Brenda Kirsch Frketich of St. Paul, Ore., has been chosen one of America’s Best Young Farmers and Ranchers by The Progressive Farmer magazine.

Frketich, who grows grass seed and hazelnuts on her family’s 1,000-acre farm, was one of six young producers chosen by the magazine. She and the others will be featured in the magazine’s 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,

As reported previously by the Capital Press and others, Frketich went from her small Oregon high school to study business at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, but realized she wanted to farm instead. After graduating, she returned to the family farm and made a deal with her father, Paul: She would work a two-year internship, doing everything he did. If either one was unhappy with how things turned out, they could walk away.

It worked, and this past January Paul Kirsch decided to turn everything over to his daughter. He’s available for consultation, but otherwise Brenda, 30, makes the farm decisions.


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