Yesterday, Jan. 24, Brenda (Kirsch) Frketich ’06 was included in a front-page Washington Post story about women farmers. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at LMU and now runs Kirsch Family Farms, which has been in her family for four generations, in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Written by Elizabeth Zach, the piece explores a handful of women-operated farms in New Mexico, Pennsylvania, California, Montana, and Oregon.
We did a feature story on Brenda in our winter 2014 issue, written by Marc Covert, a writer who lives in Portland, who visited the property and gave readers an excellent piece full of the day-to-day details of life on a farm. (In fact, it was Marc who gave Elizabeth Zach the tip about Brenda and the Kirsch Family Farms.) We asked Marc to tell Brenda’s story, share the family history, describe well the monumental job that is family farming, touch on Brenda’s role as a leader in the family farming industry, make the readers feel they walked in the furrows, and do it all in only 1,400 words. It’s a masterful piece of writing.
I’ve often told friends of the magazine that some of our best pieces may take many months to go from idea to the press. This one was more than a year in the making, because we knew that the strongest article would have to include on-location, harvest-time photography by LMU Magazine photographer Jon Rou. In fact, we sent Jon to the wheat fields twice.
Take a look at the story, and don’t miss the link in the sidebar to a narrated slideshow featuring Brenda’s commentary and Jon’s amazing photos.