Snake River Archive

Meet the Partners: Reid Saito

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 @ 11:09 PM
posted by Tiffany

Reid SaitoReid was born and raised in Nyssa, Oregon by his parents Kayo and Kae Saito, along with three sisters Karen, Ellen and Jan. Being third generation Japanese American, his grandparents and parents all lived in the same home speaking a combination of Japanese and English and working on the family farm. Reid and his sisters grew up weeding onions, sugar beets and certified strawberry plants, irrigating crops and learning to work together.

After graduating from the University of Oregon, he spent almost four years in Japan teaching English and attending universities in Tokyo studying Japanese Language and culture. Reid came back to the farm in 1974 when his father, Kayo, said that farming was turning around and prices were very good for potatoes, onions, beets. He joined his father and two uncles, Larry and George on the farm. The name of the farm is KLG Farms after Kayo, Larry, and George.

In 1979, Reid married a farmer’s daughter from Homedale, Idaho who had been raised in Adrian, Kaylene Miyasako. They had a son Randy in 1982 and a daughter Kimberly in 1985. They both grew up weeding onions and irrigating crops learning the same lessons of hard work and responsibility that had been instilled in Reid and Kaylene. In 1985, Reid’s sister Karen and her husband Danny Shishido joined the farm until his retirement in 2004. Kaylene and Reid farm 1000 acres of row crops including onions, potatoes, sugar beets, wheat, beans, corn, hay, and alfalfa seed. In 1999, they joined with other growers to buy the Muir-Roberts onion packing facility in Nyssa to handle our onions.

Because of great family support and the hard work and dedication of our employees, Reid has been fortunate enough to have some time to contribute to community and the agricultural industry. This includes 30 years on the Malheur County Onion Grower’s board of directors and eight years on the Oregon State Board of Agriculture. Water issues, agricultural employee issues, as well as crop pests and solutions, and marketing take up a great deal of time but are all issues critical to the health of our agricultural industry.

Farming in this area has provided a good life for Reid and his family and he hopes that by contributing something back, the farming industry will remain strong for years to come. Through his involvement and community support, Reid has been recognized with many honors including the 2008 Distinguished Service Award for Individual Contribution to Oregon Agriculture, 2008 Ontario Chamber of Commerce Agriculturist of the Year, 1991 Nyssa Chamber of Commerce Agriculturist of the Year, and many more. In addition to farming, volunteering, and spending time with family – Reid is an avid University of Oregon supporter – Go Ducks!

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