exemplifies the rich agricultural tradition that 1000 Friends of Oregon works every day to protect.

Lifelong Oregonians, Sam and his wife Nancy (pictured here, along with faithful friend Dallas) each grew up on family farms. They assumed management of the Sweeney farm from Sam’s parents in the early 1960's. Until Nancy’s passing last year, they were always a team. Over the years, with hard work and luck, they expanded the farm and made it both successful and sustainable for generations to come.

Sam believes strongly in the wisdom of the maxim, “We do not own the land but only borrow it from the next generation.” With advice and technical help from Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Sam practices both land and water conservation. He uses crop rotation, low-till and no-till operations, and other soil improvement methods at the farm. Indeed, families like the Sweeneys truly represent the past, present, and future of Oregon farming.

Thank you, Sam, for being part of Oregon’s story!