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Two longtime cherry producers in the Dalles, Oregon, have merged to form an affiliation that will begin just after the new year.

On Jan. 8, Orchard View Farms will become the parent company of Omeg Family Farms, creating a production entity with more than 3,000 combined acres and 200 years of collective history in the Columbia Gorge area of Oregon and Washington, according to a news release this week.

The lower camp at Omeg Family Orchards in The Dalles, Oregon, area in 2017. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

The lower camp at Omeg Family Orchards in The Dalles, Oregon, area in 2017. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

The families who own the two farms —the Baileys of Orchard View and the Omegs — have been neighbors since 1923 when Orchard View started. The Omeg farm dates back to 1908.

Under the arrangement, the Omegs, led by fifth-generation General Manager Mike Omeg, will maintain ownership of the orchards, which will operate as a subsidiary of Orchard View, the release said. The fruit from both farms will be packed at Orchard View’s packing facilities and marketed under the Orchard View label.

Omeg Family Farms had previously sent cherries to Selah, Washington-based Zirkle Fruit for packing.

The two farms made the decision after years of discussion, the release said.

Mike Omeg, the 2017 Good Fruit Grower of the Year, will work under Ian Chandler, Orchard View’s director of field operations, concentrating his efforts on research and development and representing Orchard View on tours and industry groups.

This is the news release issued by the companies.