Rediscovering Agriculture

Mike Wilhoit '77 grows the hazelnuts— also known as filberts—on his 72-year-old Newberg family farm as an addition to his full-time job.

For Mike Wilhoit ’77, food is business. Wilhoit’s family has been farming hazelnuts in Oregon for more than 70 years, and today, he is a leader in agricultural development in the state.

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He had attended Pacific because it was close enough to home to help on the farm and because Coach Chuck Bafaro recruited him to play baseball. He was studying history but realized his ambition was in agriculture.

“She had grown up in the Depression and seen family lose farms. She said, ‘No, you don’t want to do that. You went to college for something better.’ I said, ‘No, I do.’

“I think my grandmother would be proud of what I’ve done with agriculture,” he said. “It’s been a long journey, but eventually you get to the right end.”