Alex McGregor

Alex McGregor

This year’s Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum includes a new “watering hole.”

The watering hole will be at the Riverside Overlook on the north side of the Spokane Convention Center. It will serve as a coffee bar in the morning and offer beer and wine in the afternoon.

It will serve as a meeting place between conference sessions in a centralized location, said Alex McGregor, chairman of the McGregor Co., which is sponsoring the watering hole.

“It’s a great opportunity to get together with friends and join forces as agriculture, pulling together on issues that matter,” McGregor said of the Expo. “The watering hole is a great chance to visit one-on-one and in small groups and talk about the challenges we face in agriculture, and the really exciting times ahead.”

McGregor spoke in January at an agricultural event in Pasco. His theme was “brighter days ahead,” as farmers cooperate “with a tenacity verging on stubbornness” and “dyed-in-the-wool optimism.”

It was these same traits, McGregor said, that helped the pioneers succeed and will help farmers succeed in the future. He said he believes agriculture will work through trade challenges in 2019, helping the Trump administration and Congress understand the urgency of rebuilding important trade relationships.

Washington is the most trade-dependent state per capita in the nation, he said.

Trade issues impact almost all farm commodities produced in the state, he added.

“There are reasons for hope, but we need to do more than just hope,” he said. “We need to pull together and communicate repeatedly and fervently our story.”

The McGregor Co. precision agriculture and equipment division will have a booth at the Expo. The company is also a longtime sponsor for the Pacific Northwest Farm Forum.

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