Capital Press | Northwest Ag Show Capital Press Sun, 22 Oct 2017 21:19:46 -0400 en Capital Press | Northwest Ag Show Northwest Ag Show offers everything today’s farmer needs Fri, 13 Jan 2017 12:19:14 -0400 Brenna Wiegand Welcome to the Northwest Agricultural Show.

Here you’ll find hundreds of exhibitors that offer labor- and money-saving ways to help you with your farm, ranch or nursery.

Show managers Amy and Mike Patrick are selective about the vendors they choose to ensure they meet the “straight ag” model envisioned by Amy’s father, Jim Heater, when he co-founded the show nearly 50 years ago.

This year’s show is Jan. 24-26 at the Portland Expo Center.

Whether you’re considering a new greenhouse, tractor or irrigation system or are interested in installing a solar power system, the Northwest Ag Show offers everything for every farmer under one roof. More than $40 million in equipment will be on display.

An array of seminars and meetings is another exciting feature of this year’s show.

Seminars providing pesticide information and a fuller understanding of the new worker protection standards are among the three days of offerings at the show.

Ag education is also alive and well at the show.

Find out more about today’s FFA from state officers at their booth and other FFA activities. Among the topics of discussion will be the impact of a recent Oregon ballot measure that will help fund vocational high school programs such as FFA.

The Northwest Ag Show also supports Ag in the Classroom, a private nonprofit organization that tells ag’s story through the classroom. AITC provides teachers with an ag-related curriculum and textbooks to use in the classroom and provides volunteer visitors who tell the story of agriculture.

A key part of AITC’s mission is to connect those in the industry with students who may not know the source of the food they buy.

Wednesday, Jan. 25, is Family Day, when an entire family can get into the show for $20.

Parking is free all three days.

Antique Powerland, a massive collection of museums in Brooks, Ore., also brings old-time tractors, trucks and military and other vehicles. They provide a fascinating walk through the last 100 years of innovation.

The show’s valuable educational slant, its exclusive selection of vendors and niceties such as the Tasting Room, the spacious Portland Expo Center and free parking make the Northwest Agricultural Show second to none in attractiveness and value to visitors.

Whether you can relate to 100-year-old tractors or are into state-of-the-art agriculture, you’re sure to come away from the Northwest Ag Show educated and inspired by everything you see on display.

Parking free for all at this year’s Northwest Ag Show Fri, 13 Jan 2017 12:29:26 -0400 Brenna Wiegand Back by popular demand, parking is free for all three days at this year’s Northwest Ag Show.

The parking is sponsored by Kubota Tractor Corp.

“This is a big deal for the show as we had gone away from it for the last two years, only offering free parking on one day of the show,” Amy Patrick, show organizer, said. “It’s just another way we work to make it easier for our attendees to come to the show.”

It’s also part of the build-up to the show’s 50th anniversary in 2019.

“We were able to buy up the parking lot at the Expo Center for many years, then it was taken over by Metro in the early 2000s and we went through several years of not being able to do that,” Patrick said. “It’s always something that comes up with people at the show, so as part of our celebration it’s a no-brainer.”

Of course, the free parking is a great benefit and convenience for the exhibitors, too.

“We strive to be exhibitor-friendly and that resonates with them,” Patrick said. “They’re choosing to spend their advertising money at the show so we want to make it a pleasant experience for them, including offering wi-fi and doing our best to help them make good contacts. That goes a long way with them.”

FFA an integral part of each year’s NW Ag Show Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:41:41 -0400 Brenna Wiegand The Super Bowl is around the corner, and a great way to enjoy it is on a big-screen TV that you won from the Oregon FFA Foundation at the Northwest Ag Show.

To have a chance at winning the TV, ag show visitors must visit the FFA-supporting vendors, each of which will have “FFA Supporter” banners at their booths. The exhibitors will stamp the visitors’ special card.

Once visitors have gotten all of the stamps on the card all they have to do is take it to the FFA booth, where it will be entered in the TV drawing.

“There is a lot to talk about in ag education; a lot is going on,” FFA Foundation Director Kevin White said. “Basically we’ll give an update and overview of the state of ag education in Oregon and where we’re headed.”

The foundation is making a concerted effort to build its support base. Since 2011 its membership has grown from 4,800 to nearly 6,000. White believes the Oregon foundation is the only FFA association funded entirely by private donations.

“We are thankful to have such strong advocates in the industry,” White said.

Ongoing support has enabled Oregon FFA to evolve with the industry. In return, the program provides a steady stream of enthusiastic, well-rounded, trained employees, new business owners and specialists in emerging ag fields.

Oregon Farm Bureau reports that nearly 14 percent of all Oregon jobs are in some way related to agriculture. This not only includes the traditional on-the-farm jobs but those linked to technology, science, finance, marketing and research.

