Capital Press | Willamette Valley Ag Expo Capital Press Sat, 21 Oct 2017 12:34:48 -0400 en Capital Press | Willamette Valley Ag Expo Willamette Valley Ag Expo marks its 16th year Thu, 10 Nov 2016 17:43:31 -0400 Geoff Parks It’s been 16 years since the first Willamette Valley Ag Expo, and it keeps growing with every passing year.

The Willamette Valley Ag Expo begins its 16th year on Tuesday, Nov. 15, and finishes its three-day run on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center, 3700 Knox Butte Road, in Albany, Ore.

Expo hours are:

• Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Wednesday, Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The sponsoring Willamette Valley Agriculture Association is a nonprofit educational and trade organization whose members are either exhibitors or sponsors of the Expo, or both.

Proceeds from the Expo go toward the WVAA’s college scholarships, said association manager Jill Ingalls. She and her husband, Scott, the Expo producer, have been the force behind the successful event for the past decade-and-a-half.

“The Willamette Valley Ag Expo is 16 years strong and growing,” said Jill Ingalls. “The event just keeps getting bigger.

“For 16 years, I’ve been blessed to work with this industry and the amazing people that live and breathe agriculture,” she said. “I learn something new all the time. It’s so rewarding to see this event continue to thrive and change along with agriculture in Oregon.”

Scott Ingalls is equally enthusiastic.

“From a production standpoint, this is a fun show to put together,” he said. “Because the vendors own the show, everyone is very cooperative and share in each other’s success. I see that throughout the show, from load-in to load- out, it goes smoothly and the vendors are always helpful and supportive.”

He said he looks forward to the Ag Expo every year.

“We’ve been blessed to have basically the same staffing for the last 14 or 15 years, so every one of our people know what they’re doing and know all the vendors,” he said. “That makes it pretty easy for me.”

The Linn County Fair & Expo Center allows the Expo to spread out over 250,000 square feet for exhibitors, equipment, seminars, classes and food.

Dine Around Oregon is the show-stopper of the Expo, and will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16. The cost of the meal would be more than $30 anywhere else, Jill Ingalls said, but at the Expo sponsors and partners bring the cost down to just $12.

A chock-full agenda of training classes and educational opportunities are also provided each year as part of the Expo.

The Willamette Valley Ag Expo is open to visitors of all ages. Current FFA and 4-H participants are encouraged to attend.

Admission is $4 per person and parking is free.

Willamette Valley Ag Expo at a glance Thu, 10 Nov 2016 17:42:54 -0400 Willamette Valley Ag Expo

Linn County Fair and Expo Center

Albany, Ore.

Nov. 15, 16 and 17

• Tuesday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

• Wednesday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

• Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

• Admission $4 (price includes $2 discount on the featured lunch)

• Free parking

Board of directors

The nine-member board of directors is nominated by the members and serve a minimum of a three-year term. Board members are elected at the annual meeting, which typically takes place on the final morning of the Expo during the exhibitor breakfast meeting.

Current board members are:

• Bill Lusk, Chair, Ag West Supply

• Eric Fery, Vice Chair, Ag Chains Plus

• Don Kropf, Linn-Benton Tractor

• Carl Laux, Pape Machinery

• Mike Brown, DeJong Products

• Steve Prouty, NW 94 Sales

• Stacy Koos, Citizens Bank

• Andy Steinkamp, Wilco

• Terry Marstall, Les Schwab Tires

Expo managers

The Willamette Valley Ag Association contracts with Ingalls & Associates LLC to provide association management services and event production.

Event Producer

Scott Ingalls

Ingalls & Associates

Association Manager

Jill Ingalls


Phone: 800-208-2168

Fax: 866-509-3212


Dynamic board keeps Ag Expo on right track Thu, 10 Nov 2016 17:32:38 -0400 Geoff Parks The French have a saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

That’s the perfect tagline for the makeup of the Willamette Valley Ag Expo’s nine-member board of directors.

