Don Ast Joins The Rotary Club of Forest Grove
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From left to right: Don Ast, President Amy Tracewell, Membership Chair Evelyn Orr, John Crosley.
The Rotary Club of Forest Grove is proud to welcome Don Ast as its newest member!
Don was inducted into the club during a ceremony at the club’s weekly meeting on Nov. 7. He was sponsored for induction by John Crosley.
Don is the owner of Ast Hay Company, which specializes in selling grass and hay products in the specialty forage market, buying grass straw that does not fit the finely defined requirements to export. He sells grass and hay to clients in California, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Taiwan and Korea.
A native of Hemet, California, Don married as a senior in high school and went on to study at Mt. San Antonio College in Pomona, California, majoring in agriculture and business. After a year driving long-haul truck, Don worked his way into a training and management role in his father’s business, which he took over upon his father’s death in 1971.
Don went on to partner with Anderson Hay Co. of Ellensburg, Washington, compressing bales and shipping those bales overseas. The president of the National Hay Association in 1988, Don spent five years developing a machine that cut bales into second and rebaled it into a package size that is required for exporting. The technology is in wide use today. He sold the export business in 1994 as his wife’s health went into further decline.
Don and his first wife adopted three Korean-American children and raised them in California before relocating to Idaho in 1981. She died in 2000 and Don eventually relocated to Forest Grove, where he married Peggy Boyd in 2006.
Both Don and his father were involved with Rotary in California in the 1960s and he is looking forward to returning to Rotary with our club.