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Loyal to the Soil

Danner’s Pacific Northwest roots run deep

Presented by Danner By Ben McBee November 18, 2019

Oftentimes, the best adventures aren’t the ones that set sights far beyond the horizon, but those that turn passion inward to hearth and home. For Cory Carman, that place is the rolling foothills of the Wallowa Mountains, where her great, great grandfather, German brewer Fritz Weinhard, bought a parcel of land in 1913 and drove his herd of cattle there in a two-day spectacle that was covered by the local newspaper. There in that picturesque corner of Northeastern Oregon, underneath the smells of lofty air and earth, lies a story of overcoming deeply-ingrained ways of thinking. 

Thankfully, Carman’s will was forged early on, canning vegetables and and bailing hay on that ranch, always admiring the example set by her strong grandmother. They shared a love of horse riding and a kindred free spirit, which eventually earned Carman a public policy degree from Stanford University. Following a few years spent in Los Angeles, she traded the big city life to take up the yoke of the family farm.

“They were working so hard,” she says. “They were just keeping things together and they were killing themselves.” Nevertheless, her decision wasn’t made unwillingly, but was instead fueled by a love for the land and a desire to be the best steward of it as possible. When she returned, she was determined to turn around the overuse of fertilizers and depletion of the soil due to old-fashioned methods.  

As a little girl, Carman grew up in a tightly-knit clan, with many relatives living only a stone’s throw away. Diverging from family can be one of life’s most difficult challenges, so when she brought the notion of holistic land management and a staunch belief in the value of regenerative agriculture and ecologically responsible local food systems, the reception was less than welcoming. Not only did she encounter resistance from nearby, society’s rigid structures offered even more questioning. “When I first started, I definitely got a lot of pats on the head like, ‘well maybe you should go talk to your husband about that,’” Carman says.

Still, she persevered, and Carman Ranch would come to produce 100 percent grass-fed livestock in a way that will keep the landscape healthy for decades to come. Over those 15 years, Carman won over her doubters, becoming a leading voice in progressive ranch management. The dirt is once again filled with worms and nutrient rich grasses, and the healthy prairie supports a product that builds a connection to the region. It was a daunting path; the precarious kind of obstacle Danner boots are designed to conquer. 

About Danner

Like the boots it has fashioned since 1932, Danner is made to last. Inspired by the heart, and built for the sole of the Pacific Northwest’s rough-hewn, hard working loggers, quality craftsmanship has helped lumberjacks weather the elements and earn a livelihood for generations. That dependable handiwork soon extended beyond the sawdust laden timber groves, from the squelching mud of waterfowl hunting blinds to sooty foundry floors, on the feet of hikers and soldiers alike, always offering secure and steadfast comfort. Today, more than a hundred different styles are available to get you there, no matter where you are going.

For more information, visit danner.com.

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