By News-Register staff • 

Farmer Cruikshank inducted into hall of fame

Marcus Larson/News-Register##Farmer Dave Cruickshank in front of his recently planted hazelnut field.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Farmer Dave Cruickshank in front of his recently planted hazelnut field.

[Updated 2/2/17 5 p.m.]

When Dayton farmer Dave Cruickshank learned the next inductee into the Oregon Farmers’ Hall of Fame was from Yamhill County, he wondered who that could be.

It turned out to be Cruickshank himself — a third-generation farmer who considers himself “semi-retired,” but remains busy growing wheat, oats, alfalfa and grass seed on his Century Farm’s 165 acres.

He received the bureau’s highest honor last week at the Oregon Farm Bureau’s 84th annual meeting. He is the 31st inductee in the hall’s 21-year- history, and apparently the first from Yamhill County.

To be eligible, candidates must be nominated by their county farm bureau. And they must have at least 35 years of active involvement in the organization.
Cruickshank is “an active leader in conservation practices, land use policy, farmland protection and the preservation of Oregon’s rich rural history and culture,” said OFB President Barry Bushue.

He is a 40-year member and 10-time president of the Yamhill County Farm Bureau. He has served as a county board member for more than 25 years.
He has also served as a longtime voting delegate at the state convention and member of the state advisory committee. In addition, he has served on the Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation District’s board of directors since 1998, and is currently serving as its vice-chair. 

Cruickshank spent 10 years as a 4-H leader, starting as a youth in dairy. He has served many years as a Small Woodlands Association member and tour host. He has also served on the Farmers Co-Op Creamery board of directors.

He played a major role in the establishment of the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center. Many of the antique farm vehicles on display at the center were acquired by him, and he helped organize the annual planting and harvesting associated with the annual Farm Fest event.

In 2011, Cruickshank received the OFB’s Top Hand Award. He was named a SWCD Cooperator of the Year in 1996.

Larry Ouja, who heads the Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation District, said the farming community was proud and pleased to see one of its own honored. 
In addition to his own farm, and his Farm Bureau and YSWCD duties, Cruickshank has sponsored a woodland tour on his Dayton property for more than half a century, ensuring that new generations of local youth learn about ecology and land stewardship. 

“Dave has many community connections, and the information he provides to the conservation district as a result of his networking is very valuable,” Ouja said. But he noted, no one is likely to hear Cruickshank toot his own horn about the honor.

“Dave is a modest guy,” Oujua said. “He likes to keep a low profile.”

Cruickshank represents the third generation on the family farm. The operation was staked out by his grandfather, who immigrated to the U.S. from Scotland in the early 1900s. 

The honor caught him totally off guard.

“I was surprised,” he said. “I didn’t know that would happen.”