Capital Press | Special Sections Capital Press Tue, 9 Feb 2016 18:04:34 -0500 en Capital Press | Special Sections Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum at a Glance Fri, 29 Jan 2016 13:30:36 -0500 The 2016 Spokane Ag Expo and

Pacific Northwest Farm Forum

Ticket prices

Adults: $12 ticket price includes the Spokane Ag Expo trade show, Pacific Northwest Farm Forum main session, speakers, seminars and free parking at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena (main front lot — West 700 block of Boone Avenue).

Youth (12-18 years): $8 each, and children under 12 are free.

The Ag Expo/Farm Forum Ticket is good for all three days of the show.

Tickets can be purchased at the Convention Center Complex in the Exhibit Hall ticket offices at both entrances throughout the week of the show.

Discount tickets for $8 are available at all North 40 Outfitters in Washington and Idaho through show week.

Event locations

New for 2016 — The Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum events will all be under one roof at the Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Spokane Ag Expo: Convention Center Exhibit Halls

Exhibitor Presentation Events: Convention Center Upper Level Meeting Rooms 401A & 401B

Pacific Northwest Farm Forum Tuesday Main Session: Convention Center Lower Level Ballroom — 300A & 300B

Agricultural Economic Forecast: Convention Center Lower Level Ballroom — 300B.

Pacific Northwest Farm Forum Seminars: Convention Center Meeting Rooms — Upper Level Rooms 401C and 402A&B and Lower Level Rooms 302A&B

FFA Program: Convention Center Lower Level Ballroom — 300A-C

Free parking with Shuttle Bus Service: Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena Main Front Lot — West 700 block of Boone Avenue.

2016 show hours

Tuesday, Feb. 2

Farm Forum Main Session Featuring Weather Expert Art Douglas: 9-11 a.m.

Ag Expo: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Exhibitor Presentations: Noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m.

Farm Forum Seminars: Noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 3

Farm Forum Main Session Featuring the Peterson Brothers and Their Video Parodies and Economist Randy Fortenbery: 9-10:30 a.m.

Ag Expo: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Exhibitor Presentations: 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m.

Farm Forum Seminars: 10:30 a.m., Noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 4

FFA Program Featuring the Peterson Brothers and Their Video Parodies: 9-11 a.m.

Ag Expo: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Career Fair: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Your hosts for Spokane Ag Expo Fri, 29 Jan 2016 13:28:48 -0500 Feb. 2-4, 2016

During Ag Week in Spokane, Washington


and the


Alisha Benson, Interim CEO

Anne Marie Axworthy, Asst. Interim CEO

Greater Spokane Incorporated

Dr. Christine Johnson

Community Colleges of Spokane

Board of Trustees Chair

Greater Spokane Incorporated

Jay Allert

Aslin-Finch Company

Chairman, AgriBusiness Council

2016 Pacific Northwest Farm Forum Peterson Brothers Bronze Sponsors Fri, 29 Jan 2016 13:29:00 -0500 U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Gavilon Grain, Lind

Les Schwab Tire Centers

Northwest Farmland Management LLC

Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative Inc.

Rainier Seeds Inc.

Spokane County Farm Bureau

Washington Farm Bureau

Washington State Potato Commission

2016 Pacific Northwest Farm Forum Bronze Sponsors Fri, 29 Jan 2016 13:28:44 -0500 AGPRO Marketing & Manufacturing Inc.

AgVentures NW LLC

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Banner Bank

Cooperative Agricultural Producers Inc.

Columbia Grain Inc.

CO–Energy, A Connell Oil Incorporated Company

Erker Trading Company LLC

Global Harvest Foods LTD

Great Western Malting Company

Inland Power & Light

Pomeroy Grain Growers

Rain and Hail LLC, Northwest Division

Ritzville Warehouse, Odessa Trading Company & AgTech Services

State Bank Northwest


The Haskins Company

The McGregor Company

Tri-State Seed Company

Washington Trust Bank

Whitgro Inc.

Washington Wheat Foundation

Wheatland Bank

Wilbur-Ellis Company

Winston & Cashatt, Lawyers

Career fair spotlights ag opportunities for youth Fri, 29 Jan 2016 13:24:11 -0500 Matw Weaver Students will get a chance to check out the many opportunities awaiting them in the future during the annual career fair at the Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum.

The event informs high school students about possible jobs, said Myrna O’Leary, manager of the expo.

“Kids are our future,” she said. “A lot of them are looking for careers in agriculture. A lot of them are just oblivious to the many, many career opportunities that are available in the ag industry.”

Presenters at the event include representatives of fields ranging from diesel mechanics to banking, O’Leary said.

“A lot of them are grabbing kids before they even finish school, because they’re in such dire need,” she said.

The career fair affords potential employers a chance to meet one-on-one with the students, O’Leary said.

“It gives them both a leg up, one on employment, the other for an employee,” she said.

O’Leary expects more than 250 students to attend the event. The career fair follows the FFA presentation at the expo.

Peterson Brothers tell their story in music Fri, 29 Jan 2016 13:23:36 -0500 Matw Weaver They’re farmin’ and they show it.

The Peterson Farm Brothers first made an impression in 2012 with their music video “I’m Farming and I Grow It.” The parody of the song “I’m Sexy and I Know It” went viral on the YouTube Internet site.

The brothers will speak during the Pacific Northwest Farm Forum main session starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, and again during the FFA program at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 4. The brothers give presentations based on their videos, said Greg Peterson.

“We produce YouTube videos basically to entertain people, but also to advocate for agriculture and farming,” Peterson said. “We want people to take notice of farmers and appreciate them for what they do.”

The Petersons live on a fifth-generation family farm in Kansas, raising beef cattle, wheat, corn, soybeans, sorghum and alfalfa.

Greg, 25, works full-time on the farm, while brothers Nathan, 22, and Kendall, 19, attend college.

When addressing younger audiences, the brothers talk about making the videos and exploring opportunities that life presents, Greg Peterson said. They also stress the importance of advocating for agriculture and other passions such as farming, FFA and rural life.

The videos are most popular among ag audiences, but are finding an urban audience. Teachers tell the brothers they use the videos in classrooms to help show students about farming.

Peterson believes the reason the videos have connected with audiences can be traced to their roots.

“Most people have a farming background somewhere in their past, somewhere in their ancestry,” he said. “Even if they don’t have that, I think people can really connect to a typical Midwest farm family who is helping produce food for the world to eat — as well as three brothers having fun, singing and making these videos together.”

The brothers receive monthly payments from YouTube and for speaking, but they are not paid for the parody videos because they don’t own the music, Peterson said.

The Petersons will also talk about social media use during their presentation.

As audiences become further removed from the farm, Peterson believes advocacy is important.

“It’s up to everyone involved to really try to tell the story of ag to other people,” he said.

Greg handles the behind-the-scenes work, writing lyrics, editing videos and booking events for the brothers. He estimates he divides his time between the videos and the farm roughly half and half. The brothers focus on farmwork during planting and harvest, he said.

The Petersons plan to farm together, but also hope to continue making the videos, perhaps eventually shifting away from parodies.

“We definitely want to keep using social media to tell the story of agriculture and advocate for what farmers are doing,” Greg Peterson said. “I don’t think this will ever be a full-time venture, but it’s certainly something you can do along with something else.”

Their other videos include “Farmer Style,” a parody of “Gangnam Style” by Psy; “Chore,” a parody of Katy Perry’s “Roar” and “I’m So Farmer,” a three-in-one parody of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” Iggy Azaelea’s “Fancy” and “Let It Go” from the Disney movie “Frozen.”

Cattlemen to discuss hot topics over barbecue Fri, 29 Jan 2016 13:19:23 -0500 Matw Weaver The Washington State Cattlemen’s Association will serve up grilled beef and conversation during a barbecue planned for this year’s Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum.

