December 2020 Newsletter
Message from the Executive Director
The holiday season is a good time to reflect on what we are grateful for. Looking back, I am thankful for the way you, the AgForestry community, rallied around the organization! We felt fully supported in the decision to “lie fallow” for one year. Most recently, you responded with tremendous generosity to our #GivingTuesday campaign. You helped us raise more than $45,000 in one-time gifts, new monthly pledges, and matching funds! Thank you!

The coming of the new year heralds hope for the future. The year 2020 saw the genesis of our monthly newsletter, a webinar series, distance-based learning for current class members, and other innovations. Because of your steadfast support and lessons we’ve learned, AgForestry is better positioned to embrace new opportunities and withstand the challenges of tomorrow. AgForestry is moving toward 2021 on a trajectory of continued resilience and adaptability. In that - and in you - I find cause for great optimism and confidence.

Wishing you all a blessed holiday season and prosperous new year!
Matt Kloes, Class 36
Matching funds are still available at all monthly giving levels. Check out our #GivingTuesday page for opportunities to double your donation.
Fallow Update
Classes 41 and 42 continue to keep in touch with each other through personal check ins, professional networking, virtual happy hours, and through some of our ‘bonus’ programs during this Fallow year. As we come into 2021, we’d like to invite you to join the class in their virtual leadership journey!

Tune-Up Tuesdays: an opportunity to step out of the busyness of life and focus on your leadership skills!

  • Boardsmanship Training
  • January 12, 12-1 p.m.
  • Presenter: Dr. Terry Hejny, Director, LEAD Nebraska

  • Parliamentary Procedure
  • February 9, 12-1 p.m.
  • Presenter: Ben Cochrane, Cochrane Sons Farms, Class 41
  • Collaborative Decision Making
  • March 9, 12-1 p.m.
  • Presenter: Michael J. Gaffney, Assistant Director, WSU Extension
Read to Lead: The best leaders are the best learners. 
Join us in reading Tools and Weapons by Brad Smith, President of Microsoft.

Virtual discussion: March 24, 7 p.m.
2021 Legislative Update
Wednesday, December 16, noon-1 pm
Join AgForestry and a panel of distinguished alumni as they preview the 2021 legislative session, moderated by Bruce Beckett. This webinar will be conducted in a “meeting” format to be more interactive.
Bruce Beckett (Class 16) is a contract lobbyist specializing in labor and human resource issues and legislation. He is a principal of The Beckett Group of Gig Harbor. Bruce’s background includes work for the Weyerhaeuser Company of Seattle and the Olympia-based Washington Hospitality Association.
Senator Mark Schoesler (Class 10) represents the 9th Legislative District. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1993 and served for 12 years. He has served in the Senate since 2004. Senator Schoesler is a fifth-generation dryland wheat farmer in Ritzville on land his family has been farming since the 1880s.
Heather Hansen's (Class 17) government relations firm specializes in agricultural and natural resource issues. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center for Public Policy. She has received awards for grassroots organizing, promoting agriculture and excellence in legislative and government affairs from various state and national organizations.
Matt Comisky (Class 31) is the Washington State Manager for the American Forest Resource Council. He spent 15 years in private industry providing engineering, forestry, construction management, and real estate services to private landowners. Prior to joining AFRC, he worked for the DNR, where one of his favorite tasks was mentoring new foresters on road and logging systems layout for timber sales.
Good News
Congratulations to Class 41's Emmett Wild, who was named NRCS Conservation District Employee of the Year!
The honor was announced by State Conservationist Roylene Comes at Night during an online conference of the Washington Association of Conservation Districts. Emmett was recognized for his work at the Skagit Conservation District with connecting farms and producers with resources. About the honor, Emmett said, "I am proud of the work that I am doing to help our local producers improve their operations and get tangible conservation on the ground; I am delighted that NRCS can be such a defining partner in making that conservation a reality."
Featured Network Job
The Washington Hop Commission is seeking applicants for the position of Science and Technical Program Director. This position has the overall responsibility for all projects, programs and mandates that deal with scientific and technical issues, including statistics, regulatory and legislative issue management.
See the full job description at
We want to hear about you! Tell us what you've been up to since your AgForestry experience. Email us at
Thank you to our November Donors
Dick (13) & Terry Ann Carkner
Garry Rosman (14)
Perry (29) & Terri Beale
Kevin (40) & Mary Corliss
Ron (1) & Lisa Skagen
Dennis Tompkins (3)
Chuck (16) & Sharon (20) Podlich
Jim (17) & Cheryl (29) Koenig
Maura (19) & Jon Lindbergh
Bill Scheer (22)
Julie (24) & Bruce Keough
Rob (30) & Thornton
Pam Coleman (32) & Alan Cooke
Linda Greggs
Mark & Debbie Roy
South Yakima Conservation District
The TSB Group
Debbie Young (25) & Bruce
Dunlop (25)
Brad (29) & Esther Bailie
Carmen (31) & Roger Smith
Ken & Sharon Smith
Mike (3) & Barb Truax
Gene (12) & Barbara Gamache
Dennis (38) Swinger Jr.
Clark County Farm Forestry Assn.
Nelson Irrigation Corporation
Dolsen Company/Cow Palace LLC
-Adam (33) & Morgan Dolsen
Doug (13) & Deborah (16) Moore
Jon Paul Driver (37)
Annie Byerley (40) & Nick Scrivner
Erin (40) & Anthony Ewald
Kai (41) & Kelsey Itameri
Sheryl McGrath
Adam (40) & Hannah (38) Poush
HighLine Grain Growers Inc
Green Diamond Resource Company
Scott (3) & Lori Hamilton
Department of Natural Resources
Rayonier Advanced Materials Fnd.
Washington Wheat Foundation
Olympic Resource Management