The second week of Spring Term, approximately 35 students and 2 advisors loaded onto a tour bus to explore agriculture in the Portland area. Also known as the “Agraland Tour,” students were able to tour a diverse set of tour stops including farms, a brewery, and a farmers market.
Friday morning, the tour group departed Corvallis and headed to Donald, Oregon to tour GK Machine Inc. The next stop for the group was Pacific Seafood, where they toured headquarters and a distribution center and were provided lunch by Northwest Farm Credit Services. From there, the tour continued to the Food Innovation Center (FIC), an Agricultural Experiment Center located in Portland, Oregon. Students learned about the research conducted at the center and even got to do a food tasting of samples of Masala Pop’s handmade Indian-spiced popcorn! Following a tour of Charlie’s Produce, the group ended the day by touring the Clackamas Land Lab, learning about the operation, and having dinner provided by the North Clackamas FFA Chapter.
The Agraland tour group loaded the bus bright and early Saturday morning and headed to Stumptown Coffee to learn about the company’s practices. Coffee tasting helped everyone wake up! After working up an appetite, the group traveled to the Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University to eat lunch and explore the booths. The group then headed to Widmer Brothers Brewing to learn about the Craft Brew Alliance and the process of brewing. Cloud Cap Farms, a family farm part of Organic Valley, was the final stop for the day. The group then got pizza for dinner and settled in for the night.
Sunday morning started with a buzz as the group visited Bee Thinking, a beekeeping supplier based out of Portland, Oregon and company committed to education regarding honey bees. From there, the group traveled to Langdon Farms Golf Club to have lunch with Harvest Capital Company. Northwest Transplants, a seedling production operation, was the last stop on the tour.
After the three day trip was concluded, student took a survey to help evaluate the trip and give suggestions for next year. The annual industry tour is one of the most looked forward to events. It helps students to connect with industry professionals and expose them to various careers. The Agricultural Executive Council makes events like the Agraland Industry Tour a priority, because of the great opportunities it provides students.