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|Archives - May 2006|
|Monday, May 01, 2006|
Why farm chemicals — or plant medicine — are prescribed on Oregon farms.
By Bob Hale
I am a farmer with lands in rural northeastern Oregon. However, because my wife, Kelly, is an investment broker working in downtown Portland, I have the unique opportunity to live in both rural and urban Oregon — Hermiston and Portland.
Our farms’ primary focus is vegetable production, including growing potatoes, onions, sweet corn, carrots, green peas, sugar snap peas, lima beans and peppers, producing nearly 500 million pounds per year on about 40,000 acres. We’ve managed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing industry by focusing on our customers. Farming is by nature inherently uncertain. Competitive challenges include consolidating buyers, the politics of water use and immigration, weather, plant disease, and currency exchange rates. Our typical customer is a restaurant chain, and we like to let them know that we control the process — from seed to sandwich.
During dinner that evening it became clear to me that the concerns of my urban friends about farm chemicals were genuine. It was also clear to me that both rural and urban Oregonians want the same thing for their families: a safe, dependable and reasonably priced food supply.
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