The board members are nominated by the WVAE membership and each serves a minimum three-year term. They are elected at the annual meeting of the organization, which usually takes place on the final morning of the Expo during the exhibitor breakfast meeting.

The Expo board makeup has changed little through the years, but each change has been seamless, keeping its dynamic stable and smooth.

The most recent change involved one of the original board members, Tom Wells, who left Salem for another ag-industry opportunity in Othello, Wash.. He was replaced by Carl Laux of Papé Machinery. But that just means the Expo will stay the same as it has for the past 15 years — on an upward path of success.

“Tom had been on our board since the beginning, and always had good input about the farm economy, trends and ideas on how to move the focus of the event to remain relevant and on top of the curve,” said Jill Ingalls, Willamette Valley Ag Association manager. “He just had a great perspective, and we miss him a bunch.”

Wells also had praise for the Expo.

“The event has exceeded all of our expectations,” Wells said of the successful, growing Willamette Valley Ag Expo. “The reason being is we filled a niche left by another show that addressed the ag industry,” but which couldn’t handle the larger equipment.

Wells also noted the Expo’s important ag scholarship program, informational seminars and classes — including pesticide certification courses — and the “pleasant surprise” of the three-day event, Dine Around Oregon.

“That event (Dine Around Oregon) gave that Wednesday evening time slot a whole new dynamic,” Wells said. “The pulse and vibe of that event has really given the show a new life.”

The Expo board in 2016 is a mix, which includes long-serving members such as Bill Lusk of Ag West, the chairman; Eric Fery of Ag Chains Plus, the event’s vice chairman; and Don Kropf of Linn-Benton Tractor, secretary.

Seasoned members such as treasurer Terry Marstall of Les Schwab Tires, Steve Prouty of NW 94 Sales, Mike Brown of DeJong Products and Stacy Koos of Citizens Bank are joined by relative newcomers Andy Steinkamp of Wilco and Laux of Papé Machinery.

Valuable classes seminars offered Thu, 10 Nov 2016 17:35:51 -0400 Geoff Parks The Oregon Department of Agriculture pollinator program and the Oregonians for Food and Shelter will team up to sponsor the CORE pesticide training and credit hours on Tuesday and Thursday, Nov. 15 and 17, during this year’s Willamette Valley Ag Expo.

Jill Ingalls, WVAE event coordinator, said no registration is required for the 2- and 4-hour sessions.

Here’s the lineup for classes that will be presented at the Expo:

Kaci Buhl of Oregon State University will be the instructor on Nov. 15 and 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The session will help participants determine what Worker Protection Standards requirements apply to their operations and how to comply, including exceptions, restrictions, exemptions, options, and examples. Additionally, new training requirements for handler and worker employees will be covered.

Melissa Scherr of the ODA will be the instructor for pollinator protection classes from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and 17. Participants must attend all three hours, two CORE plus one other.

Scherr is in charge of developing the Oregon Managed Pollinator Protection Plan, and will teach on “Pollinator Protection: Declines, Pesticide Exposure and Developing Best Management Practices for Oregon Agriculture.”

Ingalls also said the Expo will offer free forklift training and certification tests from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, by Overton Safety, with driving tests to follow. The class includes written and driving requirements. Class size is limited, and advance registration is available online at

Full schedule of events at this year’s Expo Thu, 10 Nov 2016 17:34:02 -0400 Meeting

Oregon Farm Bureau Luncheon (by invitation) 503-399-1701


10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. CORE training. No registration required — 2-4 credit hours (repeated Thursday). Kaci Buhl of Oregon State University will discuss Worker Protection Standards (2 CORE). In January, new standards for agriculture and forestry operators go into effect. This session will help you determine which WPS requirements apply to your operation and how to comply, including exceptions, restrictions, exemptions, options and examples. New training requirements for employees will also be covered.

