Turning Point

Emily Trebbin lives with childhood friend Sarah Jaramillo and her family on their forest front property located in Lowell, Oregon.

By: Kaylie Ferkich

 

On a crisp afternoon, Emily Trebbin scrambles to get the farm dogs inside the house, hoping that the startling shriek alarming her wasn’t coming from them attacking her new goats. As she sees no sign of an attack and eyes both goats in safety, Trebbin returns to her work in relief. Unusual instances like these are things Trebbin has to worry about in her new life as a farmer.

The 28-year-old is a self-established farmer in Lowell, Oregon. She is currently starting her own farming business with childhood friend Sarah Jaramillo. Building from the ground up, Trebbin and Jaramillo are working to incorporate their produce into local restaurants. They are also creating a free food stand where local farmers can donate their unused produce. This is to establish easier food access to those in need.

Tending to crops and goats isn’t how Trebbin expected her life to turn out. In her early 20s, she settled as a hairstylist in San Diego, California. However, Trebbin felt unfulfilled with the lifestyle and career she had chosen. Unsure about her profession, she soon realized she needed to find what it was she truly wanted. “I was gifted a lot in my life and I wanted a challenge, and to find more about myself,” she said. Trebbin had then abruptly dropped her career to backpack across Europe with the goal of challenging her limitations.

While low on funds during her journey, Trebbin came across a farm that provided food and shelter in exchange for labor. As she weeded through the stinging needles to feed to the pigs, Trebbin realized she was capable of more than she had been settling for. She began to reflect on the privileged life she had been living and realized that she was happier living the more simple life she found on the farm. Although she didn’t come to Europe looking for a new career, she discovered the challenge that led her to her destined career; farming.

Returning to the states after two years, Trebbin, who went from trimming split ends to mucking pig feces, unearthed a simple life amidst her time in Europe. It was a life that allowed her to serve the meaningful purpose of providing food for the rest of the world. She knew farming is what she wanted to do. “She was happy that she found something she was passionate about,” said Jaramillo about the change she saw in Trebbin. “She was eager to get back into farming.”

As Trebbin plans out her current farming business and the free food stand with Jaramillo, she hopes that one day she is able to create her own. She aspires to have a program like the one she went through in Europe, but for aged out foster youth. Trebbin believes that if she is able to give them guidance through farming, it could better their future like it did hers, and assist in building life skills.