CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Berry farms across the Northwest have employed high school students seeking jobs over summer vacation.
A handful of teens are spending their summer picking raspberries at a Corvallis farm off Highway 99, and they say their hard work is paying off.
Farm owner Matt Brandis planted the berry bushes two years ago. He said this is the first summer the fields of bushes are bearing fruit.
“I had to come up with a quick plan as the fruit was loading, so I thought I might as well give some high school students the opportunities I was lacking in high school,” said Brandis.
He sent out a call to local high schools, offering to pay students to pick berries by the box.
Senior student Keene Corvin said he was happy to take the job.
“Depending on how hard you work is how much you make. You get to meet people from other schools, and just have a good time while your out here,” said Corvin.
Brandis also hired some teens to sell berries at a fruit stand in front of his farm.
High school junior Jewel Weigand said working at the berry stand is giving her a look into what the job world is like.
“I learned how to work more with customers and it may sound silly, but simple math,” Weigand said.
“This benefits them because they get to see the whole supply chain - the selling, the picking, all aspects,” Brandis said.
Kyle Arthenayake, a junior at a local high school, said working at the farm gave him more than just some extra spending money.
"It’s definitely been something I'm grateful for,” said Arthenayake. “Something I'll look back on and be like ‘this is what I did during one summer, and I had a great time!’.”
Brandis said he expects to keep his raspberry crop growing in the years to come, giving more teens a chance to spend the summer working at a berry farm.