Who is OPS Inc.?
A little about Us...
Oregon Poultry Swap Inc. is a registered domestic non-profit in the State of Oregon, operated 100% by volunteers who are dedicated to our mission to provide commerce opportunities and education to those in the Pacific Northwest. Through these efforts, we are able to bring together a variety of agricultural enthusiasts, hobbyists and artisans to share their animals and wares to the communities we serve, as well as providing educational opportunities on a wide range of topics.
"To provide education and commerce opportunities to poultry, livestock and agricultural enthusiasts in our communities through organized events."
Our beginnings are humble. The first event was held in a small parking lot in Albany, Oregon in October 2009 with about a dozen people who came together to “swap” extra animals and make new “poultry” friends. Now, each Spring we host over 100 vendors and bring 1000s of people from all over the Pacific Northwest to the Poultry and Homesteading Faire in Corvallis, Oregon at the Benton County Event and Fairgrounds.
The event in 2020 was supposed to our last event but the current situation in the world (Covid-19) gave me pause to reflect. I have watched people coming together to help others, neighbors and complete strangers, get through these times by making masks, delivering food to their doors, reaching out and sharing whatever they can and is needed. I see more and more people planting gardens and gathering backyard chickens. Others are learning to crochet, sew or spin wool. Some are making soap and canning and drying their own food for the first time. People everywhere in this time of "Great Pause" are going back to basics, to their roots - creating simple and more self sustaining lifestyles, and they are doing it as a community.
Many of us might not possess these skills or have the ability to fully create a self sustaining lifestyle in our homes or lives. This is where the Poultry and Homesteading Faires come into play. We have created an event, a network of people who do possess these skills. Our Pacific Northwest vendors are from many different backgrounds – poultry and livestock breeding, bee keepers, homesteaders, artisans, gardeners, local gardening clubs and 4H groups. We provide this collective community a way to share their products, animals and information. In addition to commerce, we stress biosecurity, agricultural and homesteading education.
My final reflection was it is vital this event continue. Our community needs this event but like others, we must simplify and get back to our roots, our humble beginnings. In 2021, we will be "reinventing" the Poultry and Homesteading Faire in late May to reflect this simpler approach by creating an indoor/outdoor market atmosphere. We will continue to maintain the high standards we have become known for - quality handmade items and healthy animals - while promoting safety, biosecurity and education.
Our Give Back Program will continue to give back to the local community. We act locally and think globally. In lieu of an entrance fee, we ask everyone attending our events bring food donations for our established partnership with Mary’s River Gleaners in Corvallis. They provide food and supplies to 900+ individuals in the area. Thinking globally, we ask you to support the efforts of Patrick’s Children Organization by purchasing handmade items from Uganda available at the event. This organization brings economic assistance to Uganda in the form of continued education for children, basic human supplies and water for drinking and agriculture. Our Scholarship Vendor Program assists those who have marketable items to share but need financial help in getting established. Contact us for more information on this program.
On behalf of everyone at Oregon Poultry Swap Inc., I wish to thank all those who have continued to support us over the years. I also want to welcome those new to our events and hope you will become even more involved in our organization.
Laura J. Castle
President, Founder and Event Organizer
A little diddy about our Events...
(Remake of the Little Mermaid song)
OLook at this stuff
Isn't it neat?
Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?
Wouldn't you think I'm the girl
The girl who has everything?
Look at this trove
How many wonders can one farm hold?
Looking around here you think
Sure, she's got everything
I've got chickens and rabbits a-plenty
I've got ducks and geese galore
You want Seramas?
I've got twenty!
But who cares?
No big deal
I need more!
I wanna be where the people are
I wanna see, wanna see them shopping
Walking around, petting those - what do you call 'em?
Oh – sheep!!
Walking too slow, you don't get too far
Quickly we must go to see it all, dancing
Strolling along seeing the - what's that word again?
Out where they sqawk,
Out where they peck
Out where they stay all day in the sun
Wanderin' free - wish I could be
Part of that world
What would I give if I could find some honey?
What would I pay to grab wool and yarn?
Bet'cha there they understand
Bet they don't laugh at chicken diapers!
Bright young children eyes wide open
Ready to stand
And ready to know what the animals know
Ask 'em my questions and get some answers
What's a llama and why does it - what's the word?
When's it my turn?
Wouldn't I love, love to explore that arena and more?
Out of the city
Wish I could be
Part of that world....
Out of the city
Wish I could be
Part of your world
Give Back Director, Artisan Liaison, Corporate Secretary
and Part-Time Diddy Lyricist
Oregon Poultry Swap Inc.
Board of Directors and Officers
Laura Castle - Founder, President, Event Organizer
Christy Henderson - Vice President, Corporate Secretary, Give Back Director, Artisan Liaison
Steve Castle - Treasurer
Full Time Staff Volunteers
Lisa Ohling, Addison Nishijima, Elisha Young, Ginger Ferguson, Lisa McOwen, Jessalynn Jarvis, Charlotte Braxton, Samantha Riley, Andriea Oshel