The Bailey Family
Five Generations in Agriculture
In 1923, Walter and Mabel Bailey established Orchard View Farms outside The Dalles, Oregon. During its first season, the farm produced "18 tons of white cherries and six tons of black," according to early farm records. As the Bailey family grew, so did the farm. Walter's son, Don, and Don's wife, Edwina, joined the family business prior to 1940. They planted additional orchard acreage and updated the operation by adding a cold storage plant and cherry packing line in the 1980s.
Today, the farming family includes Don and Edwina's sons, Bob, Ken and Tom, along with Ken's daughter, Diana, and Bob's daughter, Bridget. And the fifth generation of the Baileys is getting a strong start with seven-year-old Gus and two-year-old Elizabeth. Orchard View Farms employs approximately 45 year-round staff and 650 seasonal staff, some from families who have worked with the Baileys for two or more generations. The orchards are strategically placed at staggered elevations to extend the harvest season and to lessen the negative impact of frosts and rains. The levels range from 200 to 1,800 feet above sea level.
The Baileys farm 1,400 acres of fruit trees and harvest more than 3,200 tons of sweet cherries every year. Because the Baileys have developed packing technologies that allow fruit to remain fresh longer, Orchard View Farms ships hundreds of thousands of boxes of cherries each year to U.S. and international markets. Jon, Don and Edwina's son, is responsible for sales. The management of the Bailey farm is indeed a family effort that reflects dedication, commitment and teamwork.
Leaders in Farmland Protection
The Bailey family has long advocated and supported land use planning that both protects agricultural land and promotes efficient land use in rural areas. The family is well known in the agricultural community as leaders in farmland protection. Many family members have held leadership positions in national, state and community agricultural organizations, including the Oregon Farm Bureau, 1000 Friends of Oregon, National Cherry Grower's Board, Northwest Horticultural Council's Foreign Trade Committee, Wasco County Agricultural Resource Group, and Oregon Department of Agriculture's State Board of Agriculture.
Innovative Environmental Stewardship
The Baileys initiated an Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) program for their fruit trees in 1995, and have used their experience to teach other growers how to implement the program. IFP practices include more efficient and responsible pest management, irrigation practices and control of weeds without residual herbicides. After evaluating the pest and disease management, soil and water conservation and human resource management, The Food Alliance gave its nationally recognized stamp of approval to all the practices on Orchard View Farms. The Baileys are dedicated to ensuring a healthier environment and sharing their stewardship practices with other farmers and members of the agricultural community.
For more information about Orchard View Farms, you can visit www.orchardviewfarms.com.