Innovation down on the farm

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012

By Linda Baker

 

0512_GamePlan_Stahlbush_01
Bill Chambers is president of Stahlbush Island Farms, a sustainable farming operation that averages double-digit annual growth.
// Photo by Alexandra Shyshkina
Bill Chambers, president of Stahlbush Island Farms, has a simple explanation for why he has adopted so many innovative technologies and practices in service of sustainable agriculture. “Work should be fun and interesting, and doing new things makes work fun and interesting,” says Chambers, 54, who grows and processes fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes on 5,000 acres in Corvallis. “That’s the source of our core value of innovation.”

In 1997, Stahlbush became one of the first farms in the country to be certified sustainable by the Food Alliance. Twelve years later, the family-owned company turned agricultural waste into energy with the first biogas plant of its kind in North America. And in 2010, Stahlbush released the first 100% biodegradable freezer bag.

Today Chambers and his wife, Karla, continue their legacy of environmental innovation. Aiming to achieve a “carbon-negative footprint,” their latest acquisitions include a high-speed disc for preparing the soil and a computer-controlled weeder. The new pieces of equipment, which will debut this spring and summer, don’t sound particularly sexy. Yet both reflect Chambers’ focus on cutting-edge, chemical-free mechanical and computer-based approaches to agriculture.

 



 

More Articles

Free Falling

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121714-oilprice-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

The implosion of the energy complex: The best thing for low oil prices is low oil prices.


Read more...

Legislative Preview: A Shifting Balance

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER

Democratic gains pave the way for a revival of environment and labor bills as revenue reform languishes.


Read more...

Dan and Louis Oyster Bar opens up to a changing neighborhood

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121114-oystervidBy MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Revamping a Classic — an iconic eatery stays relevant in a changing marketplace.


Read more...

Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


Read more...

Old school: Paulsen's Pharmacy maintains old fashion ethos

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121914-pharmacy-thumbBY MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Under the radar — complete with a soda counter, the traditional Paulsen's Pharmacy looks to compete with big box retailers.


Read more...

The short list: 4 companies engaged in a battle of the paddles

The Latest
Thursday, December 04, 2014
pingpongthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Nothing says startup culture like a ping pong table in the office, lounge or lobby.


Read more...

Crowdfunding 2.0

News
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
120214-crowdfund-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with attorney Erich Merrill about the latest way to raise money from large groups of people.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS