Mike Omeg’s family has farmed in The Dalles, Oregon area for five generations. As Omeg explains in the video, at one time the farm was a diversified operation with cattle, wheat, and the big cash crop in the early 1900’s: watermelons.
In order to remain economically viable as a business, the family has always prided itself on adapting quickly to changes in technology. In the last 15 years, Omeg’s farm began planting new varieties of cherries from all over the world to extend the length of the harvest season, and spread the risk from a single crop failure from inclement weather events. In addition, spreading out the harvest season using the same amount of land, allows the farm to employ 100 people instead of 600.
Mike Omeg, who was trained as an economist, and as a entomologist, returned to manage the farm when his parents retired 5 years ago.
Next episode, Mike Omeg talks more about the biggest challenge that he faces, the inadequate supply of farm labor.