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Carter, Phil (Interviewer)

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Walsworth, Richard

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Oral history interview with Richard Walsworth. Interviewed by Phil Carter. Hart, Michigan. English language. June 18, 2016. Dick Walsworth is a local farmer from Oceana County. His life story highlights the challenges of maintaining his agricultural business, largely the asparagus industry, viable and competitive with the challenge of emerging global market forces. In this interview, Walsworth shares his testimony of the social, cultural, technologic, and industrial changes that have occurred in the Oceana area since his youth. This rich historical account from the perspective of a local farmer with a lifetime of experience in the agricultural world depicts the challenges ahead in the future to keep our farms and vegetables production alive. To this Walsworth declares that the future depends on migrant labor which is becoming increasingly short on supply since "the next generations are at least getting a high school education [...] they're not going to do field work." Walsworth also shares his deep concern with immigration policy, or lack of governmental policy, that makes it harder on local businesses to keep their labor flow steady and consistent compared to the needs of the industry in a state and national level.

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Grand Valley State University. Kutsche Office of Local History

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