“We’ve always had a leadership and career focus but it’s greater now than ever,” White said. “With less than 2 percent of the U.S. population directly employed in production agriculture, we have a greater focus on all aspects of agriculture.”

Nationwide, FFA is one of the largest youth leadership organizations and focuses on developing leaders in the ag industry.

It requires students to be enrolled in an ag class throughout their membership and offers extensive career development events, some oriented toward specific careers and others in wider arenas.

The backbone of the organization is its several tiers of leadership training and opportunities.

Part of being a state FFA officer is devoting the year between high school graduation and college to FFA service. In September Oregon’s six peer-elected state FFA officers embarked on a road trip to visit every FFA chapter in Oregon — 103 schools and 20,000 miles.

Earlier this month five state officers traveled to South Africa to participate in the 2017 International Leadership Seminar for State Officers.

This month they’ll undertake an industry tour, visiting businesses and farms across the state.

The pinnacle of the year is the state FFA convention in Redmond, Ore., which will be attended by some 2,500 FFA students.

Worker protection standards highlight seminars Fri, 13 Jan 2017 12:08:58 -0400 Brenna Wiegand New federal Worker Protection Standards for pesticide application training are in effect and will be a major topic for this year’s seminars at the Northwest Ag Show.

The Environmental Protection Agency regulations require those who train farmworkers and pesticide handlers to hold a certified applicator license or complete an EPA-approved Train the Trainer course.

“We need to get the word out about these new regulations,” said Kaci Buhl, senior faculty educator at Oregon State University. “There used to be no requirement on trainers; a handler could train a worker without holding an applicator license or attending any training.”

Buhl’s presentation will kick off this year’s selection of seminars at the Northwest Ag Show at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24.

Her seminar, which will run two hours, will help farmers, nursery operators and foresters determine which of the new standards apply and how to comply with them.

The EPA is updating a standard it put into place over 20 years ago, Buhl said.

In addition, as of Jan. 2, workers and handlers must be trained every year before work commences as opposed to the previous 5-year training mandate.

“That’s why we need so many new WPS trainers in the state,” Buhl said.

The federal mandates will be administered and enforced by Oregon OSHA.

In addition to the training requirements, agricultural employers need to display application and hazard information, provide records to workers upon request and provide more wash-water at pesticide mixing and loading sites for decontamination.

Handlers and early entry workers must be at least 18 years old unless they are members of the immediate family.

“There’s a lot more than training in the Worker Protection Standard,” Buhl said.

A “Quick Reference Guide” and a “How to Comply” manual about the new WPS are available at

Garnet Cooke and Laurie Cohen of Oregon OSHA will also present one-hour seminar segments on the Workers Protection Standards during their Pesticide Courses, which run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Jan. 26.

In addition to the Worker Protection Standards, Cooke and Cohen will speak on how to “decode” the outdated respirator requirement language on pesticide labels, mistakes others have made in the use of pesticides, other topics related to the safe use of pesticides and the best practices for avoiding heat stress on the job.

They will also present discussions on pesticide application exclusion zones and other pesticide-related topics, including a segment on the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative.

For all of Cooke and Cohen’s presentations, see Pages 6-9 of the Northwest Ag Show guide.

In addition to the wide range of seminars related to the new Worker Protection Standards and other safety-related presentations, the Nut Growers Society of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia will offer a grower seminar at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Oregon State University Professor Clark F. Seavert will discuss the economics of establishing a hazelnut orchard in the Willamette Valley.

Ag in the Classroom spreads the word Fri, 13 Jan 2017 12:02:57 -0400 Brenna Wiegand Jessica Jansen fell in love with agriculture during her high school FFA years. Its broad range of disciplines led her to earn degrees in agricultural sciences and communications at Oregon State University.

Now Jansen is executive director of Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom, providing free curriculum, a lending library and training to teachers from kindergarten through high school. The program uses agriculture to teach science, math, history and nutrition across existing curriculum in an especially relevant way.

“Ag is very relatable,” Jansen said. “It’s easy to understand diameter and circumference when you’re looking at a pumpkin or understand why math is important when you’re doing a lesson about variable rate fertilizer application.”

In addition to educating kids and families on the subject, at the show Jansen hopes to enlist more members of the ag community to share their knowledge with school-age kids.

“We provide them an area for their exhibit so they can have a presence at the show, like what we do with the FFA,” Northwest Ag Show Manager Amy Patrick said. “We include them in advertising and other promotions and help sponsor several of their events.”

