Tillamook County has been coined the ‘Land of Cheese, Trees and Ocean Breeze,’ where recreation is found at every turn of the trail — in a kayak on an estuary, across a clam bed with a shovel or aboard a boat with a fishing rod, waiting for the chance to catch gleaming salmon. One thing is certain, there’s no shortage of fun in the sun across Tillamook County.
But local Brian Cameron, owner and lead guide for Tillamook Eco Adventures, wants his guests to experience even more.
Through a variety of themed trips, Cameron shows off the gorgeous coastal scenery — including secret vistas and waterfall hikes — as well as paddle tours and tastings at local breweries and wineries. But it might be the farming way of life that resonates most with his guests.
Cameron said the Dairyland Tour is the most popular request by far.
“Even though I didn’t grow up on a dairy farm, I grew up around dairy farmers,” said Cameron. “I started asking around and thankfully there were dairy farmers nice enough to let us come down for a visit. It is working into a pretty good relationship.”
At Wilsonview Dairy, Cameron’s guests, the Coulson family, are introduced to Derrick Josi, a fifth-generation dairy farmer, who is as proud of his heritage as he is of his Jersey cow herd – all 500 of them.
“This is what we call a free-stall barn,” explained Josi to his audience of kids and adults. “They can come and go as they please and each has their own stall to lie down in.”
Josi said each Jersey cow will produce eight gallons of milk product a day.
Cameron added that in Oregon, agritourism is growing stronger each year because people want to see where their food comes from.
In the milking parlor, Derrick’s mom, Desi Josi, said she enjoys having guests on the farm so they can see — even touch — the cows and, more importantly, appreciate how the family’s time and energy provides a healthy product and a family lifestyle: “I think it is very important that we reach all of the people who buy our product! It is hard work and it is all-the-time-work and we invite people to come share — even for a couple of hours — our lifestyle.”
Parents Shad and Casey Coulson agreed that the Dairyland Tour was a rewarding experience, especially for their kids.
“The passion of just being outside and enjoying farm life is something we can identify with,’ noted Shad Coulson. “My wife Casey and I come from that background, but not our kids, so this is a good opportunity to see what the dairy life is like.”
“Tillamook County itself is synonymous with food whether it be dairy products or shellfish or salmon,” said Cameron. If visitors are here for a couple of days and decide to explore with us, they will understand and appreciate all that the county has to offer.”