Barbara Boyer

Barbara sets the pace for civic engagement in her local McMinnville community. As a hay farmer, she knows how to make a farm ecologically and financially sustainable. But she also pours her knowledge back into the community. As a volunteer and elected official, she chairs the Oregon Board of Agriculture, and the boards for the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District and the Soil and Water Conservation Commission. She also started the McMinnville farmer’s market, and houses many different volunteers through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms program.

Barbara and her husband Tom carry on a multi-generation legacy of farming. Their property lies on a beautiful and expansive area of land, cradled by trees abutting four miles of the South Yamhill River. Through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, they planted 10,000 trees along the river to reduce erosion and stabilize the soil.

“We are soil farmers. The healthier the soil is, the more you will be rewarded with your crops. We took 24 acres out of production because we felt the river was more important than our wallets. It doesn’t pay as much as the crop would, but the bigger picture is not about money, it means so much more to keep the river healthy.” 

As an elected official for the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District, it’s important to Barbara to get out into the community and ask the right questions to be able to represent her people. She says looking forward, water storage will

be a crucial issue for Oregon farmers, as river flows are altered and periods of drought during the summer lengthen.

 “I’ve got some community members or constituents that have totally different political views. But we can always find a commonality in coming together on a topic. So, it’s OK to have different needs and wants, but let’s get to the nitty gritty on a topic”.

Barbara holds a deep respect for the natural world that shapes how she lives her life and serves her community.

“Watching nature, and watching the shadows of the sun movement, and when the clouds come in. I just love looking at the ebb and flow of mother nature- because she is our boss”.      


6 Replies to "Barbara Boyer"

  • Bailey Payne
    October 26, 2018 (5:38 pm)

    Barbara & Tom are amazing! Totally committed to helping the environment, the community and sharing their passion with young people interested in farming.

  • Rose Beninger
    October 27, 2018 (3:37 am)

    Wonderful people, love them.

  • Julianne
    October 27, 2018 (1:32 pm)

    So proud of my high school BFF!

  • Clair Klock
    October 28, 2018 (12:04 am)

    We appreciate their dedication to the future generations. Farmer role models for every farmer! Thank you Barbara & Tom!

  • lisa yost
    October 31, 2018 (12:29 am)

    Barbara and Tom, I am so thankful as a former Oregonian, born and bred and living just to the north in Washington, to see the important work you are doing to secure a healthier, happier, farming future. I get it! Soil conservation is vital to our survival–I didn’t realize I was a poet…Regardless, you are doing the right thing. My partner is working with Adoptastream Foundation to work with homeowners et al to improve riprarian health along fish bearing creeks and streams. If everyone does a little something, I hope it can make a difference. Let’s go! Happy Holidays to you and yours:)

  • Liesl Forve
    April 5, 2020 (10:40 pm)

    Hi. We are new to the area having just moved from Minnesota. We are already in love with the beautiful Oregon hills valleys and streams. We like to support Regeneratve farmers when we can, having been customers of Gabe Brown in Bismarck ND. My husband’s son is a commercial fisherman on the OR coast so clean water means everything.
    We hope to meet you soon to learn more about local issues.