Capital Press | Northwest Ag Show Capital Press Wed, 14 Jan 2015 10:18:26 -0500 en Capital Press | Northwest Ag Show Water seminar, OSU reception highlight agenda Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:05:57 -0500 Geoff Parks A special seminar on water and agriculture, and a second annual event focusing on Oregon State University Beavers past and present highlight the education and outreach efforts of this year’s Northwest Ag Show.

Katy Coba, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and Dan Arp, dean of agricultural sciences at OSU, will present a seminar on “Water Use and the Research, Collaboration and Policy Making Behind Its Regulation” from 3 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 28 in Rooms D202 and D203 of the Portland Expo Center.

And the Second Annual OSU Alumni Reception will be held that same day from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Room D201 and Balcony at the Expo Center.

“We’re excited to be able to provide a platform and a location for such an important topic of conversation in the ag world,” said Ag Show manager Amy Patrick about the water seminar.

“The topic fits perfectly with our intent to become the hub of ag information with educational components like this,” she said, “as well as being the top ag trade show in the state.”

The no-fee OSU alumni reception will allow alumni from all years visit with each other and with OSU faculty and extension service personnel. A drawing for door prizes also will be held.

“This event is to let our alumni, friends, students and stakeholders spend some time noshing on food, trading stories and celebrating all things OSU and Beavers,” said Betsey Hartley, director of marketing for OSU’s ag college.

Northwest Ag Show grows bigger and better Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:05:49 -0500 Geoff Parks For the Capital Press

The Northwest Ag Show keeps getting better.

And bigger, with more than 7 acres of floor space.

This year, for the first time, the Ag Show will grow to fill the entire Portland Expo Center.

“We’ve added 60,000 square feet of display space, along with an additional 84,000 square feet of meeting space for this year’s show,” Amy Patrick, the show’s manager, said. The show will be Jan. 28-30.

She said about 225 exhibitors will take part in this year’s show, displaying the latest in technology. From cutting-edge tractor and implement technology to farm drainage, irrigation and other ag-related industries, all sectors will be represented.

The Ag Show is governed by the Northwest Horticultural Congress, which includes representatives from three partnering organizations: Oregon Association of Nurseries, Oregon Horticultural Society and the Nut Growers Society of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

A full week of agriculture-related events awaits farmers this year.

In addition to the full slate of seminars offered at the Ag Show, the annual Oregon blueberry grower meetings will be Jan. 27 at the Embassy Suites near the Portland International Airport, and the Ag Chat Foundation’s Northwest Regional Conference will be Jan. 30-31 at the Portland Crowne Plaza Hotel.

This year’s Ag Show will also feature an antique equipment show curated by the Antique Powerland Museum Association, and Patrick said the Tasting Room will be back for a second year. Eight exhibitors, each with a direct tie to the farming and/or production of their product, will occupy a meeting room at the Expo Center.

Wineries, craft brewers, artisan food purveyors and others will be present, she said, to offer a respite for visitors needing a break from touring the 7-acre show site.

Last year’s popular FFA Passport program will be featured along with the annual FFA Equipment Competition. The former relates to visitors getting entries into several drawings and a chance for a door prize.

The latter competition in the past has featured hand-built trailers, implements and other unique items that put the spotlight on the skills FFA students have been learning.

“We gave out $2,000 in five categories last year along with travel scholarships and hope to be able to do that again this year,” she said.

Nut growers meeting offers broad perspective Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:05:42 -0500 Geoff Parks The 99th Annual Meeting of the Nut Growers Society of Oregon, Washington & British Columbia at the NW Ag Expo on Jan. 29 is looking to go global with its information offerings.

According to Oregon Hazelnut Industry executive director Polly Owen, the meeting will pull together information “from a world perspective as well as locally.”

The meeting will open with trade show registration, the annual NGS business meeting and a brief message from its president — Sean Denfield — before the keynote speech.

“We will begin (the conference) with a bigger, wider outlook,” Owen said, a reference to the keynote speaker’s presentation.

Michael Waring of Australia, the director of the International Nut Council, will speak on “World Hazelnut Production — An International Nut Council Perspective” from 9:10 to 9:40 a.m. in Hall A of the Portland Expo Center.

“After that, the focus will narrow a bit” to more regional and local issues, Owen said.

An “Oregon Hazelnuts in China” handler panel from 9:40 to 10:20 a.m., moderated by Denfield, will feature Jeff Fox of the Hazelnut Growers of Oregon; Michael Severeid of Willamette Hazelnut Growers; Larry George of George Packing Co.; and Troy Johnson of Laurel Nut/MWT Foods. The panel will be “giving input on what’s happening in China as it relates to the nut industry,” Owen said.

What she called “overarching research” on food safety issues in the industry will be addressed from 10:20 to 10:40 a.m., and the Grower of the Year and Oregon Hazelnut Commission Awards follow. A presentation by Shawn Mehlenbacher of Oregon State University on new variety releases will wraps up the opening sessions.