The association will offer samples mid-morning, starting at roughly 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, said Mike Poulson, farm forum chair.

Jack Field, executive vice president of the association, said the event offers a good chance to interact with people involved with agriculture.

“I’m sure we’ll be talking to anybody that has an open ear about issues that are in front of us,” Field said. “We’re looking forward to listening and talking. We’re excited to be there and looking forward to a fun day.”

Possible subjects include the state’s draft concentrated animal feeding operation regulations or wolves and the state’s wolf advisory group, Field said.

Wolves and water quality are the big topics in 2016, Field said. Water quality could include the state Department of Ecology’s watershed assessments, non-point pollution rules or total maximum daily load rules.

Field also said he hoped for an update on legal challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. rule.

“Water quality cuts across livestock or row crop producers,” Field said. “That’s something I think everybody understands.”

The Spokane Ag Expo gives ranchers an opportunity to connect with the industry, Field said.

“It speaks volumes when you look at the number of vendors and producers that are there — just the overall impact it has on Eastern Washington and Washington state as a whole,” he said.

AgriBusiness Council continues to support industry Fri, 29 Jan 2016 13:18:22 -0500 Matw Weaver The Greater Spokane Incorporated AgriBusiness Council continued efforts to raise awareness of agriculture in 2015.

Council chairman Jay Allert credited former GSI chamber CEO Steve Stevens with elevating the role of agriculture in developing the chamber’s public policy agenda.

“That was a major development for us,” Allert said.

Stevens, who joined in July 2014, resigned in October 2015. Todd Mielke, a Spokane County commissioner, joins GSI as CEO in February.

Allert expects those efforts to continue, citing the work of such council members as Jack Silzel, longtime farmer and an adviser to former Washington Rep. George Nethercutt, and Jim Fitzgerald, executive director of the Far West Agribusiness Association.

“That’s going to be an integral role for us, both on the state level and national level,” Allert said. “It’s a fulfilling mission for us.”

Allert is pleased that the council continues to increase in credibility with members of Spokane’s business community.

“That’s our proudest moment, as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “The business community knows about agriculture, appreciates agriculture and the food industry. We’re right there with them. That’s how it should be.”

The council’s work on behalf of farmers is multi-faceted, Allert said. The organization helps people recognize agriculture as a business, and that it must be considered as policy is developed or changes are being made, he said.

“Agriculture is being mentioned, it’s being thought of, and we can’t ask for much more than that,” he said.

The biggest challenges for the industry in 2016 include a downturn in commodity prices.

“You can’t help but be concerned when you’re running at break-even or below for the industry,” Allert said. “We want to do whatever we can to play a role in expanding markets and making sure policy is in place to ensure the industry continues to be healthy.”

Silzel is a member of the council steering committee and represents the council on GSI’s public policy committee.

Regulatory controls are a top priority, he said, citing the Waters of the United States and food labeling controversies.

The council also supports free trade agreements to eliminate unfair tariffs for U.S. farmers.

Allert said the council will continue its work in 2016 under Mielke. The organization is looking for more agriculture-related businesses from the Spokane, Eastern Washington and the Inland Northwest region to get involved.

“We can continue to grow awareness and look out for the industry,” Allert said.

Popular meteorologist Art Douglas offers his take on El Nino Fri, 29 Jan 2016 13:17:48 -0500 Matw Weaver Meteorologist Art Douglas is a fixture at the Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum each year, bringing his unique perspective on the weather to the region’s many farmers and ranchers.

This year, all eyes are on El Nino, warm water that has pooled in the Pacific Ocean, and how it will impact the West Coast’s weather during the next year.

Peterson will speak during the Pacific Northwest Farm Forum main session, which starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Dry conditions in the Pacific Northwest are part of the El Nino pattern, which started to develop in 2013. As it became a “mega” El Nino the impact spread.

Douglas predicts that El Nino will likely start to fade by March or April, with neutral conditions developing by the beginning of summer.

“It’s probably not quick enough to turn moisture conditions around in the Pacific Northwest in the critical time in which the wheat is in the ground,” Douglas, professor emeritus at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., said. “It’s not real positive.”

Douglas also expects to talk about climate change during his presentation. Warming has taken place on the planet and the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has more than doubled, he said. But within the scientific community, he believes “global warming” is too often blamed for abnormal weather instead of changes in the oceans that are likely to reverse.

“If that’s the case, we’re going to see a slowdown in global warming and other types of weather patterns taking over,” he said.

For example, from 1998 to 2011, the Pacific Ocean’s “decadal oscillation” was in a good phase for moisture in the Pacific Northwest and “disastrous” for California and Texas, Douglas said. Now the cycle is changing, returning the region to drier climate similar to that in the 1960s and 1970s, he said.

In 2016, the El Nino may give way to a strong La Nina pattern, which would create a year of wet weather.

“We may have one nice, good, wet winter next year, and then we’ve got to be prepared for quite a few years of recurrent below-normal precipitation in the Northwest,” Douglas said.

WSU professor to peer into future of markets Fri, 29 Jan 2016 13:17:17 -0500 Matw Weaver PULLMAN, Wash. — A Washington State University professor will provide an economic forecast for the coming year during his presentation at the Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum.

Randy Fortenbery, WSU small grains endowed chair, plans to provide a general outlook for the grain markets, with specific information tailored for the region.

“Forecasts are always — you look forward to giving it, then you might regret giving it a month later,” Fortenbery said. “None of us has a crystal ball, so things can change in a hurry with unforeseen events.”

Fortenbery said he considers national prices and looks for the meaning locally.

“I talk a lot about events that would make expectations wrong,” he said. “I’ll say, given what we know today, here’s what I think, but here are the things that could happen that could dramatically change this outlook or this picture.”

Grain prices were lower in 2015 than previous years. Fortenbery doesn’t expect significantly higher prices, but in October said he believed they would slowly drift upward in the new year.

“Not by enough to cover storage costs unless we have some sort of unexpected event — a weather event or some sort of political upheaval somewhere,” he said.

Grain cash prices will improve compared to futures prices, he said. Later futures prices were a little higher than nearby prices, indicating cash prices could increase.

Much depends on the weather in the spring and how much moisture accumulates during the winter.

“Right now, it’s really a demand-driven market,” Fortenbery said.

Volatile corn and soybean prices are also impacting the market, and the economic outlook for some international customers remains uncertain, he said.

“We seem to have abundant stocks to satisfy the demand we have now,” Fortenbery said. “Especially in the case of wheat, exports have not performed at the level USDA thought they would earlier in the marketing year.”

Corn and wheat exports tend to be connected, and neither were performing particularly well in the fall.

Fortenbery said the U.S. dollar needs to weaken to improve exports. But when the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in December, the dollar further strengthened as more capital entered U.S. financial markets.

“If there’s going to be any significant movement, it’s probably toward a stronger dollar than a weaker dollar in the short-term,” Fortenbery said.

Fortenbery also advises farmers keep an eye on economic conditions in China. In the fall, China’s gross domestic product grew, but less than expected.

“They’re an important market for some of our ag commodities,” he said. “Less so for wheat, but all of these commodities are tied together in terms of price. China not being an aggressive corn buyer would not be good for our wheat markets.”

Excellence award honors ag’s finest Fri, 29 Jan 2016 13:16:53 -0500 Matw Weaver The AgriBusiness Council of Greater Spokane Incorporated will again honor leaders in the region’s agriculture.

The council will award its annual Excellence in Agriculture Award during the Spokane Ag Expo.

“It makes us all reflect on the industry and the people involved,” said Jay Allert, council chairman. “When you consider nominees for the award, it makes you think about: Where have we been, where are we going and who’s having a role in that? It’s very healthy to consider that.”

