Educating the next generation of farmers about the importance agriculture plays in our community is important for the long-term success of eastern Washington. Alvarez Organic Farms takes it to another level.
Alvarez Farms was founded in 1988 by Hilario Alvarez. Hilario and his family exemplify dedication to their agricultural enterprise. Hilario made the journey from farm worker to farm manager and now owns a 75-acre organic farm He sells 300 different vegetable varieties at 14 farmers markets in the state. Hilario’s ability to identify new business strategies, his love of the soil and his responsiveness to customers puts him on the progressive edge.
We visited with Christina Alvarez to learn what is important to Alvarez Organic farms and what has made them so successful:
Q: How long has the farm been in business?
A: Alvarez Farms is a first generation family farm.
Q: Why did you start farming?
A: Hilario started farming out of necessity to provide food for those around him. He quickly realized how much more he could produce that would feed the larger population surrounding him.
Q: What is special about your farm?
A: Alvarez Farms thrives on providing its customers with a large variety of vegetables. No one has more varieties of vegetables (and certified organic vegetables) in eastern Washington than Alvarez.
Q: What obstacles have you overcome in your farming business?
A: There were several obstacles as a minority farmer just starting out: the availability of credit and financing, the availability of land to purchase and equipment cost.
Q: What advice do you have for those starting out in farming?
A: Farming is not a “get rich quick” business. You need to have passion and persistence. You have to work through the good years and the bad.
Q: How do you educate people on the need for the family farm?
A: Every year Alvarez Farms hosts elementary school tours to teach young children the need and importance that agriculture plays in our everyday lives. Farming is a rewarding career. We want to instill that early on to our next generation. Without family farms there would be no fresh food!