Conservation | Org News

121 acres of organic farmland in Chehalis protected forever

Paul and Dalene Olson have been owners and operators of their family farm for over 40 years. Today, we are proud to share that their 121 acre organic farm in Chehalis, Olson Farm, will be protected forever.

Southwest Washington is an important area for pastured livestock, hay, market vegetables, and berry production, but the surrounding region has seen increasing pressure on farmland over the past few decades from expanded development, especially in the last few years.

“We’ve seen so much development along the I-5 corridor near our farm,” said Dalene. “We are very relieved to conserve our family farm forever and hopefully pass it on to our kids.”

Paul Olson grew up on his parent’s dairy farm in Kent, Washington. In 1964, his family moved the business to Lewis County, where the farm still stands today. As a child, Paul loved working outside with his dad on the family dairy, milking cows, feeding calves, hauling manure, and doing fence work. Just before Paul received his degree in agronomy from Washington State University in 1978, he married Dalene. After Paul graduated, the couple moved to the family farm and took over the dairy, as Paul’s dad was ready to retire.

Once the option to ship organic milk was introduced in their area, Paul and Dalene decided it was time to transition their farm to Certified Organic in 2000. Even before becoming certified, however, Paul and Dalene have always been committed to sustainable and ethical farming practices. They never use pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, or hormones, and collaborated with the National Resource Conservation Service to fence and revegetate 6 acres of wetlands on the farm, excluding livestock from this area to protect and enhance its ecological functions.

In 2006, Paul and Dalene shifted their operation to focus solely on  pastured beef. You can learn more about their products on their farm business website, PND Organic Beef.

We are grateful to our partners at the Washington State Recreation & Conservation Office and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service for helping make this project possible.