Brenda Kirsch Frketich of St. Paul has been chosen as one of Americas Best Young Farmers and Ranchers by The Progressive Farmer magazine.
Frketich, who grows grass seed and hazelnuts on her familys 1,000-acre farm, Kirsch Family Farms, was one of six young producers chosen by the magazine. She will be featured in the magazines February issue.
To be eligible, nominees have to be age 40 or younger, manage at least 500 acres and be active in their community.
In addition to taking over operations on the family farm, Frketich is active with the local fire district, volunteers with the Farm Bureau and advocates for farming on her blog, www.nuttygrass.com. She impressed the judges with her experience modernizing her third-generation grass seed and hazelnut farm by adding high-tech irrigation equipment to reduce operating costs and increase its efficiency in using water, according to an Oregon Farm Bureau press release.
Frketich studied business at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. After graduating, she returned to the family farm.
Last January, her father, Paul Kirsch, decided to turn everything over to his daughter. Hes available for consultation, but otherwise Brenda, 30, makes the farm decisions.
Brenda Frketich is an outstanding example of a young person who came back to the farm to continue the proud tradition of family agriculture in Oregon, said OFB President Barry Bushue in the press release. Brenda is dedicated to making her third-generation hazelnut and grass seed farm prosper and thrive, now and for the next generation. Farm Bureau also benefits from her intelligence, ingenuity and enthusiasm. She cares as much about the vitality of Oregon agriculture as a whole as she does her rural community in St. Paul.