Client Spotlight: Perrin Family Dairy

November 2021 Newsletter

Happy November! As this month’s newsletter topic is ‘Soils Impact on Food’, we thought it’d be most enjoyable to spotlight our client, Jack Perrin, who owns Perrin Family Dairy – in Woodburn, Oregon. Jack has been milking cows in the Willamette Valley since 1976, and he transitioned to organic production in 2002. He also produces corn silage for the animals. Jack has been an Earthfort client since 2017, with projects ranging from soil testing to amendment trials. We’ve worked with him and his soils, through product trials, testing trials, and general farming practices and comparisons. Through working with him so closely, we’ve learned a lot more about the dairy industry, and how taking care of your soils can not only improve forage quality for your animals, but increase butter fat percentage as well!

Read our short interview below to learn more about Jack’s journey with his farm, his soils, and the impacts that the soil has made on his farm:

When did you start the farm? 1976

Which kinds of crops/livestock do you have?

Jack: Corn and Pasture. We started with 3-4 cows, and now we feed and milk 240 cows! This coming year, we are considering adding some chickens as well.

We have international and national readers who grow many different things, and may not be familiar with your area. What is the soil like where you are? What thrives?

Jack: I deal with all kinds of different soil, from heavy clay, to silt loam. It grows good grass in the pasture. The only struggle in working with the clay soil is that it can either be too wet or too hard, but having good and balanced biology in the soil helps very much.

What would you say is your biggest success on the farm? What are you most proud of?

Jack: The most successful thing, from a soil standpoint, is that we are still able to grow quality corn for the cows, even though it’s organic! 20 years ago, cultivating the soil was the most difficult part, and now it is a whole new world. Otherwise, what I am most proud of is that our family is working together on the farm, and my son is helping out and planning on taking over the dairy.

What have been some of your challenges along the way?

Jack: On the organic side, it has been obtaining quality feed – hay, grain, and otherwise – and making sure what we buy and what we grow is quality. Sometimes, people think if you have an organic label, the seed is of poor quality, but that has really turned around in the last few years and it can be very high quality.

How has Earthfort helped your farm?

Jack: We’ve had the biggest benefit in the last few years, cutting our costs in half by using Soil ProVide and Soil ReVive as well as having a consultant visit, and following their recommendations over time. We’ve basically reduced our costs from 40-60% cheaper per acre of corn, so it has definitely helped us to not only keep the farm growing, but to thrive.

  • Earthfort helped us to lower overall input costs by $250 per acre while maintaining yield with nutrient-dense forage quality. We also increased our dairy butter fat from 4.2% to 4.5%. This increase in the quality of milk isn’t just good for the finances, it’s good for customers who are getting more nutrient-dense sustenance.

Are these any practices you’ve changed (from Earthfort or otherwise) in the last 10-15 years that made a large impact on your success?

Jack: Our dairy side has changed entirely – grown and milked 240 cows

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Jack: I will say having Earthfort come visit and be local is fantastic – I love partnering locally whenever possible. Having a consultant willing and available to help out and come visit the farm, has really made a difference.

Ready to Bring Your Soil to Life?

Contact A Soil Expert

Earthfort Chandra Wyatt

Chandra Wyatt

Chief Financial Officer

Earthfort Matthew Slaughter

Matthew Slaughter

President and Laboratory Director

Earthfort Cathy Brenizer

Cathy Brenizer

Production and Shipping Manager

Phone Consultation

Talk One On One with a Soil Expert

Spend time with Earthfort’s Director discussing your operation and its growth. Explore any site-specific or testing questions and discuss opportunities for development and improvement.

$200.00 hr billed in 15 minute time increments

Please call or send an email to schedule a phone consultation with our office.


Onsite Speaker

Earthfort Speaks at Your Event

Good soil is the foundation on which your plants grow. This package allows you to hear directly from a soil expert! The Earthfort Director will give a lecture at your event discussing soil biology as it relates to agricultural, horticultural, landscaping and/or soil remediation topics.

Just some of the topics we can bring to you include:

  • Introduction to Soil Basics
  • Practical Soil Microbiology
  • Ecological Succession
  • Compost Production
  • Compost Tea and Alternatives
  • Biologically-Based Pest Management
  • Understanding your Soil Biology Report

Previous lectures have spanned from practical soil biology and understanding biological testing services to integrating your current cultivation practices with biological practices.

Please call or send an email to schedule a speaking engagement with our office.


Onsite Consultation

Bring In An Expert For An Expert Opinion

Soil biology challenges permeate every aspect of agriculture and horticulture. Bring an expert to your location so we can better understand your operation and goals as a business. Earthfort’s Director will answer any site-specific questions so your team can explore opportunities to benefit your company and your soil.

Earthfort offers our clients an onsite consultation to discuss a wide range of topics including: soil biology challenges across diverse fields and crops; identifying potential local composting components; trouble shooting compost tea equipment; improving timing of applications of compost, teas, and biological products; and so much more.

Please call or send an email to schedule this consultation visit with our office.


Onsite Workshop

If You Can Measure It, You Can Manage It

This two day Biologically-Based Soil Management Workshop is a cost effective option designed for businesses, schools and other organizations who would like to train groups of 10 people or more. An Earthfort instructor will come to your location and provide an in-depth overview of soil biology, testing, and remediation. Your team will learn about the interrelationships between soil biology and soil nutrient chemistry, so you can better manage the soil system, improving your crops and soil remediation practices.

In this workshop, you will explore the physical, chemical, and biological processes of the soil. Your own soil’s history, chemistry and biological makeup has unique management implications. We’ll give you the tools that work with your system rather than against it, saving you time and money. You are encouraged to send in a soil sample to our laboratory to have the soil biology and chemistry tested prior to the workshop so we can take a more in-depth look at a soil biology report. This will help us customize the lecture to better reach your goals and needs. Click here for an example of topics we offer you!

(Click here for sampling instructions and testing forms.)

Please call or send an email to schedule this training visit with our office.