Sugar Producer

August / September 2023

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10 SUGAR PRODUCER | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2023 Aer spending one June morning with Austin Arnoldus, who along with his dad Roben, farm 6,900 acres in east- ern Oregon's Grande Ronde Valley, we came away with two questions: First, how does Trico Farms work and manage so dang many crops, with sugarbeets being just one of 11 (yes, you read that right) different crops the farm raises? And second, if that's not enough, how do they stay focused on farming when surrounded by the stunning scenery that dominates Trico Farms' acreage, which is spread across the Grande Ronde Valley and surrounded by impressive mountains on all sides? Spending the morning driving around the farms shows they make it work in a big way. Although the farm has been known as Trico Farms only since 1980, the farm has called this part of eastern Oregon home since 1896 (which is just a few years aer the valley was first settled in 1861) when Arnoldus' great-great-grandfather immigrated from Utah and homesteaded in Sum- merville, which sits at the base of the Blue Mountains just north of La Grande. He started with 200 acres and that acreage has expanded over the years to nearly 7,000 today. BEETS CONTRACTED WITH AMALGAMATED SUGAR Trico Farms' present day beet acre- age of 482 is more than double those original farm acres and about 16 times the farm's original beet acres, which was a grand total of 30 acres back in 1991 when they first started raising beets for BY LANE LINDSTROM STAYING FOCUSED: TRICO FARMS' BALANCING ACT NOT REALLY AN ACT BUT THE REAL DEAL (above) Austin Arnoldus checks a sugarbeet field on Trico Farms' Summerville farm this past June while Trico Farms farm manager Cameron Wood looks on. Arnoldus and Wood met each other while playing baseball in college. (inset) Austin Arnoldus checks one of his Bluegrass seed fields. Here he is checking to see how the seed comes out of the shell as well as its color prior to windrowing the crop.

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