REMARKS AS PREPARED
St. Cousair Grand Opening
August 9, 2017
Thank you Naoki for the introduction.
On behalf of the state of Oregon, I’m delighted to celebrate the grand opening of St. Cousair Oregon Orchards with you today. These new investments and upgrades represent exciting opportunity for us to create more jobs and encourage even greater economic growth in rural Oregon.
Oregon has a long and proud history as a premier location for the fruit industry. This history actually dates all the way back to 1847, before Oregon was even a state. That year, Iowa nurseryman Henderson Lewelling travelled across the country with his wife, children, and 700 fruit trees. They brought with them apple, pear, and cherry saplings. The 350 trees that survived that journey were planted in Milwaukie, and became Oregon’s first orchard.
While quite a bit has changed in the fruit industry since the Lewelling family made that trek, Oregon’s commitment to this industry remains strong. We’ve made an intentional decision here in Oregon to adapt to shifting consumer demands. I’m proud to say that we have thrived amidst these changes in the global economy, and Oregon continues to be the country’s fourth largest exporter of fruit products. Wow!
That being said, I’m proud to present St. Cousair with a Strategic Reserve Fund award today. This investment affirms St. Cousair’s promise to create and maintain jobs here in Newberg. I’m hopeful that this is just the beginning of a lasting and mutually beneficial partnership between St. Cousair and the people of Oregon.
This new investment is indicative of our continued commitment to providing sustainable jobs for all Oregonians and creating sustainable economic growth. Oregon’s economy may hold the top GDP growth in the nation, with low unemployment levels and record export growth, but we must be diligent and ensure that economic growth reaches all corners of the state, particularly our rural communities.
The reinvention of these facilities by St. Cousair will bring certainty to existing plant jobs, and will create new jobs for hardworking Oregonians. I’m proud that the State of Oregon can support meaningful projects like this.
I commend Business Oregon and our Regional Solutions Team for a job well done partnering with St. Cousair and the Japan Consulate General in Portland on these expansions. I look forward to seeing the benefits of this investment and this relationship for years to come.