Your name and your farm

Kurt and Heather Melville
Cornerstone Farms Joint Venture

Location of your farm

Northeastern Oregon located between Enterprise and Joseph on Highway 82.

History of your farm

Cornerstone Farms was formed in January 2010. Founding partners are Tim and Audry Melville and their son and daughter-in-law Kurt and Heather Melville. Tim and Audry are both third generation farmers and Kurt is a forth generation farmer. Tim, Audry and Kurt were raised on farms in the Enterprise area, farming all their lives. While Heather was raised in a rural community in northern Idaho.

Why do you think direct seeding is important to the future of agriculture?

Soil is our most important asset in this county. We must do the best we can to conserve it - at the same time making it as productive as possible to feed a hungry growing world population. Direct seeding is currently the best technology to simultaneously accomplish these two goals.

Why are you involved with Shepherd’s Grain?

I have always heard that to be successful as a grower "you have to grow what the customer wants". Today that is only half the truth. Today you not only have to grow what the customer wants, but you must also deliver the product in the package the customer wants. That package is "identity preserved". I believe that "organic" is not the key to safe healthy food, but "identity preservation" is the key to safe healthy food. Shepherd’s Grain is all about "identity preserved".

Why do you think it is important to develop relationships between the grower and Shepherd’s Grain customers?

When you build a relationship with your customer and the customer with you, this relationship holds both parties to a higher standard to each other. This higher business standard of honesty and integrity leads to healthier food for the customer and a solid business model for their grower. In close relationships all parties benefit.