Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, February 19, 2021, Page 2, Image 2

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Friday, February 19, 2021
People & Places
Student balances beef sales, studies
Capital Press
Established 1928
When COVID-19 hit,
Peyton Curtis came home to
the ranch.
Curtis is a junior at Cal-
ifornia Polytechnic State
University in San Luis
Obispo. She returned home
to her family’s Ritzville,
Wash., ranch last March
at the beginning of the
“I was doing my online
classes at my dinner table,
wasn’t having too much fun
doing it, and I said, ‘I’m
bored,’” Peyton remem-
bered. “The next thing
I knew, I was starting a
Curtis is founder of The
Herd, a farm-to-table beef
delivery service that sends
beef raised on her family’s
ranch, the Curtis Cattle Co.,
to customers.
The ranch runs a 1,300-
head cow-calf operation.
The beef is processed at
the Curtis family’s packing
The family had long dis-
cussed making such a move,
Peyton said.
Her father, Miles Cur-
tis, said it’s unclear who first
suggested the idea this time
“We both blame each
other,” he said. “We both
kind of poked at each other
for long enough that we
finally made (it) happen. ...
She was the one who finally
said, ‘You know what? We
keep talking about this, Dad,
I’m bored and I’m sitting
here at home, let’s try it.’”
Capital Press Managers
Joe Beach ..................... Editor & Publisher
Courtesy of Peyton Curtis
The ultimate goal is to
sell all the ranch’s cattle
through the business, Miles
Curtis said.
Peyton has one more
year of college, then plans
to attend veterinary school.
She is presently at a four-
month internship at Hagyard
Equine Medical Institute in
“I love large animals, I
love cattle, I love horses. It’s
kind of what I know,” Cur-
tis said.
The Herd quickly became
a full-time job when it
started last June. The Cur-
tises expected a few orders
from family and friends,
but 30 orders quickly turned
into 250, and business hasn’t
slowed since.
Peyton handles market-
ing and customer relations.
She says she doesn’t have
a background in marketing
or sales, but is learning on
the fly.
The most important
thing, she said, is to be com-
pletely transparent and hon-
est with customers.
Miles isn’t surprised by
his daughter’s success. He
notes that Peyton told him
that her internship asks her
to perform several tasks
“because I’m capable and
because I grew up on a
“I’m bragging a little bit
and I’m pretty damn proud
of her,” he said. “Ranches
raise kids that are capable in
As she pursues her career
as a vet, Peyton wants the
Herd to keep growing. She
might take a “gap year” to
focus on the business, she
“I spend a lot of time
with it already, it’s basically
my full-time job on top of
my other two full-time jobs,
with school and my intern-
ship,” she said.
She also runs her own
four-horse brood mare herd.
“I am a busy gal,” she
said. “I’m always doing
JOHN DAY, Ore. — As many
people rushed to make dinner reser-
vations for Valentine’s Day, a Grant
County, Ore., ranching couple, who
have been married for more than a
half a century, said it was just another
Eugene “Perk” and Charlene Per-
kins, who will celebrate 55 years of
marriage on March 6, told the Blue
Mountain Eagle newspaper their rela-
tionship has always been more about
consistency, commitment and com-
panionship, and less about obligatory
cards, candy and flowers once a year
to show their love for one another.
Charlene said an “underlying deep
love” brought them together, and it’s
endured and grown stronger over the
years for the couple who raised two
kids in a “working ranch family.”
Charlene recalled their wedding
day, in detail, as if it happened yes-
terday: from the “fluffy” handmade
dress she sewed herself to Perk, a
working cowboy, wearing a white
satin shirt and blue jeans.
She laughed as she told the Eagle
about the preacher in a flower-print
Blue Mountain Eagle
Blue Mountain Eagle
Eugene “Perk” and Charlene
Perkins on their 25th anniver-
Eugene “Perk” and Charlene Per-
kins cut their wedding cake in
shirt whom neither had met before
their wedding who agreed to officiate
the wedding on short notice.
Charlene, who was 19 at the time,
said she wanted to get married in a
church with a preacher officiating.
She said all she knew was the color-
fully clothed preacher, named Rever-
end Blackburn, was a Christian and
could match them in March.