Recognition of the individuals and organizations can help the industry build on those efforts, he said.

“Good ideas bring good ideas,” Allert said.

Allert is enthused by the growing momentum of the award, now in its third year.

“For the AgriBusiness Council to be a part of that, it’s just exciting,” he said.

The council seeks nominations each year for the award.

The selection committee considers four criteria: innovation, economic and environmental stewardship, positive impact on agriculture and industry awareness and outreach.

“We’ve got more nominees this year than ever before,” Allert said.

What do people who are nominated mean for the future of agriculture?

“They mean the future of ag, as far as I’m concerned,” Allert said. “It ensures we’re continuing to advance the industry, to keep it healthy, to improve it. That’s exactly what this award is about.”

Previous recipients include the McGregor Co., state Sen. Mark Schoesler, the Odessa, Wash., High School Future Business Leaders of America group and the Liberty FFA ag issues team from Spangle, Wash.

Northwest Ag Show: Totally devoted to agriculture Fri, 8 Jan 2016 11:38:08 -0500 Mitch Lies You won’t find baubles, knickknacks or trinkets at the Northwest Agricultural Show.

Show manager Amy Patrick annually gets calls from vendors hoping to sell those types of items, but turns them down.

“We are aimed toward folks who are coming to the show with a purpose, instead of urban folks who might be curious what a tractor looks like,” Patrick said.

“We turn exhibitors away who don’t fit the focus of our show,” she said.

That’s not to say that Amy and her husband, Mike Patrick, who co-manage the show, aren’t interested in entertainment. Attendees at the 2016 Ag Show can view antique farm and forest machinery and taste Northwest wines and beers in a tasting room that has been moved this year to a more central location.

Also, the Patricks are quick to embrace a good cause, especially when it helps farm youth. The Patricks dedicate opening day to FFA each year, which includes a silent auction, and they open the show to an FFA Vendor Bingo competition, which the youth agricultural organization uses to raise funds.

The Northwest Ag Show’s primary focus, however, is agriculture and serving the farming industry.

In addition to more than 200 exhibitors displaying the latest in farm services, farm machinery and farm products, the show includes three days of seminars, with sections on horticultural crops, nursery crops and small farms.

Seminars are sponsored by the Oregon Association of Nurseries and the Nut Growers Society of Oregon.

Also, each day, Oregon OSHA will provide four hours of training on how to safely use and store pesticides. New this year, participants don’t have to be members of a participating organization to gain pesticide recertification credits at the OSHA training sessions. They are now free and open to all show attendees.

Also new this year, the show’s floor plan has been altered slightly to give exhibitors in Hall C more exposure.

“It smooths out the traffic between the halls and makes it easier to get from one end to the next,” Patrick said.

Similar to last year, families can attend the show on the second day for a flat fee of $20, regardless of the size of the clan. On the third day, attendees can park for free.

Show sponsors this year include Premier Northwest Insurance, which is sponsoring FFA Day; Northwest Farm Credit Services, which is sponsoring Family Day; and Kubota Tractor Corp., which is sponsoring Free Parking Day.

The Patricks said they are open to changes and encourage exhibitors and patrons to submit comments to help improve the show.

“I think anytime you can take what you have and do little things to improve it for patrons and exhibitors, it keeps a good positive energy going from year to year,” Patrick said. “I feel like we do that each year: Take a look at the show and try to find some way we can bring more to it.”

“We’re always looking to the future and honoring the past,” Mike Patrick said.

Seminars offer information growers need to know Fri, 8 Jan 2016 11:38:54 -0500 Mitch Lies Seminars at the Northwest Agricultural Show are always topical.

This year is no exception.

Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division compliance officers Garnet Cooke and Lori Cohen will provide participants in this year’s seminars information on high profile pesticide cases that led to lawmakers sponsoring 13 pesticide-related bills in the 2015 Oregon Legislature, how to protect employees from pesticide exposure in marijuana production and the latest information on new Worker Protection Standards.

The federal Worker Protection Standards, which will be enforced by Oregon OSHA, include several items of interest to the agricultural community, including new warning sign requirements for pesticide treatments, new minimum-age requirements for applying restricted-use pesticides, and new worker-training standards.

Cooke and Cohen will provide their presentations each day of the show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. New this year, participants don’t need to be a member of an organization to participate in the Oregon OSHA pesticide recertification courses.

The Oregon Association of Nurseries on Tuesday, Jan. 26, is sponsoring seminars on how to control weeds while combating herbicide resistance, how to control noxious weeds in a manner safe to pollinators, what to expect from the El Nino weather system that developed last summer and built through the fall, and methods to combat the development of resistant fungal pathogens, a development becoming more likely in recent years with the registration of several new combination fungicides in ornamental crops.

Speakers are Washington State University Extension weed scientist Tim Miller, Allison Halpern of the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board, former television weatherman Phil Volker and Oregon State University Extension plant pathology specialist Jay Pscheidt.

The Oregon Association of Nurseries sessions run from 10 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 3 p.m.

The next day, Wednesday, Jan. 27, the Nut Growers Society of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia is holding a member meeting from 9 to 11:30 a.m.; Andy Bryant of the National Weather Service will speak at 11 a.m.; and Shur Farms is hosting a seminar on frost protections from 1 to 2 p.m.

On Thursday, Jan. 28, from 10 a.m. to noon, ag show participants can view a special screening of an award-winning documentary on U.S. military veterans in farming. Titled “Ground Operations: Battlefield to Farm Fields,” the film is part of an effort by the nonprofit organization Ground Operations to strengthen a growing network of combat veterans transitioning into farming and ranching.

Pink tractor makes a statement about ag Fri, 8 Jan 2016 11:37:06 -0500 MITCH LIES Jennifer Rohrer, media relations coordinator for Northwest Farm Credit Services, was looking to make a splash at the 2013 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Spokane, Wash.

Her idea: A pink tractor.

“We thought that would be a big deal for that event, and it definitely turned out to be,” Rohrer said. “I swear that every person at that event posted a picture of it on Facebook.”

What Rohrer did not foresee was the widespread embrace of the tractor by other Farm Credit employees. Today the tractor is on display nearly year-round as Farm Credit employees haul it to industry events, community parades and other functions around the Northwest as a way to show the company’s commitment to breast-cancer awareness.

Rohrer estimates the tractor is on display at 50 events each year.

“It is a huge undertaking for our staff,” Rohrer said. “If you’re going to Portland, for instance, it’s probably a six-hour drive one way to Spokane (where the tractor is stored).

“It shows how committed our employees are to their communities,” she said.

The tractor, which will be on display at Northwest Farm Credit Service’s booth at the 2016 Northwest Agricultural Show, was donated to Farm Credit by an Idaho farmer. Paint was donated by a Spokane paint store. And the painting and air-blasting all was done free of charge.

Further, a local mechanic donated his time to fine tune the engine.

“In less than 30 days, it went from a not-running, rusty old tractor to a completely restored bright pink tractor,” Rohrer said. “And the paint job is beautiful.”

Farm Credit also sells supplemental items wherever the tractor is displayed, including pink-tractor shirts, toys and mugs. Proceeds from the sales are distributed to the local breast-cancer awareness organization.

Rohrer estimates the sales have generated more than $100,000 in donations in the two-plus years the tractor has been circulating the Northwest.

In addition to benefiting local breast-cancer awareness organizations, the pink tractor informs urban America of the commitment agriculture has to cancer awareness, Rohrer said.

“When you go to a lot of these cancer-awareness events, you are seeing the big companies like Microsoft, Albertsons and Safeway represented. But agriculture hasn’t been represented,” Rohrer said. “That is one reason why we wanted to do something so big and so different that when you are at these events, you understand that Northwest Farm Credit Services and all of agriculture is behind breast-cancer awareness.

