Matt Rice Watson Onions
by Matt Rice, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: September 25, 2017

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Since 1912 the JC Watson company in Parma has grown, sorted, packed and shipped onions. “I am a dirt farmer but we gotta do a lot of stuff which we are going to show you part of it. Here is what’s going on today. We are receiving the early onions out of the field that we run before we put into storage. We are just starting to harvest and we are filling bins and we are filling storages.” After a brutal past winter that left growers and packers with millions in losses due to collapsed storage sheds, the 2017 crop is coming in. Colorful company president John C Watson couldn’t be more excited. “We ship a lot of our product to hollow and then we are servicing people such as Walmart, Taylor Farms that makes fresh cut onions for all of the major chains you can think of. Today we are packing for Outback Restaurants big onions. “Watson is speaking to a group of policymakers touring agriculture in the Treasure Valley and he escorts one half of the tour through the cold storage facility, wife Margie leads the other half through the sorting and packing end of the operation. Margie Watson says the onion industry needs a better prepared workforce as high tech practices in both the field and the processing plants now require. “As you can see, workforce development is integral to every working person in Idaho. In Idaho we have high tech agriculture. We need to have trained individuals and we have to have more workforce development in order to train our people because agriculture, as you can see from this tour, is very high-tech. Rose, it’s a nice warm day for rose. Yes.” Next stop on the tour, a winery in Sims fruit ranch

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