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National Hay Association meets in Seattle

Published on 01 October 2011
National Hay Assoc. Members

The National Hay Association held their 116th Annual Convention September 14-17, 2011, in Seattle, Washington.

A group with a long, rich history of both education and entertainment for their meetings, this year was no exception.

The conference began on Wednesday with a bus tour to Ward Rugh in Ellensburg. In b

usiness for over 70 years, the company is one of the largest exporters of timothy and other forage varieties, primarily to Japan. They also sell high-quality hay domestically to race horse owners, breeders, trainers, track operators and dairy farmers.

Thursday morning ushered in the annual golf tournament, this year held at the beautiful Newcastle Golf Club. Several prizes were awarded at the course, but the coveted Hunterwod Trophy was later presented to Joe Zizi, Mark Zizi, Tripp Hook and Doug Brickell, all from California.

Registration and a welcome reception were held later that evening to prepare for the educational portion of the meeting.

President and host Rollie Bernth welcomed attendees to the opening session and general meeting on Friday morning.

For the opening presentation, Mark Speckman, head coach for the Willamette University football team in Salem, Oregon and inspirational speaker, gave a very motivational talk about his life experiences and the quest for success.

Following some brief association business, attorney Norman Brock shared his knowledge about farm businesses, including LLCs and corporations.

After lunch, the group took a casual excursion tour to Pike Street Market and Elliott Bay.

Saturday morning meetings began with President-Elect Ron Bradtmueller introducing Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).

He discussed the independent trucking industry and some of the changes he has seen over the years and what the types of legislation may be coming in the future.

He was followed by a forage slide show "trip around the world" by Garry Lacefield from the University of Kentucky.

There was also open time for visiting with vendors and sponsors in the exhibit hall throughout the week.

Evening brought a reception and dinner where several awards were given. They included:

Hay Judging - Individual: 1st place - Charles Roff (Virginia); 2nd place - Bob Bishop (Florida); 3rd place - Frasier Crane (Washington)

Hay Judging - Team:
Gary Smith (South Dakota)
Rick Smith (Wisconsin)
Marla Gibbons (Colorado)
Raymond Bricker (Ohio)

Claude Riley Award:
Dick Carter (Arizona)

Haymaker Award:
Edward Hall (Colorado)

The week concluded with another presentation by Garry Lacefield, this one titled "Gratitude and Patriotism: A Personal Perspective" where he shared some of his  thoughts about the things in his life that have touched him over the years.

All who were in attendance would agree it was another very successful event for the National Hay Association. The 2012 meeting will be held in Naples, Florida. Be watching for details as they are made available and enjoy the slideshow below with photos from this year's event.  FG