“We wanted to showcase agriculture and cancer awareness in a really big way, and we thought what better way to do that than to paint a tractor bright pink,” she said.

“You see them green. You see them red. You see them blue and orange, but you never see a bright pink tractor,” she said.

“This is also one way to show that Northwest Farm Credit is deeply rooted in our rural communities,” she said.

“It’s part of our value system,” said Mickey Hatley, branch manager of Northwest Farm Credit Services in Salem.

Ag in the Classroom brings its story to show Fri, 8 Jan 2016 11:37:40 -0500 Mitch Lies Oregon Ag in the Classroom brought volunteers into 900 Oregon classrooms across 30 Oregon counties as part of its 2015 spring literacy project, and it expects to do more of the same in 2016.

Also, in what Executive Director Jessica Jansen describes as an exciting area of growth, the program has expanded its reach into Portland in recent years.

Ag in the Classroom this year also will be participating in the Northwest Agricultural Show.

On Family Day, Wednesday, Jan. 27, Ag in the Classroom, with the help of the Oregon FFA Foundation, will provide hands-on activities for youngsters. The activities are an excellent way to show youngsters the importance of agriculture in their lives, Jansen said.

Oregon Ag in the Classroom continues to reach more students every year, Jansen said. The program has teachers and resources in all 36 counties, she said, but tends to focus on reaching students in urban areas.

“We are more (Willamette) Valley centric, knowing that that is where our target audience is,” Jansen said. “The students that have the least connection with agriculture are in the Willamette Valley region.”

Jansen said the Salem-Keizer School District is the biggest participator in the program, but the Portland School District is catching up.

“That’s been a big area of growth for our program, and one that we are excited about continuing,” she said.

Still, the program continues to reach out to students in rural counties.

“That is something that we take a lot of pride in,” Jansen said. “Students that live in rural Oregon and are surrounded by agriculture don’t necessarily have a full understanding of the depth of impact that agriculture has on their daily lives.

“Maybe they are familiar with one aspect of the industry,” Jansen said, “but don’t have the full picture of how everything in their life can be traced back to a farm or ranch.”

Oregon Ag in the Classroom is part of a national program aimed at educating students about agriculture. The nonprofit organization, which is housed at Oregon State University, works with teachers to bring agriculture into everyday curriculum.

One of the organization’s most popular productions each year is its calendar. The calendar includes art about agriculture drawn by students and provides agricultural facts printed in squares depicting the days of the week.

In the program’s annual literacy project, last year 725 volunteers met with students in more than 900 classrooms, connecting with more than 20,000 Oregon students.

Northwest Ag Show is providing Ag in the Classroom booth space for the three days of the show adjacent to the Oregon FFA Foundation.

Gerber Trailer Sales thrives at Northwest Ag Show Fri, 8 Jan 2016 11:36:13 -0500 MITCH LIES Jim Gerber of Gerber Trailer Sales typically sells about half-dozen trailers over the course of the three-day Northwest Agricultural Show.

At last year’s show, he sold 14.

“We sold everything we had on display the first day, except one trailer,” he said.

“I think it is going to be good this year, too,” he said.

Gerber, who has been exhibiting at the ag show for five years now, said he typically doesn’t measure whether it was a success by how many trailers he sells. The show often serves as an introduction — often an introduction that eventually leads to a sale.

“A lot of time you don’t get the business right there,” he said. “It is two months later — sometimes six or eight months later — when a guy calls and says, ‘Oh, I saw you at the ag show.’”

Still, selling 14 trailers in three days made quite an impact.

“We couldn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “It made our whole January.”

Gerber, who started in tires, today owns one of the leading trailer sales companies in the Pacific Northwest, selling Bradford Built and Hillsboro trailers and truck beds at four outlets.

“I try to sell stuff that I can feel good about selling,” Gerber said. “There is cheaper stuff out there, less expensive. But I tried a couple of those, and they just didn’t work out.”

The two long-standing manufacturers have a good reputation among farmers, construction workers, utilities and others, he said. “When customers call, they either ask for Hillsboro or Bradford,” he said. “It is just that easy. They pretty much have their mind made up when they call me.”

Because of a large inventory, Gerber can serve customers in a timely fashion, which he believes helps draw customers.

“I have the inventory,” he said. “A lot of these smaller outfits, they can’t justify having 125 beds in stock. That is why people come to me.

“They buy a bed Monday and they want to put it on Tuesday, (and) usually we have it,” he said. “We miss it once in a while, but most of the time we have it.”

Gerber Trailer Sales has outlets in Monmouth at 13000 S. Pacific Highway West, in Lincoln City at 1605 Highway 101 and has affiliates in Hermiston, Ore., at 2100 S. Highway 395, and Woodland, Wash., at 434 Demarest Ave.

If one of his outlets doesn’t have a particular Bradford or Hillsboro bed or trailer in stock, he said that odds are another will.

Film shows veterans turning to ag Fri, 8 Jan 2016 11:36:30 -0500 Mitch Lies A special screening of an award-winning documentary film about combat veterans engaged in farming is a highlight of the 2016 Northwest Agriculture Show.

Scheduled on the final day of the show, Jan. 28, from 10 a.m. to noon, the screening of “Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields” is expected to include participation by a combat veteran engaged in farming, who will speak and answer questions.

The film follows a group of young men and women who talk about why they joined the military, how war changed them, how they’ve struggled to assimilate after returning home and how they found farming or ranching to be the answer to a dream.

The film won the Audience Favorite award at DocUtah International Film Festival and Best Solution award at the Cinema Verde Environmental Film Festival.

Producer-Director Dulanie Ellis said that in making the film, she hoped to bring awareness to the growing trend of veterans turning to farming and elicit support for the farmer-veterans.

Since the documentary’s release, she’s also become a source of information for veterans who are looking to take up farming.

“I get a lot of emails from veterans who will say: ‘Hi, I am leaving the Army after 12 years and I really want to farm. Can you help?’” Ellis said.

Ellis provides veterans with links to resources for training, education and, in some cases, funds to help transition from military service to farming in a 12-page booklet that comes with the DVD.

Ellis said the experience of making the film and helping veterans has been rewarding on several levels.

“Farming is helping with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and traumatic brain injury,” she said. “There is accelerated cognitive repair for things like balance and hand-eye movement, anger management and other wounds of war.

“It is an amazing solution,” she said. “At the same time that we are losing half of our farmers to retirement — and so much acreage is going to change hands in the next 10 to 20 years — we need to train a whole new generation of farmers and ranchers. And, coincidentally, here comes this whole generation of combat veterans who need a place to restore themselves and have a new mission,” she said.

“This is a continuation of their service,” she said. “Their new mission is to strengthen American food security, one farm at a time.”

Antique equipment evokes good old days Fri, 8 Jan 2016 11:36:07 -0500 Mitch Lies You can rely on the Case IH collectors to bring their antique tractors to the Northwest Agricultural Show. And you can count on members of Antique Powerland’s Oregon Vintage Machinery Museum to display their antique John Deere machinery.

“Those (John Deere collectors) always have a wonderful display,” said Al Hall, marketing director for the Antique Powerland Museum Association in Brooks, Ore.

Members of the Antique Caterpillar Machinery Museum, which Hall said is the only strictly Caterpillar museum in the world, also don’t hold back when it comes to putting their best foot forward.

“Those guys always have a really nice display at the ag show,” Hall said.

Powerland’s Willow Creek Railroad Museum, which operates a one-eighth-scale railroad, typically brings a locomotive and a railcar to the show.

Look for the Pacific Northwest Truck Museum to bring an antique truck or two to the show and the Oregon Fire Service Museum to have a display of antique fire-fighting equipment.

