November 2020 Newsletter
20/20 Vision: Hindsight and Foresight
Annual Meeting of AgForestry Members
Tomorrow, November 5
11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
The Inevitability of Change is the Mother of Innovation: Be inspired by Rob Curley, editor of The Spokesman-Review. Hear his approach to innovation and lessons learned in his quest to shift his organization from surviving to thriving.
Why COVID-19 Will Propel AgForestry Forward: Get an update on AgForestry including exciting innovations we’ve made, how we’re adapting to challenges we face, and what we expect for the future.
Insights from Stakeholder Outreach: Learn what AgForestry stakeholders say about challenges the leaders of today and tomorrow face. Our research findings will help position AgForestry for the next 40 years.
Board Elections: Five new members will join the AgForestry Board of Directors.
Alumni Spotlights
Where are they now: Greg Hamilton, Class 8
After 40 years working as a third generation farm equipment dealer in Okanogan, Greg Hamilton is finding himself busier than ever in retirement. He credits his experience in AgForestry, and having been raised in a family run business, with instilling a desire to pay-it-forward and give back to the community. Greg shared that “In general, small business people truly are the ‘salt of the earth.’ They go the extra mile for their employees and invest time, energy and often resources back into their communities.”

Greg and Mary, his wife of over 40 years, have set an exemplary model of this by starting the Hamilton Youth Foundation in 1991. The foundation has been funded by .25% of gross annual sales from the Okanogan Dealership, first as Hamilton Farm Equipment Center and then, since 2012, as Washington Tractor. The board is comprised of individuals from Manson to Oroville, who are all involved in local agriculture. Since the foundation started, they have donated over $400,000 in the form of scholarships and ‘no interest’ loans for FFA/4-H projects.

Greg recalled two lasting impressions from the AgForestry Program that really stuck with him. The first was on the D.C. trip when he and some members of his cohort headed into a meeting with the Environmental Protection Agency. He expected to meet an adversary and to experience an unwelcoming environment, however, he realized, “People with different perspectives are still good people. They aren’t trying to make life more difficult. They just have different priorities, and we’re all better off if we try to understand where each other is coming from.”
Visit our website to read how Mother Teresa made a lasting impression on Greg, and how AgForestry encouraged him to "up his game".
AgForestry Board Member Profile: Dan Miller, Class 35, Royal City
Dan is the President of 4-WAY FARMS, Inc., a family business producing alfalfa, orchard grass, Timothy, and wheat straw for feed stores and horse stables. They also deliver forage products to customers in the Seattle area.

Why do you serve on the AgForestry Board? I joined the AgForestry board as I wasn’t comfortable with how some of my classmates were received during our time in AgForestry. A good friend told me that it doesn’t work to lob in grenades from the outside, if you want to make real change inside an organization you must stay involved. I truly believe AgForestry makes individuals look outside of their situation/industries to see how other areas function inside of theirs, and in relationship to our own.

How has AgForestry impacted your life? I have the greatest classmates, many of whom were in attendance at my recent wedding. It’s like belonging to a sorority/fraternity of people from all over the state. While some I don’t see regularly, others I visit with on a weekly basis.

What would you tell someone who is interested in applying for AgForestry? AgForestry is a foundation of understanding between agricultural, fisheries, timber, environmental and government agencies. It seems as though rather take the time to have open and honest discussions, too often the other side of an issue is vilified. But if we were to actually walk a mile in the others person shoes we may find out why they have their perspective. If they were to do the same with us, meaningful progress could be made on any issue.

Why do you think leadership programs are important to the agriculture, forestry and natural resource industries and the communities they serve?
I personally believe that AgForestry is the perfect opportunity for individuals to build a foundation upon which meaningful dialogue can start on any issue facing Washington State.
Alumni helping Alumni
On September 7, the Pearl Hill Fire erupted near Bridgeport, Washington. Over the next few days, it burned 220,000 acres, destroying 25 homes and commercial buildings. One of those homes belonged to Wade (19) and Jane Troutman. A GoFundMe was started on the Troutman’s behalf by friends involved with the Washington Association of Conservation Districts. Matt Kloes shares, “AgForestry underscores that relationships matter and reinforces the importance of giving back. Even more than 20 years later, those lessons ring true with AgForestry alumni. It was heartwarming to see Wade’s classmates and the AgForestry community rally around the Troutmans.”
We recently checked in with Wade. They have secured housing through a generous family in Bridgeport and are planning to rebuild. Wade is even back out on his tractor reseeding winter wheat. Wade recalled, “I had kept all my AgForestry leadership materials, photographs, and souvenirs on a special shelf in the house. Memorabilia of one of the greatest experiences in my life. Losing it all in the fire was heartbreaking. I would like to thank everyone who donated to helping me rebuild, especially my classmates. It helped me realize that the fire burned some “stuff”, but the knowledge and fellowship that I got from AgForestry, it could not touch.”
Wade stands with Michael Crowder, who spearheaded the GoFundMe campaign
The Troutman home had housed four generations of family
The Pearl Hill fire left the Troutmans with only the clothes on their backs
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 October Donors
Bob (19) & Jane Brink
CoBank, ACB
Ted (11) & Pam (8) Durfey
Debbie (17) & Joe Frazier
Nate (39) & Erin Fulton
Pete (18) & Debbie Granger
Clay (30) & Rachel Hutchens
Lon (12) & Sheila Inaba
Jeff (20) & Diane Jones
Kevin (33) & Andrea Judkins
Mary (33) & Bruce McDonald
Katie (39) & Marc Nelson
Port of Port Angeles
John (36) & Marie Rylaarsdam
Norm (9) & Helen Schaaf
Lori Stonecipher (34) & Steve Schuck Julie Tarara (25)
Kathy (37) & Jack Troupe
Kelly (19) & Ann Tucker
Geraldine (15) & Tracy Warner
Gary Whiteaker (1)
Jim (1) & Beth Wilcox
Paul (14) & Lorri Williams
Kyle (39) & Kate Womach