McKay Farm

Established by James McKay in 1856
Location: Marion County
2009 Owner: McKay Farms Inc. - Dean McKay


James McKay, a native of Ireland and later a resident of Scotland, came to the United States to settle in the Midwest. In 1847 McKay and his family came to Oregon, where they eventually settled in the St. Paul area. He acquired 160 acres in 1856, which is still the home place of the family today. The older crops of hops and grain are still being grown, but the acreage of that original parcel has grown to more than 4,000 acres. 


Many new crops are part of the farm, including garlic seed, broccoli, bush beans, sweet corn, hazelnuts, and grass seed. And, ten years ago, the current owners formed another corporation named Advanced Ornamentals Inc. that is a wholesale nursery growing 500 acres of plants.
4 adults stand on a stage with a young boy in the center. The boy holds a framed award.
Members of the McKay Family pose with Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba at the inaugural Sesquicentennial Award ceremony in February 2008. (Oregon Centennial Farm & Ranch Program Photo)

A brick church with a bell tower steeple.
James McKay founded his farm in the St. Paul area 10 years after Archbishop Francis Norbert Blanchet dedicated the St. Paul Catholic Church in 1846 (shown above). It is the oldest Catholic church in Oregon. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

Century Farms and Ranches