Also, show visitors can expect to see cars and motorcycles from Antique Powerland’s Northwest Vintage Car and Motorcycle Museum.

In all, the museums typically bring more than 100 pieces of equipment to the show, Hall said, as most of the 15 museums at Antique Powerland participate.

“The show is a good way for the museums to promote themselves,” Hall said.

Pam Vorachek, executive director of the Antique Powerland Museum Association, said that in addition to using the event as a promotional event, the Powerland museum volunteers find the show enjoyable.

“They enjoy the camaraderie of visiting with fellow farmers, as well as the opportunity to showcase the historical equipment they take up there,” Vorachek said.

The Antique Powerland Museum Association also participates in the show each year, Vorachek said, using it as an opportunity to promote their offerings.

“We use it as a promotional event to entice people to come to Antique Powerland,” Vorachek said, “and to participate in the Great Oregon Steam-Up.”

The Great Oregon Steam-Up is held the final weekend of July and the first weekend of August each year, this year it is July 30-31 and Aug. 6-7.

Antique Powerland is open on weekends in March and October and Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from April through September.

Housed among the different museums’ antique equipment is the oldest operating steam tractor in the nation, a Case built in 1880, and other highlights for historical buffs, including the first truck iconic grocer Fred Meyer used to deliver groceries.

IIEA conference showcases latest in irrigation technology Thu, 24 Dec 2015 08:41:19 -0500 The Idaho Irrigation Equipment Show & Conference will showcase the latest information in the irrigation industry.

The free event is Thursday, Jan. 7, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Nampa Civic Center, 311 Third St. South, Nampa. No registration is required.

More than 60 irrigation equipment manufacturers, dealers, and distributors of landscape and agricultural irrigation products will be at the show to display their latest equipment and services.

“This is a great opportunity for growers and landscape irrigation contractors to come and see the latest developments in the industry and find solutions for their irrigation needs,” said Howard Neibling, education chairman.

The event rotates annually between the cities of Nampa, Burley and Idaho Falls.

Idaho Irrigation Equipment Show & Conference

When: Jan. 7, 2016

Time: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: The Nampa Civic Center, 311 Third Street South, Nampa, Idaho.


Where to find our exhibitors Thu, 24 Dec 2015 08:41:16 -0500 This is a list of the companies that have purchased booths to display their products at the Idaho Irrigation Equipment Show & Conference, which will be Jan. 7, 2016 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Nampa Civic Center, 311 Third Street South, Nampa, Idaho.

#1 BA Fischer Sales Co. Inc.: Aqua Burst sprinklers, Archer butterfly valves, Dragon filters, Xgate canal gates.

#2 BD Sales & Supply: Specified Fittings (PVC & HDPE pipe fittings), Universal Sales, Irripod, Sparling flow meters.

#3 Cornell Pump Co.: Agricultural pumps.

#4-5 Valmont Industries and Interwest Supply, Inc: Valley Pivot, K-Line North America.

#6 RG Sales: Dura Plastic Products, Firestone PondGard and Commercial Geomembranes, Kasco Marine Fountains and Aeration Systems, Typar Geosynthetics.

#7 Weather Tec: Brass Impact sprinklers and micro-irrigation product information.

#8 JM Eagle: JM Eagle PVC and HDPE plastic pipe. Eagle-Corr drain pipe.

#9 Frank J Martin Co.: “NDS: WE Put Water in its Place,” Kupferle, A.R.I. USA Inc.

#10 Industrial Electric Motor Service Inc.: Baldor, Aurora and Marathon electric motors.

#11 AgSense: Field Commander, Commander VP.

#12 Mitchell Lewis & Staver: Pumps, motors, controls, Berkeley pumps, Danfoss drives.

#13 Rain Bird: Rain Bird agricultural and landscape products.

#14 Komet Irrigation Corp.: Komet innovative irrigation products.

#15 Sprinkler Supply of Idaho: Irritrol products.

#16-17 G&S Sales: Action, Lasco, Milwaukee, Old Castle Precast, Cresline NW, IPS Weld-on, King Innovation, Legend, Universal Lighting.

#18 Pentair: Berkeley, Fairbanks Nijhuis.

#19 Water Logic Technologies: Watertronics Pump Stations, VAF Filtration Systems, Omni-Enviro Water Conditioning, Leemco Mainline Fittings and Valves, Badger Meter

#20 T-L Irrigation Co.: T-L Irrigation Co. irrigation products.

#21 Clemons Sales: Irrigation filters, sand separators, self-cleaning suction screens, check valves, special fabrication. steel pipe fittings.

#22 Naco: Molded PIP and bolt couplers.

#23 Franklin Electric: FPS irrigation pump products, pivot boosters, submersible turbines, centrifugal pumps and controls.

#24 Silver Creek Supply: Irrigation, hardscapes, ponds, lighting.

#25: PivoTrac Monitoring: PivoTrac Monitoring — canal and pivot monitoring and controls.

#26: Matco-Norca: Valves, fittings and nipples.

#27: Toro: Toro irrigation products.

#28: Clearwater Supply: Toro, Rivulis, Nelson, AgSense, Fresno, CH2O.

#29-30: Nelson Irrigation Corp.: The R3030 with the all new 3NV nozzle system, End Sprinkler, TWIG Wireless Control System.

#31 Irrigation Components International: Seametrics flow meters, Prysmian/Draka pivot wire, UMC Products and Durst gear boxes and center drives.

#32 Control Components Northwest and Dykman Electrical: Yaskawa variable frequency drives, Banner wireless sensor network, Red Lion remote data displays, Turck Pressure.

#33 Senninger Irrigation: Senninger sprinklers, spray nozzles and pressure regulators.

#34 Sprinkler Head Rebuilders: Rebuilt sprinklers — Nelson, Rain Bird, Weather Tec.

#35 Droplet Irrigation: T-L Pivots, AgSense Automation, Komet sprinklers, Jain drip irrigation.

#36 Snake River Sales: E-Z Weld products.

#37-38: Robertson Supply Inc. and The Pump House: PACO, Grundfos, Peerless, Wolf Pump, American Marsh, GE & Baldor.

#39 Pipeco: Rain Bird, Hunter, gated pipe fittings/valves.

#40-41 Rain For Rent: Reinke pivots, aluminum pipe, pumps.

#42 Bermad Inc: Control valves, air vents, Automation Control products, filters.

#43 Hunter Industries: Rotors, spray bodies and nozzles, MP Rotators, controllers, valves, micro irrigation, irrigation sensors and irrigation tools.

#44 Travis Pattern/Wade’Rain: Wade’Rain Poweroll; Western Wheel Lines; Rainway, A&M, Western and Felton fittings; Bolt-Tite & Epoxy underground fittings.

#45: Spears Manufacturing Co.: Schedule 40 and Schedule 80 PVC fittings and valves, Ever Tuff turf fittings, Fab fittings, PVC cements and primers.

#46 Branom Instrument Co.: Siemens, Thermo Scientific, WIKA Instrument.

#47 Idaho Power Co.: Irrigation programs.

#48 Energy Management Corp.: Electrical motors, generators, variable frequency drives.

#49 Agri-Lines Irrigation: Zimmatic.

#50 Precision Pumping Systems: VFD/PLC panels, pumping system automation, and remote monitoring packages.

#51 Fresno Valves & Castings: Valves and fittings.

#52 Navigator: Valves and pipe turners.

#53 Buckner Superior: Brass impact sprinklers, electric valves, controllers.

#54-55: XCAD USA: Aqua Burst, X-Gate, Pressure Guard, Thunderbolt End Gun, Black Max, XCAD USA.

#56-57: Mountain West Marketing: V-Rain Sprinkler, Seymour Midwest Tools, Val Plastics.

