Longtime volunteers help Expo

Matthew Weaver

Capital Press

Volunteers like Brad Hoyt and Bill Nelson return to the Spokane Ag Expo each year to help keep things running smoothly.

SPOKANE — Longtime volunteers like Brad Hoyt and Bill Nelson are among the many people who keep the Spokane Ag Expo running smoothly.

Brad Hoyt has volunteered for the Spokane Ag Expo for roughly 30 years.

A certified financial planner for Hoyt, Lewis & Associates in Spokane, he grew up on a farm, and wanted to support Greater Spokane Inc.

Bill Nelson has volunteered for roughly 20 years. He also grew up on a farm, and helped on his uncles farm when he moved to Davenport, Wash., in 1956, while working for the local grain supply. He rented a farm for three years before going to work for Calkins Manufacturing for 35 years.

He was part of the first expo, selling farm machinery for Calkins. Several years later, a departing board member recommended Nelson as his replacement.

Hoyt primarily runs move-in and move-out of the expo, and then helps run the show, coordinating the movement of large equipment.

“If they have a question, comment or something that needs to be fixed, I’ve been there, done that,” he said. “Usually I can help with solving the problem or know who to contact to solve the problem.”

Nelson primarily works to help load and unload machinery during the expo. During the week he works at the front gate.

Nelson said he enjoys interacting with former customers and people he used to see while he was working.

“Being retired, it’s a way once a year I can still talk to my farmer friends,” he said. “It’s part of my blood, it’s something I enjoy doing.”

Some of Hoyt’s clients are farmers, but that’s not his primary objective of his job, he said.

“I don’t look at it as trying to get business there, (I’m) trying to help the community,” he said.

He takes off the week of the expo to volunteer.

“It’s not really a vacation, but it’s something different,” he said.

Hoyt enjoys talking with people he’s gotten to know over the years, including manufacturers.

“I enjoy seeing the farmers come to town and enjoy their time here,” he said. “We try to make it so their visit to the expo is worthwhile. We’re always looking for new products, new ideas, new things that are happening in the farming community to bring to their attention.”


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