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Agribusiness

Agribusiness

The Milton-Freewater area is recognized by agriculturalists as an exceptional place to raise crops of virtually any kind. Its location in the “banana belt” of the Walla Walla Valley with its moderate climate, long growing season, temperate winters and easy accessibility to ample water and rich soil make it ideal for the production of outstanding fruit and vegetables in a shorter time period than in some other areas of Oregon and Washington.

Apples, cherries, peaches, nectarines, prunes, plums, grapes, wheat, peas, peonies, alfalfa, corn and asparagus are grown in abundance. The fruit crops raised in the area generate more than $85 million in revenue every year, while the wine grape industry has increased its earnings and prominence to a $100 million industry for Umatilla County. At present, apples are the chief crop by volume in the region, but wine grapes may quickly become the leader in coming years. Approximately 60 percent of the wine grapes processed in the Walla Walla Valley are produced in Oregon, a number certain to increase with recent vineyard expansions.

Umatilla County is also known as the largest wheat producing area in the state of Oregon.

MAJOR EMPLOYERS

TOP FIVE EMPLOYERS IN MILTON-FREEWATER
Business — Employees
1. Sykes Enterprises Inc. — 440
2. Milton-Freewater Unified School District #7 — 280
3. City of Milton-Freewater — 92
4. Earl Brown & Sons — 80 up to 200 during packing season
5. Blue Mountain Growers — 11 up to 160 during packing season

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