ALBANY, Ore. — Filled-up floor space, dynamic new exhibitors, the return of free forklift training and the exploding popularity of Dine Around Oregon are highlights of the 14th annual edition of the Willamette Valley Ag Expo.

The Expo’s doors will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Admission is $4 per day, and parking is free on-site at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center, 3700 Knox Butte Road, Albany, Ore.

The Expo is presented each year by the Willamette Valley Ag Association, which is a nonprofit educational and trade organization whose members are either exhibitors or sponsors of the event.

Proceeds from the Expo go toward the association’s college scholarships, which go to students majoring in ag-related subjects.

Association Manager Jill Ingalls and her husband, Expo Producer Scott Ingalls, work tirelessly each year to make the huge event a success.

The popularity of the Expo among exhibitors has put floor space at a premium this year.

Other features are seeing increased interest as well.

Back by popular demand, Overton Training will provide free forklift training.

“Thanks to their generous contribution, we are able to make forklift certification training free to the first 75 that sign up,” Jill Ingalls said.

“The Willamette Valley Ag Expo board is pleased that this is one more way they assist this industry through education and training,” she said.

The Expo will also feature several new exhibitors this year, including the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.

“We’re delighted to have them as new exhibitors,” she said.

Kayli Hanley, communications director of the cattlemen’s association, said this is the OCA’s first year participating in the Expo.

“We are excited to not only have a booth presence, but to also help sponsor the beef for the Dine Around Oregon dinner,” she said.

Summing up all the hard work, planning and considerations that have gone into this year’s Expo, Ingalls said: “This (new OCA connection) is a great example of how we should all be working hand-in-hand to promote our members — and, certainly, our food growers in Oregon.”

The Expo is open to visitors of all ages, and current FFA and 4-H participants “are strongly encouraged to attend,” Ingalls said.

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