Co-op Member Spotlight: Goschie Farms, Silverton, OR

Glenn Goschie, Goschie Farms

Hops have been in the Goschie Family for over 120 years. Siblings Glenn, Gayle and Gordon are the third generation to continue farming the ground east of Silverton, OR, known as Goschie Farms. As one of the original hop growing families in Oregon, the Goschie’s have seen a lot of change in their industry over the years. “One big transition that happened in the hop industry took place when mechanical harvesting came out in the 1940’s,” Glenn explained. “A huge shift took place that you either got bigger or you got out, so we went from 100 growers in Oregon to a few dozen in a very short period of time,” Glenn said. Another shift happened as craft brewing became more popular and instead of selling 90 percent of their crop to Anheuser-Busch, Glenn’s sister Gayle started contacting some of the local brewers in the area. “As craft brewing started growing, we started growing with it,” Glenn said.

While Goschie Farms may look a little different than it did when their grandparents started growing hops, family tradition runs deep. Glenn’s parents, Herman and Vernice, purchased the Silverton property when they got married that already had hops on it, and as they started having children they also grew and diversified the farm. Today, Goschie Farms consists of six locations, including the original home farm, and 1,000 farmable acres, with about half the acreage in hops, 200 acres in wine grapes and the remaining acres planted in wheat, field corn, and some red clover for seed.

Glenn has a curiosity that has served him well. When his neighbor was growing wine grapes and his buyer was looking for more product in the 90’s, The Goschie’s decided to plant grapes. Most of their acreage is planted in pinot gris and viognier, but in 2022 they planted pinot blanc grapes, which will be harvested for the first time in 2024.

Goschie Farms was the first hop farm in the nation to be certified as Salmon-Safe, and are proud to grow all of their crops in accordance with Salmon-Safe guidelines, which is a third-party certification that takes into account environmental practices. Goschie Farms is also a notable collaborator with industry research, having frequently worked with scientists and researchers from Oregon State University, the USDA, and the NRCS, to improve and enhance crops and land use across the region. ”As farmers, we do so many different things and when our day is over and I look back at what I did it gives me a great sense of accomplishment at what I’ve made happen,” Glenn said.

Glenn attributes his leadership and business sense to his dad. “I enjoy business and like to listen to other people and help build positive outcomes,” Glenn said. He currently serves on six different boards, including Wilco, where he just stepped down as the Board Chair for the past six years. “As a Wilco member, customer and board member I can attest to what a fantastic organization our co-op is,” Goschie said. “We have a long history, good management, a good board and while finance is important, we always look at the care of the employee and customer, not just the financial aspect of the cooperative.”

Glenn went onto say, “That’s what I like about co-ops, everything we do is in cooperation with other farmers, and farming is filled with so many great people. Their honesty and work ethics are unmatched…even if we’re business competitors at the end of the day we are here for each other.”

Glenn and his wife are very active in their local community and stay involved in their church and Silverton FFA alumni organization. Glenn encouraged, “Find your passion, and pursue it, not just in your career, but in your volunteerism and hobbies.”