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Life is one sweet ride for Tiffany Cruickshank

Tiffany Cruickshank, transportation manager and sales assistant for Snake River Produce Co., might just be the onion industry's all-American girl. She’s equally at home fishing for king salmon in Alaska with her husband, Chad; moving cattle with her horse, Lenny; tromping through Oregon’s Duck Valley with her dog, Roscoe; or arranging to move onions from her desk in Nyssa, OR.

"I grew up on a small farm in Willow Creek," said the 24-year-old native Oregonian. After graduating from Vale High School, she knew she was destined to attend the University of Oregon in Eugene. “My family is a huge University of Oregon fan,” she told The Produce News. “I didn’t even apply to any other college.” She graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business administration, marketing and economics.

This December, she will complete her master’s program and add a master of business administration degree to her resume. “I was the youngest in my program. I’m just ready to be done with class,” she laughed.

Her childhood memories are striking. “I love the outdoors,” she said.” I love horses. I could ride a horse before I could walk. My parents just couldn’t keep me away from horses.” When she was in the fifth grade, Ms. Cruickshank’s grandfather presented her with her first horse. “Her name was Trixie,” she said.

Fast forward to high school, a time when Ms. Cruickshank was a cheerleader, running track and playing volleyball. She managed to get bucked off Trixie after a neighbor came by and spooked the horse. “I broke my arm but continued to work with her,” she recalled. “I was just mad I couldn’t play volleyball.”

She’s not without her serious moments. When her brother was 16, he had brain cancer. “That was a time in my life when I realized that life is too short,” she said. “Make sure you don’t take things for granted.”

Ms. Cruickshank crams everything she can into her life. She’s taken up gardening, and her chocolate lab, Roscoe, seems to share the passion. Roscoe has a particular affinity for green tomatoes and cucumbers. “One day I found a half-eaten tomato on the ground,” she laughed. “I think he does it because he thinks it’s funny. He has eaten everything before I get into it.”

Ms. Cruickshank and her husband, Chad — who have known each other for a long time — have been married for two years. “We definitely take advantage of our weekends,” she said. “We like to have a good time. We work hard, and we play hard.” This summer, the couple visited the wilds of Alaska and fished for king salmon in Lake Creek. And they’re getting ready to enjoy the great outdoors this winter on their newly acquired snowmobiles.

One might ask how Ms. Cruickshank manages to squeeze so much into her schedule. “I think I do a pretty good job [balancing my work and personal life]. My entire life is in my planner,” she confided. “I like sticky notes. I love to color code. If I didn’t have a planner, I’d have to buy a new one.”