March 2021 Newsletter
Class 41 Virtual Graduation is Friday, April 16!
The deadline is approaching for tickets and sponsorships!

March 10: Final day for event or basket sponsorships.
March 21: Last day to purchase Evening Experience tickets and guarantee basket delivery before graduation. Tickets purchased after this date will receive a basket, although delivery may be later than April 16.
Peterson Farm Brothers
The Peterson Farm Brothers produce entertaining and educational videos on YouTube and social media. They also travel around the country to advocate for farming and agriculture. They will virtually travel to the Class 41 graduation to share their story and perform their songs.
Donations Needed!
This great AgForestry swag will be featured in the online auction. We are still looking for donations of experiences, services and items.
All proceeds directly benefit future AgForestry classes.
What's in the basket?
*Domaine Ste Michelle Sparkling Wine
*Commemorative Wine Tumblers (2)
*Reusable AgForestry shopping bag
*Smoked Salmon
*Elki Savory Crackers
*Chukar Cherry Quartets
*Nunes Nuts Almonds
*Brie Cheese Spread
*Two Door Prize tickets
*Graduation Program
Save the Date!
We will hold two AgForestry Golf Tournaments in 2021!
June 11: Wine Valley Golf Course, Walla Walla
July 30: The Home Course, DuPont
Sponsorship and registration information coming soon!
Online Learning
Collaboration Series
Presented by The William D. Ruckelshaus Center, a joint public policy effort of Washington State University and University of Washington
April 7: Introduction to Collaborative Governance
Michael Kern, Director of the Ruckelshaus Center, will give an overview of the key concepts, ideas, and stages in collaborative governance.
April 14: Collaborative Competencies
What are the concrete skills needed to initiate and participate in collaborative approaches to public issues? Michael will introduce you to the University Network for Collaborative Governance’s Guide to Collaborative Competencies.
April 21: Situation Assessments
Amanda Murphy, Senior Facilitator for Projects and Programs at the Ruckelshaus Center will explore the first phase of the collaborative governance process, the situation assessment.
April 28: Collaboration in Action
Paul Ward (Class 29), from the Yakama Nation and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, and Urban Eberhart, a farmer and member of the Kittitas Reclamation District Board are seasoned navigators of the collaborative process. They will share their stories, insights, and leadership lessons in how to move from controversy to collaboration.
Next week! March 9, 12-1 p.m.
Tune-up Tuesday: Collaborative Decision Making with Michael J. Gaffney, Assistant Director, WSU Extension
Natural Resources, and life in general, can be wrought with controversy. The greatest stewardship happens when multiple interests and needs are considered and met. Mike and his team will facilitate an interactive session in the application of collaborative decision making.
Alumni Spotlight
It's been a big year for Dr. Dave Hyink (Class 13). He received the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award from SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, and the Purdue University College of Agriculture 2021 Certificate of Distinction. Dave recently shared some thoughts about his AgForestry experience.
"Being a member of Class XIII was a high-octane experience, fueled by the energy and creativity of 30 classmates – all selected for their potential to become more effective leaders. The geographic, personal and professional diversity of the class enabled individual members to learn much from each other; in addition to the regular curriculum.
"I can’t think of a covered topic that I was not able to insert into my daily personal and professional life. The implicit centrist message of finding compromise and achieving consensus to create policy and solutions that benefited the greater good served me well for my entire professional career and beyond.

"Removing the 'mystique' surrounding the legislative and regulatory processes gave me the information and confidence I needed to successfully take on a leadership role in the input and public comment phases of regulation and rule-making at the federal level."

Read more about Dave's honors, his advice to future AgForestry leaders and what he says are the ten most important two-letter words.
Alumni in the News
Sean Gilbert (Class 28) was recently highlighted in Good Fruit Grower for his communication with media outlets while dealing with the coronavirus among essential farm workers.

Sean had three pieces of advice to share with fellow AgForestry alums when dealing with the media.
  1. Know your narrative.
  2. Craft your answers to advance it as succinctly as you can.
  3. Have fun.

Sean's only formal media training was at the Working with the Media Seminar, but it left him with some key points to remember: observe, prepare and practice.
Observing: Going through Olympia and D.C. gave me exposure that was invaluable context for the overall message needed.
Preparing: You won’t succeed unless you’ve done your homework and have thought through what questions might be asked.
Practicing: The more you do it, the better you should get, especially if there is honest feedback.
New Adventures in Retirement
After retiring from the USDA Farm Service Agency in 2018, Chris Bieker (Class 20) picked up her pencil and started writing. She recently published her first book, Murder at Manito, A Rex Begonia Mystery.

Chris shared that, in part, she drew from several AgForestry experiences while writing her book. She said, "AgForestry members might especially enjoy a subplot to save prime farm land. There is a particular scene in the book inspired by one of my AgForestry experiences. When our class visited the Voice of America radio program offices in Morocco, I was astounded to see the same ethics posters on the walls as in my own government office building back home! The character Ivy experiences a similar revelation."

Readers who enjoy wordplay, especially of the plant variety, will enjoy this comedic murder mystery which features iconic Spokane events and places as a backdrop.
Shortly before the kickoff of Spokane’s string of garden related events, the head gardener of the Lilac City’s prestigious Manito Park is found dead - shot through the heart. The city’s curmudgeonly top detective Rex Begonia and his protégé Ivy Lizei are tasked with solving the crime. Can they weed out the growing list of suspects and crack the case in time for Mayor Proscuitto to announce his re-election campaign and garner the green vote?
Thank you to our February Donors
Bryan (9) & Brenda Alford
Almota Elevator Company
Gery (7) & Sherry Amos
Dave Beach (10)
Marla (25) & Eric Bieker
Brett (24) & Lisa Bishop
Boise Cascade Wood Products
Rick (3) & Susan Brathovde (Employee Matching Program with Thrivent Financial)
Annie Byerley (40) & Nick Scrivner
Bob (6) & Janet Dick
Stephan (31) & Deidre Dillon
Jerry Gutzwiler (5)
Joe (33) & Karen Holtrop
Travis (33) & Alicia Keatley
Eric (27) & Debbie Keller
Jake (34) & Alisha Klein
Brian (39) & Julia Looper
Chuck (16) & Sharon (20) Podlich
Tom Quigley (23)
Sean (23) & Summer Sahli
Tim Scherer (10) & Mary Kangas
Read Smith
Ben Smith (27)
Society of American Foresters, Longview
Del (16) & June Vanderhoff
Gene (8) & Mary Warren

In Memory of Dan Hille
Dennis Arlt
Leffel, Otis & Warwick, P.S.