A good way to start is to volunteer for AITC’s spring literacy project. Volunteers read to students, share their connection to agriculture and lead an activity. This year’s program has a dairy slant, inspired by this year’s selected book, “Allison Investigates: Does Chocolate Milk Come from Brown Cows?” by Colette Nicoletta.

With about 800 volunteers, Ag in the Classroom works with 2,000 teachers in all 36 Oregon counties and last year reached over 166,000 students.

“We’re trying to bridge that divide of people that aren’t growing up around ag anymore,” Jansen said. “The average student today is at least three generations removed from production agriculture.”

The private nonprofit is funded entirely by donations and grants.

It is housed in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University, which comes with the benefit of dedicated volunteers from the college’s professional agriculture sorority, Sigma Alpha. Jansen said they worked more than 400 hours in the AITC office last year.

Ag in the Classroom also works closely with the FFA; Jansen said kids especially connect with the young people — something that may lead to an ag career down the line.

“We want to get people excited about the sciences, agriculture and its diversity and how many different jobs there are — it’s not just farmers and ranchers,” she said. “…Ag lending, the sciences, food development and processing.…

“In Oregon, 1 in 8 jobs is related to agriculture,” Jansen said. “After technology, agriculture is Oregon’s second-largest economic driver.”

Oregon Ag in the Classroom will have a booth at this year’s Northwest Ag Show offering information about the foundation and the many things it does.

Oregon Valley Greenhouses provides advice on structures Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:53:23 -0400 Brenna Wiegand Ivan Schuening and his son Kip of Oregon Valley Greenhouses go to the Northwest Ag Show each year to meet potential customers and offer them money-saving advice.

Almost since its inception 30 years ago, the Aurora, Ore., manufacturer of outdoor structures has led the industry in Oregon, Washington and Idaho and is now in 27 states and five countries.

“We’ve never hired a salesman,” Ivan Schuening said. “We’ve built our business solely on reputation and word-of-mouth.”

Among the types of structures the company produces are dairy barns, livestock shelters, hay sheds, winter equipment storage, row covers and greenhouses. One important tip when buying such structures is checking the county building codes, he said.

“Unnecessarily building to code can double the cost of a greenhouse frame,” Schuening said. “Most don’t have to be code.”

Oregon passed a law 15 years ago for nurseries and farmers with agricultural zoning that says cold frame tunnels need not be code structures, something still not widely known.

Equally important, Schuening said, is clarifying a proposed greenhouse’s pipe size and wall thickness before you buy.

“We try to build for the area the greenhouse is going to,” Schuening said. “For example, if they’re in a high snow area such as Eastern Oregon, Colorado or Montana, we try to put them into a 30 wide with 2 3/8 bows. A lot of manufacturers will sell them at a 1 7/8.”

“Make sure the pipe is either 10- or 13-gauge,” he added. “If they just say it’s a 2 3/8 house you don’t know if you’re getting a 16-, 13- or 10-gauge pipe. Under a snow load the side walls and the center will drop.

“They look the same from the outside,” he said. “You only want to put the house up once.”

He and Kip have advised many people of such matters over Oregon Valley Greenhouse’s 27 years at the Northwest Ag Show.

“It’s more informative — and we get to see our customers that we never see otherwise,” he said.

Exhibitor helps farmers ‘harvest’ water Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:28:48 -0400 Brenna Wiegand The No. 1 question Michael Martins of Oregon Rain Harvesting gets is “Is it legal?”

“A lot of people think collecting rainwater in Oregon is against the law — not true,” said Martins, owner of the West Linn, Ore., business. “So long as you capture the water from a manmade structure it’s very legal and is a safe and cost-effective way to reduce the environmental impact of our need for water.”

Martins started the company coming from Hawaii, where rainwater harvesting has been a common practice for the past 100 years.

While Oregonians have made great strides toward sustainability, he said, the way they use water has mostly been left out of the equation. Such “overindulgence” compounds the demand on public water systems and places unnecessary stress on waterways, aquifers and rivers.

“We extract water from wells and rivers, purify it with chemicals, only to flush it down the toilet,” Martins said.

“After water is used once, we chemically treat it to be within safe guidelines, then put it back into the rivers. It’s a broken system,” he said. “Rainwater is abundant in the Northwest and harvesting it is a viable and cost-effective option for pure, chemical-free, unadulterated water.”

Oregon Rain Harvesting’s nationally accredited installers have designed and installed thousands of rain-harvesting systems, from the simple rain barrel for watering a vegetable garden to 100,000-gallon farm irrigation systems. Each system is custom-designed based on the client’s needs and the intended use of the collected water. The complete cost of a rain harvesting system is typically half the cost of an average well, he said.

Martins appreciates the opportunity to educate customers as an exhibitor at the Northwest Ag Show about the benefits of rainwater harvesting.

