More than 120 volunteers will stage the 30th annual Oregon Women for Agriculture auction Saturday evening at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center.
The organization, whose goal is to support and educate the public about the benefits of agriculture, hopes to gross $110,000 to help fund numerous statewide projects, according to President Debbie Crocker of Monroe.
“More than 900 people attended last year’s auction,” she said. “Our most recent ticket count has already topped 800. It’s fun to enjoy the great supper and fellowship with fellow ag people.”
Auctioneer Mac Stewart will offer several new items this year, including a vacation package to a condominium in Hawaii, four 4-day passes to the Bi-Mart Willamette Country Music Festival; tickets to a Tim McGraw concert in Portland; and .17 caliber Henry Golden Boy lever-action rifle.
“We also have a very nice package from the Inn at Diamond Woods near Monroe,” Crocker said. “The lodge sleeps eight with four master suites. Golf is included, as is a tour of the Benton-Lane Winery.”
Crocker said this year’s Fund-a-Need project will sponsor truck wraps promoting agriculture. Shelly Boshart Davis said last year’s Fund-a-Need raised enough money to add five truck companies and six trucks. There are now eight companies and nine wrapped trucks in the program.
The wraps promote the theme, “Almost Everything Starts on a Farm or Ranch.”
Depending on the size and style of truck, wrapping costs $600 to $1,000, she said.
The wraps are made and installed at VanDyke's Signmakers in Tangent.
OWA members also advocate for agricultural causes at the Legislature in Salem, as well as in Washington, D.C.
In the last year, OWA has lobbied against Ballot Measure 97, a corporate gross receipts tax; opposed the Owyhee Monument which would affect working farms and ranches in Malheur County; and opposed raising the state’s minimum wage to $15.
Oregon Women for Agriculture was founded 40 years ago by Willamette Valley Farm women in response to reduction and eventual banning of grass seed field burning. The auction was first held in Polk County and moved to Linn County in the 1990s.
Members come from all walks of life, not just farms, but share a commitment to promoting all phases of agriculture — food, fiber, fuel, forest products and flora.
Crocker and her husband Collin have farmed in Benton County for 31 years.
First vice-president Helle Ruddenklau grew up on a farm in Denmark and moved to Oregon in 1984 with her family. She and her husband farm near Amity.
Second vice-president Mary Hood is an Agricultural Loan Officer with Columbia Bank.