B & R Crop Care

B & R Aerial Crop Care

B&R Aerial Crop Care, Inc is owned by Chris & Becky Eskildsen. It is located just 1 mile east of Connell at what was once the City municipal Airport and is now privately owned. B&R Aerial Crop Care, Inc., was started in 1977 by Bernie Eskildsen and Richard Griffits, which is how it was named B & R. In the beginning, B&R started out flying off a dirt strip of Feathers Thompson on FishHook-Elgin Rd about 10 miles East of Connell. About 15 years ago, Chris took over the company from his father. Bernie continued to fly for the company as a pilot up until 3 years ago. For a couple years, Chris and Becky’s son, Jase, flew for company. So at one time there were 3 generations of Eskildsen pilots flying for B&R. As Chris’s grandfather also flew but mostly for fun, it can be rightfully claimed that they have had 4 generations of pilots.

Chris is 1 of the 2 full time pilots. In addition, they also have two full time ground crew–one of which is Craig Millage who is a master of all things and is also a certified Airplane Mechanic. Becky does all of the office work.

B&R Crop Care mainly sprays fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and foliar feeds to conventional and organic crops. They also do dry seeding and fertilizing. They fly about a 30 mile radius of Connell but they also have a strip in Mattawa to fly around and land at too. They work from just before sun-up to sundown during their busy season. They can fly and work up to 6 days as week. They don’t fly on Sunday as they want to have one consistent day off for their employees.

One thing that the public doesn’t always realize is that aerial applicators in general, and something B&R Crop Care focuses on specifically, is that pilots are very aware of what and where people, animals and objects are at and around when they are making an application. They are very conscious about wind direction, drift, and the safety of those close by. Pilots will go out of their way to go around if they see people nearby. So, if you see an aerial applicator doing his work, please don’t get close as they are most likely aware of you and will not be able to finish their job.

B&R has the pleasure of working closely with our area’s farmers and feel that they are an important support role in our area’s food supply and agriculture community. B&R Aerial Crop Care, Inc. is located at 409 Airport Lane, Connell, WA 99326. You can contact Chris or Becky at (509) 234-7791 or by emailing them at br.cropcare@gmail.com

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Connell Community Club

Our Chamber of Commerce includes local clubs and organization in addition to businesses – one of these is the Connell Community Club which was formerly the Lions Club in Connell. The Connell Community Club currently has approximately 25 members that meet monthly at Michael Jays. They have a Board of Directors and officers including: Helen Tobin, President; Carol Lindner, Vice-President; Terry Eagy, Secretary; and Laurie Mandler, Treasurer. These officers and Larry Smith, member-at-large, make up their Governing Board. Members can join throughout the year but the main membership drive/renewal is at the beginning of the year – membership is $10 each or $20 per family.

The Connell Community Club’s primary focus is to offer high school scholarships to graduating seniors each year. In addition to that, though, they have realized other important ways to serve our community as a whole. Several years ago, they assumed the organization of the Connell Winterfest Celebration in December which brings the community together to celebrate the holiday season. Their Chili Fries by the Fireside (Winterfest activity) was a great hit last year and they are expecting it will be even better this year! They also host the Annual First Responders BBQ in the fall – this year will be the 3rd year that they have organized a dinner to support and thank our community volunteers and heroes….a long overdue recognition that has been very well received and provides an opportunity for our community to show their appreciation. This coming year they plan on moving the event to the Community Center to accommodate the ever-growing crowd and is scheduled for Tuesday, September 18th.

In October 2017, the Community Club hosted the first ever “Candidates Meet &Greet”. This type of forum provides an opportunity for community members and political candidates to gather together to share ideas, thoughts, and opinions about the future of our local political issues. The event will take place again this fall on October 2nd at the Connell Community Center.

Community Club members organize various fundraisers to raise money for the scholarships and other community funded projects that come up throughout the year. In previous years, one of the big fundraiser activities has been providing cookies and goodies, coffee, hot chocolate and water, by donation, to travelers at the Rest Area on Highways 26 and 395 on the busy weekends of WSU Dad’s weekend in the fall and Mom’s weekend in the spring. One of the current projects they are lending support to, in conjunction with the Greater Connell Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Connell and Connell Downtown Development, is replacing the current well-used Community Bulletin Board at the Post Office with a new and much larger constructed one that will better serve the growing needs of our community. The group also schedules and advertises for the All City-Wide Yard Sale that takes place each June. They also have cleaned up graffiti in Connell and do other random “Good Neighbor” activities around town.

They are a very active group and have a lot of fun supporting this community.They recently just got Connell Community Club t-shirts that will help identify them as a group at the community functions. They welcome everyone to join in and see for yourselves what a great time they have! Connell Community Club meets the 3rd Thursday of the month at Michael Jays at 6:30pm, or if you want to come for dinner, come and join them at 5:30pm. If you have any questions or would like information on new memberships, please contact President Helen Tobin at 509-318-0113.

Lamb Weston

Lamb Weston

Lamb Weston first started in 1950 as a family business when F. Gilbert “Gib” Lamb purchased a defunct co-op plant in Weston, Or and incorporated it. He renovated the facility to become the most advanced pea processing plant in the US. In 1960, the water gun knife was invented – the first device to slice French fries in a high-velocity water flow – this quickly became the worldwide industry standard. They would have many inventions to come over the years. At Lamb Weston, they apply their inventive thinking to everything they do.

In 1961, Lamb Weston officially entered the domestic potato processing market with the construction of a new processing plant in American Falls, ID. Over the next 10 years, the company developed additional processing plants in Connell and Quincy, WA and Hermiston, OR. New products were introduced over the years as well as new processing plants and expansions. They’ve earned and continue to earn – a reputation as an industry pioneer and one of the world’s leading suppliers of frozen potato products.

One of the largest employers in our community, the Connell plant employees approximately 375 people. The Connell plant used to fluctuate in the number of employees from harvest season to winter season but that is not longer the case. The Connell Lamb Weston plant runs approximately 300 days a year processing about 1,100 tons of potatoes a day! There are about 25 growers from the Columbia Basin and surrounding area that sell their crop to Lamb Weston. Offering many different potato products in their line – they have 30 different cut styles and 150 products. A few of the favorite products are lattice chips, crinkle cut fries, diced potatoes, and natural fries. Lamb Weston products are shipped all over the US as well as internationally. On August 14th, Connell Lamb Weston will be celebrating their 50th anniversary.

Visit their website lambweston.com for more information on products, recipes, resources, and the history and story of Lamb Weston. Lamb Weston is located at 811 West Gum Street on the south side of Connell. The office phone is 234-5511. They are open Monday through Friday from 8am – 5pm.

Photo provided by: Lamb Weston-Connell