The Stories Project: Oregon Livelihoods Traded Away

Owen Froerer

Owen Froerer

Residence: Nyssa, OR

Age: 73

Occupation: Agriculture (mint, sugar beets, asparagus, potatoes, other)


"There is no level playing field; in Mexico, they can use cheap labor and young kids to produce crops. We can't do that and we don't want to do that, so there is no way we can compete."

"We're fighting against CAFTA."

"Some of the politicians want to cater to big corporations but they are just wiping out the farmers of this nation."

"ASPARAGUS: We raised about 100 acres of asparagus and throughout the season hired about 80 people. That is an awful big payroll here on a 100-acres field. That is a lot of people left high and dry when the asparagus crop moved elsewhere."

"MINT: Imports from Canada and China have been devastating to the spearmint industry."

"POTATOES: With potatoes, I used to grow about 350 acres. But the Simplots build the big processing plants right over the board in Canada and closer to the eastern coast so they don''t want the freight costs but also because we have more restrictions on how we can grow crops. So we had to give up on that crop because it wasn't worth working on."

Return to The Stories Project