The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas in conjunction with Southwest Folklife Alliance, a nonprofit folk arts organization and the University of Arizona, are working together on a new oral history project. Eventually, the results of the project will be part of the Library of Congress, and will become part of the nation’s rich history.

This initiative is being conducted by Occupational Folklorist, Nic Hartman, who will be collecting stories of the produce industry in Nogales. These stories will become part of a collection of occupational studies that include Idaho firefighters, New York tugboat captains and Vermont farmers, said Hartman.

“This will be an asset for the whole community as, it helps us understand how Nogales has developed into the city that we know today,” Lance Jungmeyer, president of FPAA, said in a statement. “I also believe that understanding the past of the produce industry, examining its roots and knowing the key elements and stories behind this fascinating business have great benefits for us now and for the future members.”

Among the advantages of knowing the history of the produce industry in the region, Jungmeyer said it “builds and strengthens emotional attachments to the operations that power us to make positive changes,” and “it’s an opportunity to continue to demonstrate the importance of this industry in the community.”

The assemblage of stories will be conducted via personal interviews. Hartman encourages anyone interested in participating to contact him by phone at 812.457.6467, or by email: