Region 1 in Pendleton

I spent April 17-20 in Pendleton, Oregon. This was the host site for the Region I Conference of the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE). The Region I area is made up of 11 Western States: WY, UT, MT, AK, HI, WA, OR, CA, AZ, NV, and ID.

Don't know where Pendleton is: Umatilla County, OR.

And Pendleton is a very western town - home to the only remaining rodeos on grass - The Pendleton Round-up. We did a Calcutta style auction of the Blue Mountain Community College Rodeo Team and then had a skills competition competing by state. Oregon came in 3rd and 4th but I contend there was cheating by some other states.

We had lots of committee meetings, professional development and planning sessions. I didn't take any photos of that part. Someone did arrange a group photo of the Oregon crowd - on a hill, looking into the wind and rain at the wind farm. We all look great *sarcasm*. Oregon has some of the best people!

This is an interior shot of Hamley's - where a lot of my "networking' took place during this conference. If we had a spot like this in Corvallis, I would be just a tiny bit happier.

The area we were in is known for being dry. They get 6-12 inches a rain per year. They received 1/2 inch of rain on the day we took tours of the agriculture in the area. I was there for 1/12th of their annual rainfall. And I was hoping to get out of the Valley for a while to dry out. Oh well.

I had never seen much of the agriculture in this area - except from the Interstate or a local high school campus. The Hermiston area is famous for watermelons and we saw one of the largest mint farms in the country out the rainy school bus windows. We saw dryland wheat and a lot of CRP land that is too rocky or too steep to farm.

We toured Lorenzen's feedlot. It might be the end of the line, but what a view.

We saw a wind farm operating 652 wind turbines. It was loud... but again - what a view. You could see into Washington State and Idaho.

This was the view from the hotel on one of the days we were stuck inside in sessions.
The Blue Mountains are gorgeous.

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