#58 Krause K Box, Inc.: K Box and Bubble Screen.

#59 Rivulis Irrigation: T-tape.

#60 Inman Interwest: Amiad Filters, Marco Fitting, Wilkins Backflows.

#61 Harco Fittings: PVC fittings.

#62 Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission: Low interest soil and water conservation loans.

#63: Jain Irrigation: Chapin drip tape, Power-Loc and Tape-Loc fittings, Amnon emitter line.

IIEA officers help organization thrive Thu, 24 Dec 2015 08:39:40 -0500 Bob Hand, Nelson Irrigation Corp., is finishing his first year serving as president of the Idaho Irrigation Equipment Association.

Derick Attebury, Rain For Rent, Idaho Falls served as vice president until his appointment as Region 6 (Upper Snake) Idaho Fish and Game commissioner and had to resign.

Loni Monson, Pipeco, Nampa branch, was accountable as treasurer.

Two board members are finishing their terms: Quentin Nesbitt, Idaho Power Co., Boise, and Dallas Jensen, Agri-Lines Irrigation, Parma.

Tawna Root, Layne Pumps, Twin Falls; Cody Kemp, H.D. Fowler Company, Idaho Falls; and Kent Kidd, Valmont Industries, Declo, have another year on their terms.

Dana Duffin, The Sprinkler Shop, Paul, is the immediate past president.

The following members have served as committee chairs for association activities this year:

• Education chair: Dr. Howard Neibling, University of Idaho, Kimberly.

• Scholarship chair: Dirk Leavitt, Valmont Industries, American Falls.

• Ag Membership chair: Jim Mitchell, TRO Inc., Meridian.

• Turf Membership chair: Jim Moyer, Irrigation Design, Meridian.

The chairmen for the 2015 Idaho Irrigation Equipment Show and Conference scheduled for Jan. 7 at the Nampa Civic Center are Monson and Larry Spath, Robertson Supply-The Pump House, Nampa.

Tondee Clark, Boise, has begun her 20th year as secretary of the IIEA.

Seminars feature up-to-date information on key issues Thu, 24 Dec 2015 08:37:33 -0500 A series of technical seminars will be presented during the annual IIEA conference.

Sixteen classes have been approved for the Certified Crop Adviser (*CCA) Continuing Education Credit program in the following categories: Soil and Water (SW) and Pest Management (PM). The following information lists the time the class is given, the course name, teacher, a short course description, classroom, and CCA credit.

Agricultural Irrigation Education

9 a.m.-10 a.m.

1. Save Energy & Money with LESA Technology. Howard Neibling, University of Idaho, will discuss results of using Low Elevation Spray Application (LESA) technology. North Home Federal Room (*1 SW)

2. Remote Telemetry. Manufacturers will discuss new pivot and pump remote monitoring and control products. South Home Federal Room (*1 SW)

11 a.m.-Noon

1. Introduction to Variable Frequency Drives. Craig Hartman, Energy Management Corp., will teach basic theory behind motors operated by VFDs, VFD operation, construction and application. Troubleshooting and meeting utility requirements will also be discussed. North Home Federal Room (*1 SW)

2. Crop Diversity Using Drip Irrigation. Jim Klauser, Clearwater Supply, will lead a discussion on the use of Drip Irrigation in various crops commonly found in the Treasure Valley. South Home Federal Room (*1 SW)

1 p.m.-2 p.m.

1. Water Use in Drip Irrigated Peppermint. Jim Barbour and Jerry Neufeld, University of Idaho Extension Researchers and Educators, will describe installation, operation and management of research plots for comparing water use and mint oil yield in drip, furrow and sprinkler-irrigated mint. Data on water use and yield will be presented. They will also discuss some of the challenges encountered during set up and operation of the irrigation systems. North Home Federal Room (*1 SW)

2. Irrigation Efficiency for Idaho. Dennis Merrick, Idaho Power Company, will discuss irrigation system improvements to maximize efficiency of new or existing systems to increase your bottom line. South Home Federal Room (1 *SW)

3 p.m.-4 p.m.

1. **Food Safety — Pesticide Use and the Public. Sherm Takatori, Idaho State Department of Agriculture. This presentation explains some of the historical uses of pesticides and some of the misuses. The issues with organic foods, pesticide residues in foods and overall food safety in regards to pesticides and pesticide use will also be discussed. North Home Federal Room (*1 PM)

2. Drip Irrigation Systems for Pivots. Jeff Brennan, NETAFIM, will provide a definition of Precision Mobile Drip Irrigation, describe how it works and potential benefits in water management and crop production. South Home Federal Room (1 *SW)

Landscape Irrigation Education

8 a.m.-9 a.m.

1. Troubleshooting an Irrigation System. Steve Eglinton, Pipeco, will review a variety of solutions for problems with controllers, valves and wiring. He will also have a question-and-answer period. North Casler Room (1 *SW)

2. Getting the Most from Your Irrigation Filter. Ed Mathieu, Water Logic Technologies, will teach how to select, size and maintain a filtration system. South Casler Room (1 *SW)

10 a.m.-11 a.m.

1. 8 Keys to Efficient Irrigation & Design/Installation. Guy Collins, Hunter Industries. This class provides education in efficient irrigation methods including: hydraulics, sprinkler selection and placement, precipitation rates, infiltration rates, crop coefficients, distribution uniformity and irrigation scheduling. North Casler Room (1 *SW)

2. Best Practices for Sub Surface Drip in Turf. Cari Snyder, NETAFIM, will discuss best practices for using drip irrigation in turf application, design and maintenance. South Casler Room (1 *SW)

Noon-1 p.m.

1. Installation and Maintenance of Irrigation Pumps. Kevin Johnson, Munro Pump Inc. Proper installation and preventative maintenance is key to pump longevity. This course will discuss verifying that you have the right pump for the job, proper installation and start-up as well as maintenance tests and checks to verify peak performance. North Casler Room (1 *SW)

2. ABC’s to Efficient Irrigation Systems. Kodi Farnworth,

Advanced Irrigation Solutions, will teach how to use 20-60 percent less water and still keep the landscape green. South Casler Room (1 *SW)

2 p.m.-3 p.m.

1. How to Save $13 Million. Steve Carmichael, E-Z Weld. This course will present the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards for correctly applying and utilizing solvent cements with plastic pipe, valves and fittings. North Casler Room (1 *SW)

2. Backflow Basics. Kevin Evans, Inman Interwest, will review backflow devices and the application and requirements for each device. National and local code information will be discussed. South Casler Room (1 *SW)

IIEA awards $18,500 in scholarships to 30 students Thu, 24 Dec 2015 08:37:16 -0500 The Idaho Irrigation Equipment Association awarded $18,500 in scholarships to 30 students for the 2015-2016 school year. These students were selected on the basis of their academic accomplishments, leadership and career goals.

“These students are amazing,” said Dirk Leavitt, 2015 IIEA Scholarship Chairman. “We are able to provide scholarships to college students because of the generous donations of our member companies and from the profits of the Idaho Irrigation Equipment Show and Conference.”

The IIEA has awarded 629 scholarships totaling $380,500 since 1980. The following students received scholarships in 2015:

• Breeanna Attebury McCook, daughter of Derick and Kristin Attebury, Idaho Falls, received a $600 scholarship to pursue her degree in communication at BYU-Idaho. The money for Attebury’s scholarship was donated by the IIEA and Kermit and Candy Cochran.

• Andrew Bingham, son of Harold and Laurie Bingham, Homedale, received a $700 scholarship to pursue his degree in financial economics at BYU-Idaho. The money for Bingham’s scholarship was donated by Matco Norca and Gheen Irrigation Works, Inc.