“I knocked on the door, and here
comes this guy, and he had a flower
shirt on and a vacuum cleaner in his
hand,” she said. “That’s the preacher.”
Perk, who was 24 at the time, said
the couple went on to have two “great
kids,” four “awesome granddaugh-
ters” and two great-grandchildren.
Perk jokingly said Charlene
told their story for the both of them
during his interview: “I’d probably
lie anyway.”
Jokes aside, he said the couple
worked “side by side” over the years
Jessica Boone ............ Production Manager
Samantha McLaren ....Circulation Manager
Entire contents copyright © 2021
EO Media Group
Title: Founder of The
dba Capital Press
Hometown: Ritzville,
An independent newspaper
Family: Mom Bren, dad
Miles, younger siblings
Brix and Finley
published every Friday.
Capital Press (ISSN 0740-3704) is
published weekly by EO Media Group,
2870 Broadway NE, Salem OR 97303.
Periodicals postage paid at Portland, OR,
and at additional mailing offices.
POSTMASTER: send address changes to
Capital Press, P.O. Box 2048 Salem, OR
But her ultimate dream
is to be a veterinarian, with
a focus on helping ranchers
improve their herd genetics.
“I think I’ve wanted to
be a vet since I was about in
first grade,” she said. “I’m
most comfortable around
animals and being outside.”
Growing up on the ranch,
she would spend many
mornings feeding cattle with
her mom and dad and sum-
mer days riding horses with
her grandfather.
“It’s a huge part of my
upbringing and it’s a large
part of who I am, my skill set
and my work ethic,” she said.
“It’s a big deal for me.”
Ranching couple reflects on their 55 years of marriage
EO Media Group
Carl Sampson .................. Managing Editor
Age: 21
Education: Student at
Cal Poly, studying animal
Peyton Curtis, left, with her family, younger sister Finley, mother Bren, younger
brother Brix and father Miles. Peyton balances handling marketing and customer
relations for the family’s farm-to-table beef delivery service , studies as a college stu-
dent and as a veterinary intern.
Anne Long ................Advertising Manager
and kept things simple.
“Neither one of us did a lot of
talking,” he said. “But if something
was bothering us, we were not scared
to tell the other person, and if we
didn’t agree, then we didn’t agree.
We just went on.”
He said society as a whole does
not value marriage like it did in the
“Nobody’s willing to make a com-
mitment,” he said. “I mean, they call
it progress. We’ve slid back so far its
not even funny.”
Perk said the world has drastically
changed and he would not want to be
a twenty-something again.
He quoted Rodney Dangerfield in
the 1980s movie “Back to School”:
“It’s a jungle out there. Don’t leave
As Charlene looks back on 55
years of marriage, she said “an
unbreakable bond” carried them
through difficult times.
“We’ve had a lot of bad times,”
she said. “We’ve been through los-
ing cows and getting cows and los-
ing everything. Through it all, there
was still that thread that couldn’t be
broke. Because it wasn’t a thread, it
was a rope.”
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Small woodlands group bringing back Willamette Valley Ponderosa pine
Fifteen years in the making, a non-
profit forestry group and Linn County,
Ore., are collaborating on a project
designed to highlight reforestation of
the Willamette Valley Ponderosa pine.
The Linn County Small Wood-
lands Association is planting a grove
of 50 young pine trees at Sunnyside
Park near the town of Sweet Home.
Along with the trees, two interpre-
tive signs under shelters will explain
the history of the Willamette pine and
the efforts of Sweet Home native Bob
Mealey to restore the native race of
trees in the valley.
Mealey started the LCSWA.
LCSWA has money to pay for this
project from the RHM Pine Fund,
established by Mealey before his
death in 2007.
The Mealey family is one of Sweet
Home’s founding families. Bob Mea-
ley was born in 1912. He graduated
from Sweet Home High School in
1932 and from Oregon State College
in 1936.
In 1989, he was recognized as the
Oregon and Western United States
Regional Outstanding Tree Farmer.
He was also a fellow of the Society of
American Foresters.
In 2000, the Robert H. Mealey Wil-
lamette Valley Ponderosa Pine Native
Gene Conservancy Orchard was ded-
icated at the Oregon Department of
Forestry’s Schroeder Seed Orchard
near St. Paul.
