Helping to ensure farmers’ financial survival

Rick Williams, a senior risk management specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), was raised on a wheat and barley farm near Reardan, Wash. And while he didn’t take over the family farm, he put in many hours on tractors and combines over the years, even after launching his career in…

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Educator works with region’s farmers, ranchers

Growing up on a farm near Uniontown, Wash., Mark Heitstuman determined his career goal early on. Active in his FFA group at Colton High School, he envisioned working in agricultural education. After high school graduation, Heitstuman attended Washington State University (WSU) and earned his degree in ag education in 1987. Understanding that continuing his studies…

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CTE teacher/FFA adviser continues family tradition

Enthusiasm emanates from Samantha Sims. Now in her sixth year of teaching career and technical education at Ellensburg High School (EHS), Sims has already amassed an impressive record of Washington state FFA champions and top-four finishers at the national competition level. Sims was recently awarded the 2023 National New Teacher of the Year by the…

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WAWG past president still farming in the Palouse

In an occupation that is far more a way of life than just a profession, Dave Harlow has something in common with many other farmers. “I remember not particularly enjoying some of the jobs on the farm in my youth, but a few years later, my perspective had changed. Now, I can’t imagine any career…

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‘Man of action’ takes on new role as PNWA president

Tom Kammerzell is a man of action who wears many hats. He approaches issues and projects by conducting thorough research and then instituting a plan to achieve specific goals. “If you aren’t playing offense, you are always going to be on defense, in a reactive mode,” he explained.  Kammerzell was raised in a homestead farm…

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Researcher centers work on maintaining, improving soil health

“I have the second-best job in the world,” said Aaron Esser, Washington State University (WSU) Cooperative Extension agent and the Adams County Extension director. “Farming is the best job of all, but I have the opportunity to be heavily involved in the ag industry, conducting research that improves how growers are operating their farms.” Born…

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From Peace Corps to hard-core soil conservationist

Founded in 1878, Lanefield Farms is located in southeast Lincoln County a few miles north of Sprague, Wash. Chris Laney is the fourth-generation owner/operator of the farm. Laney took the reins from his father, Bob Laney, in the 1970s. The farm was started by Laney’s great-grandfather, William Gaffney, who came west from Iowa. Laney’s paternal…

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T&S Sales celebrates 60 years in business

men in front of farm equipment

When Paul Schuyler and his wife, Hertha, founded T&S Sales in 1960, it was housed in a small office in the old Stockyards building on East Boone Avenue, a block from the current location at 3905 East Boone in Spokane, Wash. They would be proud to see what their business venture has grown into over…

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Research agronomist, station director retires

schillinger

Finding one’s career path can be difficult and circuitous. It certainly was that way for Bill Schillinger. His journey included 10 years of working in agricultural development around the world in Asia and Africa before landing the position that would define his lifetime of work. After 29 years of conducting research, overseeing projects and writing…

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Spokane’s ‘truck whisperer’

couple smiling

What do you get when you put together more than 150 years of experience in truck sales, service and maintenance? You get Class 8 Trucks in Spokane, Wash. Owner Marc Lange grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch near Garfield in Whitman County. He had the background and experience of working with trucks and…

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