Family pear business passes to fourth generation

Meyer Orchards celebrated their centennial on July 4 with a picnic as they prepare to hand the family pear business down to a fourth generation.

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Meyer Orchards of Talent had a big picnic this July 4 in celebration of their centennial amidst the changing pear business.

72-year-old Ron Meyer will soon pass the business on to his son Kirt, the fourth generation of the family to run the Rogue Valley orchard and packing house.

Recent decades have been hard for the Rogue Valley’s once iconic pear industry, and Ron ticks off many of the orchards and packing houses — Del Rio, Newbry, Rogue River, Barnes Brothers — that have gone under. Many of them disappeared, he says, because of market-driven demands for pears of perfect color, size and sheen (bruise-free), which requires expensive sorting and weighing machines that also tag fruit with stickers and bar codes.

Ron Meyer, 72, recently called his four children together and asked who would take over the family business. He says the answer was a resounding “not me.”  But soon, son Kirt, 42, stepped forward and said, with 30 years’ experience, he could walk away from his dormant career as a building contractor and take on the orchards.

Read the full story at Ashland Daily Tidings.

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