TOPPENISH, Wash. — As his family name dates back over a century in Washington’s Yakima Valley, farmer Richard Halvorson is hopeful that he will be able to expand his own farm and promote agriculture as a whole in the area.
Halvorson owns Logy Creek Farms in Toppenish, Wash., with sister Linda Suhadolink and brother Barry Halvorson. Together, they grow wheat, mint, potatoes and corn on 830 acres.
The family farm, from which they split in 2010, dates back to a romantic story in 1911, according to Halvorson. He said that his grandfather was, at the time, courting the woman who would become his wife. She lived in Toppenish, and he lived several miles away, in Carson.
When fire claimed his land, Halvorson’s grandfather joined his to-be wife in Toppenish. They married and purchased 80 acres, starting both a farm and a family.
“He was really a self-taught man,” Halvorson said. His grandfather was a steam engine operator before farming in Toppenish. Still, he maintained a farm for several decades, until passing it on to his sons in the 1950s, as they were concluding their military service.
At the time, sugar beets and mint were big, and they profited from those crops and grew their farm. By the 1970s, the farm was over 1,000 acres, and it continued to grow.
Halvorson formed Logy Creek Farms in 2010, with 830 acres, and he would like to increase the size of this farm eventually, he said. The time is not right for expansion now, however.
He said that he has some major concerns, one of which is the lack of precipitation. The Yakima Valley is typically a dry location, dependent on irrigation, but this year, he said, is shaping up to be worse than most.
He said it reminds him of other tough years, including 2005, when there was water rationing.
Logy Creek Farms
Owner: Richard Halvorson, Linda Suhadolink and Barry Halvorson.
Location: Toppenish, Wash.
Year started: 2010 (as Logy Creek).
Crops grown: wheat, mint, potatoes and corn.
Number of acres: 830 acres.