“Many customers are on wells that are not able to meet the demands of a ranch or farm,” Martins said. “Wells are not sustainable; they may be running dry, have low flow or produce hard water,” Martins said. “The nice thing about ag is most (farms and ranches) have large barns or arenas so over the winter, we can collect all the water they could possibly need for an extended dry summer.”

Harvested rainwater may be used for non-potable applications such as lawn irrigation, washing cars, flushing toilets or as a chemical-free potable replacement for municipal or well water.

Self-sustaining systems employ cisterns placed above or below ground. Whole home potable water is achieved with multi-stage filtration and a purification system specifically designed for rainwater harvesting.

Local building officials may not be familiar with rainwater for consumption, he said. If necessary, the company will work with municipalities for a variance.

Tasting Room a treat for visitors Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:25:21 -0400 Brenna Wiegand The Northwest Ag Show’s Tasting Room is a great place to take a load off, raise a glass of regional wine or locally brewed beer and even sample local confections.

It’s a casual atmosphere conducive to socializing and business alike and where important connections are often made.

Seven Brides Brewing of Silverton, Ore., will man the taps again this year with a lineup of their top brews. Like every Tasting Room vendor, Seven Brides brew master Josiah Kelley values the relationships among the agricultural community that have allowed him and owner Jeff DeSantis to grow their business.

Since moving to its current location in 2010, the brewery includes a tasting room and full restaurant and can make beer in 600-gallon batches. They’ve also gone from making traditional pub-style beers to brews that spotlight local crops such as blueberries, raspberries, Marionberries and hazelnuts.

At present, Kelley is brewing a new beer in which primary fermented beer is cold-aged on hazelnuts that have first had their oil extracted.

Though he worked on grass seed farms as a teenager and worked several years in ag machinery manufacturing, Kelley has never felt closer to agriculture than now, whether he’s mingling hops and berries for a new microbrew or pulling taps for farmers at the Northwest Ag Show.

“It’s a good fit to demonstrate to other local ag producers that craft beer views itself as value-added agriculture and to reach a customer base that otherwise we might not,” Kelley said. “I really appreciate the opportunity to see so many of the people I’ve been involved with over the years in this way, and I almost always make 2-3-4 good connections for the brewery, whether in regards to brewing beer, events or for machinery and technology that can be cross utilized.”

Also in the Tasting Room, Wicked Good Chocolates & More of Salem will offer its wide variety of handmade chocolates including truffles, fresh caramel and toffee. The candy company is known for its innovative blending of Oregon bounty into small batch, handmade seasonal treats.

These pair nicely with wines by Nehalem Bay Winery, a longtime exhibitor at the show even before the Tasting Room’s inception. The historic winery is frequented by visitors to the Northern Oregon Coast.

Antique Powerland puts history on display Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:23:54 -0400 Brenna Wiegand Sam Stuart and his fellow volunteers from Antique Powerland Museum are looking forward to some mighty interesting conversations during the 2017 edition of the Northwest Ag Show.

“The conversations that come up never cease to amaze me,” Stuart said. “People are genuinely curious about what the machinery is, how it operated and the history behind it.”

The reactions the display of antique ag equipment gets make the effort worthwhile, he said.

“I love to see the kids come through. They don’t see things like this too often and are just full of questions,” he said. “It’s also fun watching the older adults who grew up with it and hearing their stories.”

While the Northwest Ag Show is an opportunity for vendors to show the latest ag machinery and technology, Powerland looks to inform visitors about where it came from, its evolution the result of necessity and ingenuity.

“We are a country that produces things and up until the middle of the last century one of the biggest things we’ve produced is agricultural equipment,” Stuart said. “There were a lot of family farms throughout the United States. The machinery we’re showing was used by farmers from the mid-1800s all the way up to the present. It’s rewarding just passing on a little bit of American history.”

Over its 46 years Antique Powerland in Brooks, Ore., has become a community of 15 heritage museums on 62 acres.

The museums include blacksmithing, model railroading, antique cars, motorcycles, trucks and large steam engines, just to name a few. These are in full swing during Powerland’s Great Oregon Steam-Up the last weekend of July and first weekend of August. Activities throughout the day include a parade of antique tractors moving under their own power and an antique tractor pull with audience participation.

The Antique Powerland display is hard to miss at the Northwest Ag Show. It features 30-40 different models spanning about 100 years — John Deere, Caterpillar, steam traction engines, cars, motorcycles, stationary gas engines and possibly a tank from World War II that could be powered by a radial aviation engine or two Cadillac V-8s. The oldest tractor was lovingly restored by Stuart’s father over 10 years.

“It’s rare. International Harvester only had it in production for four years,” Stuart said. “It’s nearly 99 years old and still able to get up and move around under its own power.”