- Associated Press - Thursday, July 28, 2016

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - A farm in eastern Oregon has abandoned its plan to add a new housing development for 200 to 800 seasonal workers, saying it will instead consider other options to fill its labor needs.

Threemile Canyon Farms announced this week that it would drop the development, which was strongly opposed during a Morrow County public hearing, The East Oregonian reported (https://is.gd/Zd2Btf ).

Threemile Canyon General Manager Marty Myers said he withdrew the application because he did not want to jeopardize the farm’s standing in the community.

“Obviously, this site has resistance from the community. I respect their issues,” Myers said. “We will come back with a better plan in the future.”

Threemile Canyon Farms is owned and operated by R.D. Offutt Company, which was working on a deal to buy 66 acres from the city of Boardman for the housing project. Officials say the project would help recruit additional laborers needed for organic produce.

At Wednesday’s public hearing many residents argued against Threemile Canyon’s plan to bring more seasonal farmworkers under the federal government’s H-2A visa program.

Raymond Akers, who lives on Paul Smith Road, said he belongs to a labor union and believes the jobs at Threemile Canyon could be filled by the local and regional workforce.

Morrow County Commissioner-elect Jim Doherty sad there is still a need for more housing in Boardman, including farmworker housing, and that he looks forward to working with Threemile Canyon to find solutions.


Information from: East Oregonian, https://www.eastoregonian.com

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