Not all backers, supporters, volunteers and exhibitors at the Willamette Valley Ag Expo are directly tied into the agricultural industry.
And though Justin Doane’s fishing guide business, Dangerous Baits Guide Service, seems even more distant from ag than most, his presence as a vendor and supporter during the three-day event demonstrates the quality of the relationships he has formed over the years of the event.
Since 2009 Doane, 35, has run several boats out of Pacific City. He stays busy throughout the year ferrying clients to the ocean and its surrounding bays, estuaries and rivers in pursuit of salmon, steelhead, sea bass, ling cod and other fish.
“A lot of my customers are in the grass seed and hazelnut and other seasonal ag businesses,” Doane said. “The ag world is pretty small, but has some really, really good people in it.
“I’ve found throughout the years that, with ag folks and the business of farming, when it’s not harvest season, it’s ‘game on’ for fishing, so it kind of made sense to advertise my service to like-minded folks.”
He said he especially loves it “on the day the FFA and 4-H get to come out and see the Expo.”
The expo is over 250,000 square feet of exhibitors, equipment, food, seminars and classes, said Scott Ingalls, event producer.
Doane’s Expo display features one of his drift boats and a banner, with a large fish bowl parked at the front door of the Willamette Building to receive tickets for a drawing.
The winning ticket drawn is rewarded with a two-person, eight-hour fishing trip worth $200 per person.
“Last year, we had over 1,300 people drop a ticket in the bowl,” he said. “The people that run the Expo are the best. They’re why I elected to participate and support it.”
Dangerous Baits Guide Service plans to be at the Willamette Valley Ag Expo again this year.