Yes, Gold Dust did hold it’s annual Open House Field Day this year!
Despite an on-going drought and smoke being blown into the Basin from fires in California and from the other side of the hill near Grants Pass, Gold Dust’s 15th Annual Open House Field Day went off without a hitch.
This year the events kicked off on August 10th with dinner held at Bill and Jan’s home overlooking the Malin area. Ken Hibbard, of RaboBank, treated their guests to an appetizer of fresh, grilled ahi along with a variety of cevechi, chips and other snacks provided by Jan to hold everyone’s appetites until Walker Brothers’ very own Bart Crawford got the steak fingers going. The dinner before the Open House Field Day has become a low-key way to welcome our guests, and is as much a part of the tradition as shots of Crown on the golf course.
The next morning, Walker Brothers’ and Gold Dust’s guests were treated to breakfast at Mike & Wanda’s in Tulelake, California. Greg Addington, Klamath Water Users Association, updated the group about the Klamath Basin’s water situation and how the drought is affecting area farmers. Following Greg was Paul Sproule, who talked about agriculture, food safety and how much ag ground is getting swallowed up by urbanization. While everyone enjoyed breakfast, Katie Walker, gave a presentation about the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As you recall, last year Gold Dust and our guests raised $9,000 and 150,000 airline miles. That granted quite a few wishes!
After breakfast was over, our guests made their way to our Malin potato packing shed where they could investigate the chipping potatoes we had on display for the field trials as well as tour the shed. Just outside the shed, John Faus of HoneyComb put on a demonstration with one of the lastest AgDrone systems. As the drone flew the alfalfa field, our guests could visit with Walker Brothers’ and Gold Dust’s managers while grabbing a new ball cap with our new logo for Gold Dust Organics.
Then we were off to our farm at the Running Y Ranch for field tours. Though the drought has affected many farms throughout the Klamath Basin, we’ve been fortunate enough to secure most of the Running Y and it’s rich, dark soil. Between the soil, the sun, the favorable rain storms and good irrigation, the spuds John, Caleb and Sachin pulled from the ground were excellent examples of the quality of potato we’re able to grow. Following the field tours, everybody stopped for lunch at the Running Y Ranch headquarters.
Of course it wouldn’t be a proper Open House Field Day without a round of golf! Since we were already in that neck of the woods, everybody headed to the Running Y Resort to see which team could best the others in our annual golf scramble. In the spirit of last year’s giving, one hole was dedicated for fundraising efforts to benefit Make-A-Wish. Golfers could elect to buy a shot of Fireball, or, if they landed on the green, they’d get shot for free!
Toward 6 pm that evening, Gold Dust’s guests began to trickle in from the green where they were treated to dinner and drinks. Bill and John thanked everybody who could make it, as well as recognized Lexi Crawford for her efforts in putting the day together. Weston took the opportunity of having everyone gathered to make another pitch for Make-A-Wish, and again, our guests were generous. Then Tricia and Lexi stepped up for the most anticipated part of the evening – to find out which team won and who took home the trophies!
Every year, we have a great time showing potato packing shed and our fields to our customers and the partners who have helped us become the companies we have. We hope everyone who was able to attend had a good time, and thank you to everybody who traveled from far and near to join us. We look forward to seeing you next year!