Thousands of people showed up to the Expo Center in Portland between January 29th and 31st for the annual Northwest Ag Show. A lot of those were FFA members. The Willamina FFA chapter took a busload of students from Willamina and Sheridan to this showcase of agricultural equipment and services on Wednesday, January 30th. The Northwest Ag Show is the second largest agricultural show on the West Coast, only preceded by the Tulare Farm Show in Tulare, CA.
At the Northwest Ag Show, Senior FFA Officer, Shad Wagler entered his 1953 John Deere Model “R” in the Ag Mechanic’s Restoration competition. Shad’s father drives a log truck and his grandfather drove trucks and he has been around trucks and equipment all of his life. That is where he developed his passion for driving, owning and working on large equipment. Being a member in FFA and knowing that he had to have a senior project he decided to restore a tractor. The restoration project took three years because he wanted to do a good job and pay for it as he went along. He got a part-time job, hauled hay, cut firewood, washed trucks and scraped metal. With the guidance from his mentor, Chuck Franz and taking welding, small engines and Ag mechanic classes from his FFA advisor, he was able to complete his project. Shad is very thankful to all the family, friends and co-worker’s who donated scrap or gave support to his project. His tractor took 1st place and the cash award will go towards future education in a Diesel/Heavy Equipment program next fall.
The Northwest Ag Show brings in over 200 exhibitors from all across the country, and even the world. This show is jam-packed with everything a farmer could want, from the newest equipment, to the best up and coming ag technology. The show has three buildings 245,000 square feet of exhibitors showing off their services. Also, the Northwest Ag Show is a large supporter of FFA. There were over 32 exhibitors in support of FFA, and the Oregon State FFA Officers were there with displays promoting FFA.
The Northwest Ag show is an educational experience for all FFA members and anyone interested in ag and mechanics. The Willamina FFA chapter has gone to this show for the last several years and intends to keep going for many years to come.