District VI Barley (Whitman, Asotin, Columbia, Garfield, Walla Walla, Benton, Franklin, Klickitat, Yakima)
Ben Barstow has worn a lot of hats along with the one he wears while he’s farming outside Palouse, Washington.
Although he wanted to become a farmer like his grandfather since he was a teenager, a lack of land prevented the aspiration. As a result, Barstow did the next best thing, graduating from the University of Idaho in 1980 with a Plant Protection degree. He continued his studies at Purdue University, receiving his masters on sampling insects in soybeans.
Barstow worked with cotton and alfalfa crops in Arizona for four years before returning to the PNW as an area extension agent in North Idaho. In 1993, he and his wife, Janet, moved back to Janet’s family farm where they took over the operation after her father retired. They live in the farm’s 1898 ancestral home and love sharing the history of farming in the Palouse. Their daughter, Mary and family live in Redmond, WA; their son Tyler and family live in Palouse.
Barstow has been active on many state and commodity organizations including the Washington Dry Pea and Lentil Commission. An active member of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, he served as president of the organization in 2010-2011.