• Ethan Brandt, son of Jeremy and Maribeth Brandt, Coeur d’Alene, received a $500 scholarship to pursue his degree in biology at the Masters College. The money for Brandt’s scholarship was donated by Matco Norca.

• Hanna Chaffin, daughter of Scott and Kimberly Chaffin, Kirkland, Wash., received a $700 scholarship to pursue her degree in Spanish and elementary education at Boise State University. The money for Chaffin’s scholarship was donated by the IIEA.

• Travis Chase, son of Mike and Donna Chase, New Plymouth, received a $600 scholarship to pursue his degree in agribusiness and soil science at the University of Idaho. The money for Chase’s scholarship was donated by Cornell Pump Co. and Butte Irrigation.

• Morgan Cortez, daughter of Pete and Holly Cortez, American Falls, received a $500 scholarship to pursue her degree in agribusiness at Casper College in Wyoming. The money for Cortez’s scholarship was donated by Lindsay Corp.

• Nicole Davis, daughter of Steven and Laree Davis, Chester, received a $500 scholarship to pursue her degree in agricultural education at the College of Southern Idaho. The money for Davis’ scholarship was donated by Inman InterWest, Inc., Matco-Norca, and Ag Sales.

• Karmella Dolecheck, daughter of Thomas and Suzann Dolecheck, Twin Falls, received a $500 scholarship to pursue her Ph.D. in animal sciences at the University of Kentucky. The money for Dolecheck’s scholarship was donated by Matco-Norca.

• Aaron Emmert, son of Chris and Beverly Emmert, Nampa, received a $500 scholarship to pursue his degree in agricultural business at the University of Idaho. The money for Emmert’s scholarship was donated by Nelson Irrigation Corp.

• McKenzie Forsberg, daughter of Jeff and Carma Forsberg, Caldwell, received a $500 scholarship to pursue her degree in bioveterinary science at Utah State University. The money for Forsberg’s scholarship was donated by Matco-Norca.

• Rachel Gross, daughter of Doug and Joyce Gross, Nampa, received a $600 scholarship to pursue her degree in sustainable cropping & landscape systems at the University of Idaho. The money for Gross’ scholarship was donated by Pipeco and Hastings Irrigation Pipe Co.

• Dillan Henslee, son of Mark and Brenda Henslee, Hagerman, received a $600 scholarship to pursue his degree in agriculture systems management at the University of Idaho. The money for Henslee’s scholarship was donated by Senninger Irrigation, Snake River Sales, and Action Machining.

• Dana Kerner, daughter of Bruce and Julie Kerner, Weiser, received a $500 scholarship to pursue her degree in agricultural business at the University of Idaho. The money for Kerner’s scholarship was donated by Clemons Sales Corp. and JM Eagle.

• Jessica Lancaster, daughter of Mike and Laurie Lancaster, Jerome, received a $700 scholarship to pursue her degree in agricultural education at Colorado State University. The money for Lancaster’s scholarship was donated by Rain Bird-Agri Products Division, The Navigator and Toro.

• Cole Lickley, son of Bill and Laurie Lickley, Jerome, received a $500 scholarship to pursue his degree in agribusiness and marketing at the University of Idaho. The money for Lickley’s scholarship was donated by The Sprinkler Shop.

• Valene Lickley, daughter of Bill and Laurie Lickley, Jerome, received a $600 scholarship to pursue her degree in civil engineering/animal science at Colorado State University. The money for Lickley’s scholarship was donated by Matco-Norca and Layne Pumps Inc.

• Samantha McGhie, daughter of Todd and Carol McGhie of Rupert, received a $1,000 scholarship to pursue her degree in agricultural science at Eastern Oregon University. The money for McGhie’s scholarship was donated by the Bernie Fischer Memorial Scholarship Fund.

• Justin Nesbitt, son of Quentin and Julie Nesbitt, Eagle, received a $1,000 scholarship to pursue his degree in biological & agricultural engineering at the University of Idaho. He is the recipient of the Don Billings Irrigation Memorial Leadership Scholarship sponsored by Rain For Rent.

• Sierra Norman, daughter of Janell Norman and Lee Leslie, Albion, received a $600 scholarship to pursue her degree in psychology at Bryn Mawr College. The money for Norman’s scholarship was donated by the IIEA.

• Kaedy Pardew-Peck, daughter of Ann Pardew-Peck & Bryant Peck, Eagle, received a $500 scholarship to pursue her degree in agribusiness and agricultural economics at the University of Idaho. The money for Pardew-Peck’s scholarship was donated by G&S Sales, Inc.

• Latesha Reed, daughter of Brad and Anita Reed, Idaho Falls, received a $500 scholarship to pursue her degree in agronomy at BYU-Idaho. The money for Reed’s scholarship was donated by Mitchell Lewis & Staver and Waters & Associates.

• Jacob Reinecker, son of Scott and Kim Reinecker, Caldwell, received a $500 scholarship to pursue his degree in agronomy at Kansas State University. The money for Reinecker’s scholarship was donated by Fresno Valves & Castings.

• Jakobie Rogers, daughter of Shawn and Rita Rogers, Rupert, received a $600 scholarship to pursue her degree in animal and veterinary science production at the University of Idaho. The money for Rogers’ scholarship was donated by Valmont Industries and Universal Sales.

• Colby Searle, son of Ron and Dayle Searle, Shelley, received a $1,000 scholarship to pursue his degree in mechanical engineering at Utah State University. The money for Searle’s scholarship was donated by Lindsay Corp. on behalf of Ellis Kay Stanger.

• Heather Skovgard, daughter of Troy and Julie Skovgard, Kuna, received a $600 scholarship to pursue her degree in mechanical engineering at Northwest Nazarene University. The money for Skovgard’s scholarship was donated by T-L Irrigation and Irrigation Accessories Co. (IACO).

• Bailey Storms, daughter of Kevin and Honor’e Storms, Idaho Falls, received a $500 scholarship to pursue her degree in agribusiness at the University of Idaho. The money for Storms’ scholarship was donated by Weather Tec, IPS Weld-On and Matco-Norca.

• Dustin Winston, son of Stoney and Brooke Winston, Caldwell, received a $500 scholarship to pursue his degree in landscape architecture and sustainable crop/plant science at the University of Idaho. The money for Winston’s scholarship was donated by Lake Company.

• Allysha Yasuda, daughter of Roger and Cathy Yasuda, Fruitland, received an $800 scholarship to pursue her degree in biology at the University of Idaho. The money for Yasuda’s scholarship was donated by Travis Pattern & Foundry and Spears Manufacturing.

• Elaine Zabriskie, daughter of Brian and Nancy Zabriskie, Moscow, received a $500 scholarship to pursue her degree in landscape architecture at the University of Idaho. The money for Zabriskie’s scholarship was donated by the IIEA Turf Fund.

• Mathew Zimmerman, son of Don and Sue Zimmerman, Walla Walla, Wash., received an $800 scholarship to pursue his degree in mechanical engineering at Montana State University. The money for Zimmerman’s scholarship was donated by WISH Northwest and Interstate Plastic, Inc.

How to avoid irrigation runoff Thu, 24 Dec 2015 08:36:03 -0500 Jim MoyerIrrigation Design Co. Water is a precious commodity and if you are buying it, why waste it?

Over watering is the result of several overlooked principles — some of which might be resolved simply.

I’d like to suggest six possible scenarios and ways to solve runoff problem.

Problem No. 1: A tight soil. For example, clay type soils will only absorb water at the rate of about .4 inch per hour. Spray heads typically have a precipitation rate of about 1.6 inches per hour.

Suggested fixes:

• Match the sprinkler head precipitation rate with the soil intake rate.

