Portland-As the Occupy Wall Street movement heats up in America, there is one business that is cooling down—the seed business. Portland-based Smith Seed, a grass seed wholesaler, said it lost more than $10,000 this week when seeds destined for Asia, Europe and South America couldn’t reach the Port of Portland because protesters were blocking the gate.
“I think the occupiers are fast becoming the 1 percent, and the rest of us that are trying to make a living are becoming the 99 percent,” said Galen Troyer, general manager of Smith Seed.
According to Troyer’s calculations, the company lost nearly $6,000 in seed invoices, almost $3,000 in driver wages and another $1,500 in overtime when everything went wrong.
Alvie Shrock, a truck driver for the seed industry, said his haul of 50,000 pounds of hay destined for Korean livestock is now held up in a Portland warehouse. He said he understands the Occupy movement’s frustration with Wall Street and bank bailouts, but not the protesters’ measures of trying to capsize the U.S. free-market system.
“The Constitution gives us the right to the pursuit of happiness,” said Schrock. “It doesn’t guarantee us an iPod or an iPad or a big-screen TV.”