ALBANY — There’s an air of optimism floating throughout the 12th annual Willamette Valley Ag Expo at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center.

“People seem more upbeat,” said Jill Ingalls, who produces the event with her husband Scott. “I think farmers had a better year this year. There just a sense that things are getting better.”

There’s something for everyone, including a building featuring pre-1972 vintage tractors and other farm machinery, and several buildings filled with modern, computer-filled tractors, combines, grain trailers, field mowers and tillage equipment.

John Holbert was busy Tuesday morning telling potential buyers about the Porter Extreme Terrain Vehicles manufactured in Corvallis.

Holbert said the bright orange units are designed to replace several pieces of equipment acting as a dump trailer, utility tractor, side-by-side utility vehicle and skid steer.

“And they are designed to work on up to 45-degree slopes without tipping over,” Holbert said. “They’re becoming very popular with road and parks departments and are used to mow ditches and rights of way.”

Another popular feature is a rock picker that mounts to the front of the vehicle and, when full, can be emptied by hydraulics into a rear-mounted dump bed.

Spinning wool and dressed in a period costume, Cynthia Christensen was promoting the Yamhill County Historical Society & Museum in the antique equipment building.

“We’re here advertising all of the old equipment we have on display, plus our plowing day in the spring and fall harvest day,” Christensen said. “We also have about 2,000 students visit each year. We have a working sawmill and blacksmith shop.”

The society operates sites in Lafayette and on Highway 18 south of McMinnville.

“On Dec. 1, we’re going to dedicate our newly renovated one-room school house,” Christensen said. “It was built in 1877 and was donated by a local family.”

Christensen said the group has more than 400 members.

Delbert McLaughlin of Jefferson, Ron Marsh of Salem, and Larry and Gail Seal of Scio were selling raffle tickets for $1,000 and a handmade quilt to support the Oregon John Deere Club based in Brooks.

They were also taking orders for inscribed bricks — $150 and $250 each — to create a sidewalk in front of the club’s museum. They need about $15,000 to complete the project.

The club has 170 members who live in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Northern California.

Club members earned money in August by driving people transporters at the Willamette Country Music Festival.

If you go

What: 12th annual Willamette Valley Ag Expo

Where: Linn County Fair & Expo Center

When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m,. today; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday.

Admission: $4, includes coupon for $2 off daily lunch special. Free parking.

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