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.