Mid-morning and afternoon sessions include presentations on “Reporting Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Sightings” by Vaughn Walton of OSU from 11:55 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.; “Status of EFB in ‘Jeffersons’” by Jay Pscheidt of OSU from 12:05 to 12:15 p.m.; and a Grower Panel — “First Harvest for ‘Jeffersons’ 2013” from 12:15 to 1 p.m., that will feature moderator Tim Aman and panel members Lowell Kropf, Dick Buyserie, Vince Wolf and Ben Mitchell.

Denfield will pass the president’s gavel to Joan Firestone at 1 p.m. and vendor door prize announcements close the seminar by 1:30 p.m.

Apple harvester spotlighted at show Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:05:30 -0500 Geoff Parks Littau Harvester’s new apple harvester will be among the state-of-the-art equipment on display at this year’s Northwest Ag Show.

Dan Setnicker, engineering manager at the Stayton agribusiness, said the harvester originally was a “joint effort between us, Auvil Fruit Co. (a Washington state fruit farm and packing concern) and Van Dorn Industries (manufacturers of processing plant equipment).”

They collaborated on a prototype apple harvester that was developed about five years ago.

“We basically went through and refined it, making it more user-friendly and productive,” Setnicker said. “It’s in a constant state of improvement.”

Four or more workers stand on steel plates, pick apples and put them onto conveyor belts on the machine, where they are sorted by other workers and sent to totes below.

“It’s really more of a (mobile) picking and sorting platform that minimizes the fatigue of climbing a ladder and moving things around,” he said. “Workers can basically just stand there and pick.”

Littau has in the last several years built six machines, all of which have been tested in Washington state apple orchards. Production of the machines “really just depends on demand,” Setnicker said. “As happens in ag sometimes, (the industry) came up with machines that were just too complicated. This harvester is a shot at something in-between, so we will see what the demand is and, as manufacturers, go with that demand.”

Some of the other specialized machinery on exhibit at the show include Edwards Equipment with a Dyna-Cutter DC6600 Orchard & Vineyard Mower, Star Rentals with a Gehl RS5-19 Telescopic Handler and Carts & Tools with a solar-powered hand tiller.

Northwest Automotive Product Sales, Inc., will be promoting a diesel emission control service and the diesel fuel system cleaning tool; Marion Ag Service will promote an expanded line of organic products; Tug of War Seed, under new management, will display its products; and Bill’s Ag Tire Professional Consulting, which also is expanding, will exhibit its wares at the show.

Blueberry, AgChat meetings fill out week Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:04:58 -0500 Geoff Parks It was colder in Oregon that it was in Minnesota when the executive director of the AgChat Foundation spoke about the organization’s Jan. 30-31 meeting in Portland, but she quickly warmed to the discussion of the upcoming “Week of Agriculture” that also features the Northwest Ag Show and an Oregon Blueberry Commission conference.

Emily Zweber of Elko, Minn., said she and Northwest Ag Show manager Amy Patrick connected earlier this year with ideas to cross-promote their two events.

The Blueberry Commission also was brought into the “Week of Ag” discussions. Its Oregon Blueberry Conference runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Portland Airport Embassy Suites. Call the commission at (503) 364-2944 for information.

Zweber described the AgChat Foundation as an organization “designed to help those who produce food, fuel, fiber and feed tell agriculture’s story from their point of view,” and was built from the “#AgChat” community on the social-media site Twitter.

The AgChat community was started in 2009 by a group of farmers who participated in “a lot of chatter on social media platforms,” Zweber said. “Conversations between them evolved into ‘agvocacy’ opportunities on Twitter and other platforms, empowering farmers to use social media to connect communities and discuss issues.”

“Agvocacy” is the foundation’s word for the group’s efforts to benefit agriculture through “an engaged community (and) a collective voice,” Zweber said. “Up to 85 percent of farmers and ranchers use a smart phone. They’re very connected.”

The 2014 AgChat Foundation NW Regional Advocacy Conference will run from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Portland, with the following sessions:

After an hour-long breakfast beginning at 7 a.m., a session titled, “Now What?” will run from 8 to 8:50 a.m., followed by breakout sessions from 9 a.m. to noon. Lunch is from noon to 1 p.m. and will feature a closing keynote address.

Breakout sessions include:

9 to 9:50 a.m.: “Stuck on a Deserted Island” or “Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest — Oh, my!”

10 to 10:50 a.m.: “What Is Your Story?” or “Mini-Blogging Bootcamp.”

11 to 11:50 a.m.: “What Is My Impact?” or “Some People Are Scary.”

To register for the conference, go to:

FFA Passport, equipment contest return Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:03:51 -0500 Geoff Parks Just in time for the Super Bowl in February, last year’s winner of the Northwest Ag Show’s inaugural FFA Passport drawing took home a big-screen television set.

This year’s winner will do the same, said Amy Patrick, the Ag Show’s director.

“We started the FFA Passport Program last year and had a really good response,” Patrick said. “Exhibitors — the first line of support for the FFA — come on board and say they want to be a part of it, make a $100 donation and receive a listing in our Passport.

