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Meet Farmer & Chef Jeremy Hyland

Updated: Jun 26

From: Perry, New York

Started at Deck: February 2020

Favorite Animal: Dairy cows because they have lots of personality and you can really get to know them.

 


Our farm benefits greatly from our students so we try to provide opportunities to those who are interested in developing their skills into professions. A great example of this is found in Jeremy Hyland, our manager of processing.

 

Jeremy graduated from college with a degree in photography and then hit the road cooking at ski resorts, ranch resorts and national parks for a few years. He worked at Yellowstone, Death Valley, Crater Lake, Zion, and Mt Ranier National Parks.

 

“My favorite was Zion!” he said. “After all that, I felt like I had really refined my cooking skills to a certain level but had only dabbled in agricultural stuff with short stints on farms so I wanted something more long term and more detailed where I’d get really good experience in agriculture.”

 

After his first year internship, Jeremy stayed on as an apprentice working on all things processing: transporting animals to processors, butchery, inventory management and product development, including hard cheese and sausages. After his one-year apprenticeship, he was hired as an employee and manager of processing.

 

“I was the first person who kind of took that on as a dedicated part of their job. We created more consistency and a bigger overview of what kind of cuts we’re getting and what we’re doing with them. And we developed a clearer picture of the overall flow of the live-animal to packaged-products process.”

 

He continued, “It was fun to do research, development and problem solving. We also had a lot of learning to do with the laws around meat production in Oregon and fine-tuning our relationships with processors. That was when we developed our relationship with Olympia Provisions.”

Meanwhile, it was 2020 so the dating scene was altered! The students on the farm began going on Tinder to meet people and Jeremy found Carly Rodgers, the culinary teacher at Eugene’s Network Charter School where she produces the breakfasts and lunches for the whole school with students in her class.

 

“In the class they are doing a lot of from-scratch cooking, learning real and applicable cooking skills for the industry. We collaborate a lot and Carly buys meat from the farm for special projects (like Chef's Night Out) and ground beef for everyday service,” he said. “She has also brought students here for tours a number of times and I've given butchery demonstrations at her class."

 

Jeremy has been the guest chef a few times for their participation at Chef’s Night Out, a competitive fundraiser for Food For Lane County. The students develop a dish with Jeremy and learn to put it all together for the big show.

 

“It's the kids who head up the event,” he said. “While Carly and I are in the back keeping things flowing, the kids are talking to the guests and explaining the bite and talking about the school and what they do there. It’s a really good chance for them to shine.”

 

His pride is evident. “This year we won the People's Choice and first place for Presentation and Hospitality. It’s not a school that has a lot of competitive sports and stuff so they have a chance to compete and win prizes and feel good about what they are doing.”

 

Now, Jeremy is producing delicious new fresh sausage recipes on a regular basis, increasing his processing staff, and getting married to Carly in August. Congratulations, Jeremy, for all your hard work paying off!

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