Growth in the pine fund’s invest-
ments has produced money for the
Sunnyside project and perhaps other
environmental education projects with
Linn County public agencies.
Pines for the Sunnyside project will
be planted soon, likely this week.
The signs for the grove — located
near the park’s ranger residence —
will be installed in the spring.
Community involvement in the
project so far has included Sweet
Home businesses helping to pre-
pare the site for planting and a pos-
sible partnership with Sweet Home
High School forestry students on the
“For many years, Linn County
Small Woodlands has been looking
for an appropriate way to both honor
the memory of Bob Mealy, and stay
true to his desire that the funds he set
aside be used for community forestry
education,” said incoming chapter
president Tim Otis.
“To this point, none of the proj-
ects we had considered really fit those
goals,” said Otis.
“When the board considered this
opportunity to plant Willamette Val-
ley Ponderosa pines in a Linn County
Park, along with a kiosk describing
the history of their preservation and
development by Bob, we knew we
had found a great project.”
A committee of retired forester
Joe Holmberg, Melcher Logging Co.
partner Jim Cota and board member
Larry Mauter is working on the proj-
ect. Dozens of other board members
and OSU Extension Service personnel
have been involved through the years.
Included in the donation agreement
with Linn County is a memorandum
of understanding allowing LCSWA to
maintain the signs and pine grove into
the future.
Submit upcoming ag-related
events on
or by email to newsroom@capital-
FEB. 22-24
Making and Maintaining
Healthy Pasture (virtual): 6-9 p.m.
Livestock nutritionist and forage
specialist Woody Lane will join
Tualatin SWCD for a three-part, vir-
tual workshop that will take a prac-
tical, scientific look at grazing and
pasture management. This work-
shop is appropriate for both new
and experienced managers of all
types of livestock. Details and reg-
istration on the TSWCD website:
FEB. 23-24
Cattle Industry Convention
Winter Reboot (online): National
Cattlemen’s Beef Association Winter
Reboot sessions include an update
on issues in Washington, D.C., and
expectations with the new admin-
istration. Ten educational programs
will be offered covering topics such
as sustainability, as well as a tech-
nology tool introduction. A virtual
marketplace will also be featured
during the Winter Reboot to allow
attendees interaction with lead-
ing agribusinesses. Website: https://
FEB. 23-25
Spokane Ag Show (virtual):
Currently, we are finalizing the lat-
est technology in virtual confer-
ences and trade shows and expect
recording breaking attendance at
our virtual show in 2021. Website:
Applied Corrective & Preven-
tive Action (online): 1-5 p.m.
This course will be interactive
and hands-on. Using exercises,
actual scenarios, and group dis-
cussions, you will learn and use
several tools. You will be ready to
put your knowledge to work in
your facility. We will explore com-
mon root cause analysis tools,
including 5 whys, Failure Mode
Effect Analysis, Fishbone dia-
gram, cause & effect tools, and
relationship diagrams. You will
receive training and templates to
use and modify as needed to cre-
ate and maintain an effective cor-
rective and preventative action
program in your facility. Correc-
tive actions are not just for food
safety issues but all aspects of
a food manufacturing facility.
Janna Hamlett, 208-731-9363,
or news staff member closest to you,
send the information to
or mail it to “Newsroom,” c/o Capital Press.
Include a contact telephone number.
Letters to the Editor: Send your
comments on agriculture-related public
issues to, or
mail your letter to “Opinion,” c/o Capital
Press. Letters should be limited to
300 words. Deadline: Noon Monday.
Capital Press ag media
Dairy .....................................................10
Markets .................................................12
Intentional Adulteration-Food
Defense (online): 8 a.m.-noon. This
Food Defense Course will help you
mitigate the risks and hazards of
intentional contamination in food
operations by protecting vulnera-
ble elements in the agrifood chain
and food production operations.
We will explore Food Defense Plans
to help you build barriers around
vulnerable points to prohibit inten-
tional adulteration. The course fee
is $495/each individual. Janna Ham-
lett, 208-731-9363, jannahamlett@
Opinion ...................................................6
Correction policy
Accuracy is important to Capital Press
staff and to our readers.
If you see a misstatement, omission or
factual error in a headline, story or photo
caption, please call the Capital Press news
department at 503-364-4431, or send
email to
We want to publish corrections
to set the record straight.