“When people come to our show and purchase their entry ticket, we give them a Passport with all the exhibitors listed in it,” she said. “They then visit those exhibitors listed and get a stamp in their Passports, and for every 10 stamps they get an entry into the door prize drawing.”

She added that there will be several other drawings in addition to the big one featuring the TV as the grand prize.

Along with the FFA Passports, the group will also have its equipment competition, which in the past has featured hand-crafted trailers, implements and other unique items that put the spotlight on the skills FFA students have been learning.

The five contest categories include:

• Ag Machinery/Equipment: Hay equipment, spray equipment and implements.

• Shop/Livestock Equipment: Shop tools, electrical equipment, gates, panels, chutes.

• Trailers: Utility, bumper-pull, livestock, landscape.

• Recreational: Home and yard decorations or equipment and sports equipment.

• Restoration: Restored tractors, equipment, vehicles.

“The Pilot Rock FFA a few years ago pulled down a 15-foot motorcycle ramp to enter into the competition,” Patrick said, “so we get a lot of interesting items to show off. The Glide FFA came in with a hand-crafted wooden drift boat last year and the Silverton FFA brings in a lot of trailers — one year they brought a motorized cart.

“The competition is judged by the Ag Show’s exhibitors who do fabrication, so they know what to look for and can give the kids good feedback,” she said.

“We gave out $2,000 in five categories last year, along with 10 $300 travel scholarships and hope to be able to do that again this year,” she said.

Horticulture Society offers full slate of presentations Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:03:42 -0500 Geoff Parks For the Capital Press

The Oregon Horticultural Society has set a full slate of presentations at the Jan. 28-30 Northwest Ag Show.

The Orchard Fruit Section runs from 8 a.m. to noon on Jan. 28. It will include presentations on the Microbiology of Soil and an Overview of Soil Biology, a Grower’s Perspective and a Spotted Wing Drosophila update. The meeting is chaired by Sue Root of the Oregon Cherry Growers and will be in Rooms D202 and D203. To register, email or call (503) 769-8940.

A Pesticide Safety Course runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 28 in Room D201 and will be presented by representatives of the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division. Participants can earn up to 8 credits toward their pesticide applicator license. Register for the class at or by emailing

The OHS Caneberry Section, hosted by Tom Peerbolt of Peerbolt Crop Management, will run from 8 a.m. to noon on Jan. 29 in Rooms D202 and D203. Included are sessions on Machine Harvester Development and Spotted Wing Drosophila Management, Sprayer Technology for Small Fruits: Manufacturer Updates, and Pesticides in Caneberry Production: Supplier Updates and Review of Label Changes. Three pesticide credits have been applied for with this course. To register, email or go to

The Strawberry Presentation, put on by Peerbolt and his staff, runs from 1 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 29. Sessions will include The State of the Oregon Fresh Strawberry Market, question-and-answer panels with buyers and sellers, a discussion of fresh market equipment and supplies and a panel on food safety and labor issues. The meeting is in Rooms D202 and D203. To register, email or call (503) 769-8940.

Mushrooms among spectrum of seminars Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:03:17 -0500 Geoff Parks Mushroom cultivation is among the topics that will take center stage in the whirl of seminars held as part of the Jan. 28-30 Northwest Ag Show.

Mushroom cultivator and educator Peter McCoy will host an “intensive, two-and-a-half-day educational conference” covering the essentials of mushroom production and emphasizing techniques and tools that help keep costs and complexity to a minimum.

“This seminar is new for us this year,” said Amy Patrick, Ag Show director. “The focus of it is for participants to find out everything you need to do to raise your own mushrooms, and at the end of it, they are given some pure mushroom cultivars.”

The sessions are targeted at those wanting to start a small mushroom farm or grow their own edible and medicinal mushrooms for personal use.

McCoy, of Olympia, Wash., co-founded the Radical Mycology project as a way of helping “increase food availability ... improve soil fertility and clean polluted water systems.”

He said topics at the Ag Show — with titles such as “Cheap Spawn Production,” “Mycorrihizal Cultivation” and “Off-the-Grid-Methods for Resilient Lifestyles” — will include lessons on fungal and plant relationships; medicinal mushroom processing; outdoor mushroom forest planning and installation; and wild mushroom identification and cultivation.

The sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 28, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 29 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 30. Cost is $200 for the three-day course. Email to register.

A wide spectrum of other seminars will be featured over the three days of the Northwest Ag Show.

Those include sessions on:

• Understanding the New Health Care Options (Affordable Care Act) from 1 to 2 p.m. on Jan. 28.

• A Strawberry Presentation from 1 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 29.

• Basics of Installing Solar Power from 8 to 10 a.m. on Jan. 30.

• Renewable Energy Policy in Oregon from 10 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 30.

• A Truffle Seminar from 10 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 30.

• Basics of Installing Wind Power from 11 a.m. to noon on Jan. 30.

• Irrigation Efficiency Incentives from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 30.

• A Weather Seminar by the National Weather Service from 1 to 2 p.m. on Jan. 30.