12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch Break

1:30-4:30 p.m. Pollinator Protection (2 CORE + 1 other). Melissa Scherr, Oregon Department of Agriculture, will talk about pollinator declines, pesticide exposure and developing best management practices. Scherr is developing the Oregon Managed Pollinator Protection Plan. You must attend all three hours; 2 CORE plus 1 Other.


Pennington Seed Growers Breakfast (by invitation)


1-3 p.m. Forklift Certification Training (free with admission) with driving test to follow. Includes written and driving requirements, provided free by Overton Training. Class size is limited. Advance registration:

1-2 p.m. CPR/AED Training. Participants will review and practice emergency procedures that prepare them to act in breathing- and cardiac-related emergencies with adult and pediatric victims.

Demonstrations and practice on mannequins are offered. Includes skills test. AED — Automated External Defibrillator — device operation will be demonstrated. Certificate will be presented upon completion.

5-9 p.m. Dine Around Oregon. Enjoy a unique progressive dinner featuring Oregon foods. Tickets:


10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. CORE training. No registration required — 2-4 credit hours. Kaci Buhl of Oregon State University will discuss Worker Protection Standards (2 CORE). In January, new standards for agriculture and forestry operators go into effect. This session will help you determine which WPS requirements apply to your operation and how to comply, including exceptions, restrictions, exemptions, options and examples. New training requirements for employees will also be covered.

12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch Break

1:30-4:30 p.m. Pollinator Protection (2 CORE + 1 other). Melissa Scherr, Oregon Department of Agriculture, will talk about pollinator declines, pesticide exposure and developing best management practices. Scherr is developing the Oregon Managed Pollinator Protection Plan. You must attend all three hours; 2 CORE plus 1 Other.

Volunteers help make Expo a success Thu, 10 Nov 2016 17:31:50 -0400 Geoff Parks The smooth running of the Willamette Valley Ag Expo each year always comes down to a firm reliance on the dedicated volunteers who set up, keep running and tear down the event each year.

For the individual volunteers, that usually means starting at the bottom rung of jobs and working their way up over the years — always with a smile on their face.

“I started as a ‘gruntling,’” said 8-, 9- or 10-year Expo volunteer Rich Riffle, who says he’s lost count.

He said he started off helping with general purpose setup and teardown, then worked his way up “to a ‘Gruntling,’ with a capital G — though I’ve been a building superintendent at the Expo for most of my career at the show.”

A former Benton County sheriff’s deputy and Adair Village police chief, Riffle, 58, moved to Scappoose from the Corvallis area after retiring. But continues to dedicate himself to a long stretch of hard work at the Expo each November — starting with the commute to Albany.

“I’m more or less a stage hands coordinator,” he said.

He started his volunteer work at the Expo after he met event producer Scott Ingalls about a decade ago as he was carrying out his duties as a sheriff’s deputy.

“We met at the Benton County Fair, where he was doing marketing work and we became fast friends,” Riffle said of Ingalls. “He mentioned the Willamette Valley Ag Expo and said, ‘Hey, I need your help,’ and that’s how I started.

“I mostly just do it for Scott and Jill (Ingalls, Scott’s wife and manager of the Expo-sponsoring Willamette Valley Ag Association).”

He said the three-day event is actually a four-day challenge each year for the crowd of volunteers.

“We’ve got to set up before the first day of the show, then keep things going for three days and get out with the rest of the crews on Thursday evening,” Riffle said.

Linn Benton Tractor offers many lines of equipment Thu, 10 Nov 2016 17:31:00 -0400 Geoff Parks Don and Vivian Kropf started Linn Benton Tractor in Tangent, Ore., steadily growing the business for 26 years to the point that they were able to establish a second location in Silverton.

A multi-line dealership, Linn Benton Tractor highlights the Kubota tractors, implements, accessories and other equipment, both new and used, but also features other high-quality lines such as Krone, Land Pride, Great Plains, Vermeer, Hustler, Walker Mowers, Trioliet, Echo and MacDon.

They stay on the cutting edge, said Suzy Worthington, assistant to Don Kropf.

