Kate Brown at Starker Forests
Gov. Kate Brown took part in a truffle forage at Starker Forests near Philomath. (Photo by Governor’s Office)

Gov. Kate Brown hunted for truffles on Starker Forests land just outside of Philomath last week as part of a tour to learn more about the industry.

The tour was led by the Oregon Truffle Festival co-leads Charles LeFevre and Leslie Scott. During the tour, Brown was joined by Sen. Floyd Prozanski.

According to a governor’s office press release, she “learned about the significance of Oregon’s native brown and black truffles, future economic growth for Oregon’s truffle industry and the potential for collaboration with the timber industry and other private landowners.”

The stop in the Philomath vicinity represented the conclusion of a trip that also included visits to the Coquille Tribe, Elliott State Forest and Antiquum Farms in Junction City.

The Elliott State Forest visit occurred after the governor signed Senate Bill 1546 earlier in the week, which establishes the Elliott State Research Forest and keeps the land in public hands.

Stephen Hagen and Andrew Smith of Junction City’s Antiquum Farms led the governor on a sustainable agriculture tour where she learned about the farm’s vertically-integrated regenerative and sustainable agricultural practices, grazing-based viticulture and innovative use of animal grazing to mitigate wildfire danger.

The Coquille Tribe visit included tours of sites important to the tribe, including the Bandon Fish Hatchery, the Nasomah Memorial in Old Town Bandon and the Ko-Kwel Wellness Center.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at News@PhilomathNews.com).

Brad Fuqua, Philomath News

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.