• Shorten run-time on the controller. Some controllers have a “cycle and soak” feature. If you need to run a zone for 20 minutes the cycle and soak feature can be set to run (cycle) for 7 minutes and then soak (rest) for 15 minutes. The zone will then cycle another 7 minutes and soak 15 minutes and then complete the remaining time after 15 minutes have passed.

Problem No. 2: Arc pattern is not correct.

Suggested fixes:

• Check heads for proper arc pattern (1/2, 1/4, 1/3). Select the proper arc for the area to be covered.

• Some nozzles for the heads have adjustable arcs. Nozzles are threaded to the top of a pop-up stem in the head.

Problem No. 3: Slope runoff. Slope is an area of land that is not flat but inclined from a high point to a low point. If the slope in the irrigation area is steep, water and especially over watering promotes runoff.

Suggested fixes:

• Choose low precipitation rate heads, such as stream rotors, that approximate the soil intake rate.

• Shorten run time as suggested above.

Problem No. 4: Low head drainage. A sprinkler head that is at the low side of an incline or slope drains water out of the line and other heads when the zone is turned off.

Suggested fix:

• Many manufacturers produce a low head option to eliminate low head drainage.

Problem No. 5: Selecting incorrect water time for plant. Watering times vary with the type of plant that is being watered.

Suggested Fixes:

• Zone lawn areas and plant materials so that watering requirements don’t overlap.

• Choose the right head for the given area to be watered and the plant type.

• Don’t mix head types or plant types on the same zone.

Problem No. 6: Manufacturers’ recommendations were not followed. Not following the manufacturer’s recommendations may change the range and-or coverage, resulting in dry spots.

Suggested fixes:

• Ideal spacing is when the distance between heads equals the published distance of the range of the head.

• Too much pressure causes misting and limits range.

• Too little pressure interferes with the distribution of water from the head.

• Some valves will accept high pressure regulating devices.

Soil is a growing medium for plant life. A soil that supports a healthy growing environment is 45 percent mineral matter, 25 percent air, 25 percent water and 5 percent organic matter.

Too much water takes up air space and slows growth. It is therefore important to not over water.

With more legislation and regulations, the irrigation industry is under constant change. Manufacturers are improving products and capabilities of materials. The Idaho Irrigation Equipment Association promotes staying abreast of these changes by education, displays at conventions and communication.

There is an effort to educate the public whereby the consumer can learn what can be expected from a sprinkler installation. If hiring a contractor, make sure you discuss the following issues for your particular situation:

• Soil types and intake rate.

• Micro climates that are created by shade or sun exposure or wind.

• Use of appropriate material types.

• Plant growth and type.

• Hydraulic capacity of the source of water.

• A commitment for sound water management and conservation of the water.

Since water is the basis of all we like and enjoy, proper use of this resource is essential.

Jim Moyer is the owner of Irrigation Design, Meridian, Idaho, and the turf membership chairman for the Idaho Irrigation Equipment Association.

AgriBusiness Council has long history Wed, 23 Dec 2015 14:52:00 -0500 Matw Weaver Even before there was a chamber of commerce in Spokane, organizations were working for the benefit of agriculture in the region.

The earliest roots of the Agricultural Bureau go back to May 1887, when a group of “future-oriented” citizens organized Spokane’s Board of Trade, which sponsored the first Fruit Fair, the forerunner to the current Interstate Fair.

The Agricultural Bureau’s name first appeared in reports in 1917 and changed its name to the AgriBusiness Council in 2010, according to a history compiled by Greater Spokane Incorporated.

The Agricultural Bureau was preceded by several agriculture committees during Exposition 1890, the first major event for agriculture in the area. Fruits, vegetables, timber and livestock from around the region were exhibited.

The chamber was incorporated May 21, 1892.

Other key moments in history:

1905: The chamber formed a horticulture committee to address the needs of the fruit industry and other types of agriculture.

1908: The National Apple Show was created and sponsored by the chamber’s agriculture committee and existed for eight years. At that time, the region had 10,000 acres of orchards in Spokane Valley; 7,000 acres in Deer Park; 2,000 acres in Waverly and 1,700 acres near Medical Lake and Green Bluff.

1917: The new Agricultural Bureau began a movement to improve prices for the wheat crop in the Pacific Northwest.

1920: The Agricultural Bureau coordinated the first Pacific Northwest Potato Show and Growers Conference.

1921: The Agricultural Bureau was instrumental in forming the Annual Fruit Growers Conference.

1922: The Spokane Chamber of Commerce organized the Northwest Reclamation Congress to promote the federal Columbia Basin Project. The chamber provided guidance to the newly organized Columbia Basin Irrigation League.

1927: The Agricultural Bureau spearheaded the first dairy congress, bringing together a group of dairymen who formed a cow testing association, easing friction between producers and milk distributors.

1941-1945: During World War II the Agricultural Bureau pushed for all-out farm production. Labor shortages were a concern and packing houses were down 50 percent because of the lack of labor. The Agricultural Bureau War Employment Committee and the executive board of the chamber helped alleviate the problem. An arrangement was made with the commander of the Farragut Naval Training Station on Lake Pend Oreille in Bayview, Idaho, to grant leave to naval personnel to assist the packing industry.

1954: The Pacific Northwest Farm Forum began.

1974-1977: Planning got underway for the Spokane Ag Expo. A group of volunteers from the Agricultural Bureau enlisted 16 corporate sponsors to underwrite any loss in the first three years of the show. The financial commitment was never needed.

1989: The Agricultural Bureau provided seed money for the Washington State International Ag Trade Center. The state Legislature provided funds for the facility and the City of Spokane provided the property and services. The new facility opened in 1989 with the Spokane Ag Expo as its first tenant.

1996: The Agricultural Bureau Marketing Committee formed to promote the importance and economic contributions of agriculture.

1997: The Agricultural Bureau contracted with Washington State University to measure the impact that agriculture had on Spokane’s economy.

2007-2010: The AgriBusiness Task Force determined a course of action needed to modernize the Agricultural Bureau with new activities and increase its membership.

Feb. 6-12, 2012: Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum show week is designated “Ag Week in Spokane” as the renamed AgriBusiness Council continued to highlight the importance of agriculture in Spokane and the region.

June 8, 2012: The AgriBusiness Council presented the Ag Economic Symposium through Greater Spokane Incorporated’s Good Morning Greater Spokane to showcase the industry to the urban business community.

Nov. 8, 2012: The AgriBusiness Council put together its first Washington State University Ag Tour for Spokane business leaders.

Feb. 4, 2014: The AgriBusiness Council, partnering with the Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum, awarded the first “Excellence in Agriculture Awards” at the opening session of Farm Forum.

Feb. 2-4, 2016: Pacific Northwest Farm Forum will move from the DoubleTree Hotel to the newly expanded Convention Center, allowing the Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum to be under one roof for the first time.

“That’s a big history,” said Jay Allert, a Rosalia, Wash., rancher and chairman of the AgriBusiness Council. “It was so involved in the creation of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, the Spokane Livestock Show, the international ag trade center when it was in Spokane — all of these things, the Ag Bureau played a very integral part. It’s so significant. It’s kind of an honor to be part of that group.”

Spokane used to house 15 feed stores or mills, which was natural, Allert said, as agriculture was a dominating industry.

“It hasn’t been easy, honestly, because there are fewer people involved and everybody has less time,” he said. “It really caused us to evaluate this mission we’ve always had, but we have to do it in a different way.”

Today, agriculture is going through a new transformation and “reinvigoration,” he said, pointing to new precision technology, which increases farmers’ profits and brings in new people.

“We went through a period there where young people couldn’t afford to come back to the farms,” Allert said. “Our future was kind of dwindling, and yet now that’s changing. We almost have to have (young people) now because you have to be a computer-savvy person to run a tractor, practically. It means a lot of change. It’s going to bring a lot of opportunity to the industry.”