“We like to keep consistent with our current customers,” she said, noting that the company is “excited to introduce the latest line” — products from the Finnish company Avant, including “internationally acclaimed and innovative Avant loaders.”

Avant’s plant in Finland has manufactured more than 45,000 loaders, she said.

She added that more than 150 different kinds of attachments make Avant a “very multi-functional loader,” that, along with other loaders and attachments “are being actively developed based on customer feedback.”

Linn Benton Tractor’s sales team sells implements, construction equipment, compact utility tractors, farm tractors, landscape rakes, chippers, excavators, riding lawn mowers and a wide selection of other equipment.

“We have 80-plus years of ag and outdoor power sales experience,” Worthington said.

The Kubota line of ag equipment is also well-represented at Linn Benton Tractor’s two stores. Sales leaders include the newer M6-series of tractors — the M6-101, M6-111, M6-131 and M6-141 — which feature clean-diesel engines that consistently meet Environmental Protection Agency low-emission standards. The series also features high crop clearance, automatic four-wheel-drive and high-capacity 3-point hitches.

Linn Benton Tractor employs 50-plus professionals between the two locations, and serves the entire state of Oregon.

Ag Chains Plus offers solutions for customers Thu, 10 Nov 2016 17:29:41 -0400 Geoff Parks Eric Fery and Cindy Octobre answer all questions about their company’s farm equipment belts, chains, bushings, collars, couplers and the like in the same way: “Come to us for solutions!”

The brother-and-sister tandem has turned their six-year-old company, Ag Chains Plus, from a small local supplier business housed in a tiny space into an independent, bursting-at-the-seams business on the lookout for further expansion. All just four years after moving into the Stayton industrial area.

Ag Chains Plus provides belting and lacing products for the food industry, lumber mills, aggregate firms and farm equipment.

It also sells power transmission products to the agricultural industry, roller chains, sprockets, belts, sheaves, bearings, electric motors — “things to make harvesters move, planters run and the like,” said Fery, 50.

“We grew up in this business,” Octobre said of their lives prior to starting Ag Chains Plus. “Eric’s lived around here his whole life and we both grew up on a farm (row crops) and we’ve been in this industry for years.”

They make their money, she said, when they are both on the road doing sales and deliveries, each with their own territories, clientele and business circuits around the Willamette Valley.

The company makes special deliveries and offers consulting services for winter maintenance, business expansion and custom design.

Business has grown consistently since the year it was started, Octobre said.

“There was a niche, a hole, a void that needed to be filled in this industry and we are very dedicated to the people that we have served over the years,” Fery said, explaining their beginnings at Ag Chains Plus.

Fery is also vice chairman of the Willamette Valley Ag Expo.

He said the Expo is much like his and his sister’s company in that it is “all about the farmer and getting the up-to-date technology and components in front of the farmer so they have the opportunity to go, ‘I never knew about that.’”

“When you come to the Expo, we’re going to show you everything that’s out there, from drones, to GPS tracking, to the latest combine swather and put it right out there in front of you,” he said.

Ag Chains Plus will be at Booth 220 in the Willamette Events Center at the Willamette Valley Ag Expo.

Collector adds exotic antiques to exhibit Thu, 10 Nov 2016 17:28:15 -0400 Geoff Parks Jack Lang of Monmouth, Ore., isn’t bringing a time machine to the Willamette Valley Ag Expo’s Antique Tractor Display, but the tractors he’s got in the show this year will take visitors back decades and transport them to other countries.

Lang, 77, who retired from grass seed farming in 2008, said he has been collecting vintage tractors for years, but that year was “the first time I really had time to do this. Farming’s kind of a full-time job, you know.”

Though he said he likes all kinds of antique tractors (and owns about 34 or so), he admits he is “kind of passionate” about foreign tractors.

He said he owns seven British tractors, five Italian tractors, one German tractor “and a whole bunch of American tractors like Olivers, Allis Chalmers, Massey Harris, Massey Ferguson, International Harvester,” he said. But he has no John Deere machines.

