Canby company plays major role in creation of turf for World Cup matches

CANBY, Ore. — To say Crystal Fricker is giddy about grass would be an understatement.

“It’s a natural thing,” Fricker said. “It’s a good thing. It’s a green thing and we love working with it.”

That much is clear when you walk around the Canby-based farm that is home to Pure Seed. The grass seed company has been owned and operated by Fricker’s family for decades.

“Everything starts with breeding and genetics in the turf grass world,” Fricker said.

Producing the perfect pitch, Fricker says, does not happen over night. It is a long, methodical process as was the case for a client in the Middle East.

“We sent some of our seed varieties over there in the past eight years for them to try to decide what’ll work for the eventual World Cup,” Fricker said.

The World Cup? Yes. That World Cup.

The global soccer tournament features more than two dozen countries. It is played only once every several years. This year’s host country is Qatar, but the stadium grass is Oregon made.

“Growing it with a grower here in Oregon,” Fricker said. “Cleaning that seed, testing that seed, putting it in a bag and shipping it overseas to the Middle East to have it for the World Cup.”

It goes without saying, but Fricker is beyond tickled to see her family’s product in eight stadiums across Qatar.

“It’s very gratifying and it warms my heart to see a good surface for the athlete,” Fricker said.

World class athletes are realizing their dreams because a family back in Oregon realized their dream.

Originally published by 12/13/22