“There’s plenty of them around and I wanted something someone else didn’t have,” he said.

He owns three Lamborghini tractors and said the other hyper-fast and hyper-expensive Italian sports car manufacturer, Ferrari, also made tractors at one point. He will take a Lamborghini R704 to the Expo, along with a 1961 McCormick International that was built in England, a 1972 British Leyland and 1961 Oliver.

Some of the other vintage foreign tractors Lang owns — and may bring to the Expo — include a 1961 Ford 600, a 1933 McCormick Deering crawler, a 1960 British David Brown 1200 and a 1954 Allis Chalmers.

“The foreign tractors really pique the interest of the folks who attend the Expo each year,” Lang said. “They see John Deere and other tractors every day, but they sure don’t see a Lamborghini every day.”

About 60 tractors and other antique farm equipment were on display at the Expo last year, Lang said.

Lang has lived on his grass seed farm for 40 years. He said his grandfather was a blacksmith, which is where he got his ability to work with metal in restoring all the old foreign tractors he has collected over the years.

The Antique Farm Equipment Display will be held at the Willamette Valley Ag Expo on Nov. 15-17 in the Cascade Livestock Pavilion on the grounds of the Linn County Fair & Expo Center in Albany.

Scio FFA members pitch in to make Expo a success Thu, 10 Nov 2016 17:26:36 -0400 Geoff Parks The Scio FFA chapter’s energetic cadre of students has been the most noticeable face of the Willamette Valley Ag Expo since the beginnings of the event in 2000.

The longtime WVAE-Scio FFA connection is not a contract “written down on paper,” said the chapter’s adviser, Krysta Sprague. “It’s just an understanding that we are going to be the ones that are there when they’re open, take tickets, run things back and forth. It’s exclusive to us.”

“Usually you sign up for different positions (at the WVAE),” said Cassie Hyde, 16, secretary of the Scio FFA chapter. “Last year, I worked every day (at the three-day event).”

At the big Dine Around Oregon event at the Expo, FFA members take tickets, advise people of where things are, run things back and forth to the various areas of the event, serve food and clean up afterwards.

All that work helping the Expo become a successful event for the 16th year in a row pays dividends for the Scio FFA members as well.

“I think it’s and excellent opportunity for our kids,” Sprague said, “because we’re interacting, first of all, with our county, the city of Albany and with agriculture in the Willamette Valley.”

Her students also get a chance to meet with ag business leaders and those working in the ag industry, interact with the public and advocate for agriculture.

“It’s a fundraising opportunity for the students, too, because they (the sponsoring Willamette Valley Ag Association) pay us, which goes directly into the kids’ FFA accounts to pay for trips ... to the state and national conventions,” she said.

Sprague said it costs anywhere from $100 to $150 per student to attend the state convention in the spring and more like $1,000 each for the national convention in the fall.

Kyndal Porter, 16, the Scio FFA historian, and Hyde went to the national FFA convention, Sprague said, so they are doing a lot of fundraising.

These sponsors make Expo, Dine Around Oregon a success Thu, 10 Nov 2016 17:23:24 -0400 Here is a list of the many sponsors who have helped make this year’s Willamette Valley Ag Expo and Dine Around Oregon a success.

Please take the time to thank them, the many vendors and the board members and volunteers who have worked so hard to make this year’s Expo the biggest and best yet.

Sunbelt Rentals

Complete Wireless

Peterson Machinery

Farmland Tractor

Citizens Bank


Linn Benton Tractor

Les Schwab Tires

Ag Chains Plus

NW 94 Sales

Crop Production Services

Ag West Supply

Pape Machinery

Northwest Farm Credit Services

Rabo Agrifinance

Fitzpatrick Painting

Overton Safety Training

GK Machine

Oregonians for Food and Shelter


Reed Anderson Ranches

Manning Farms

Oregon Dairy Women

4 Spirits Distillery

Oregon Cattleman’s Association