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Volume V - Issue 1
Celebrating 125 years of agricultural progress
I am pleased to invite you to celebrate 125 years of agricultural progress in Oregon! I serve as Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences AND as the Director of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station. The position of director originated from a law signed on February 25, 1889. The Hatch Act authorized direct payment of federal grant funds to each state to establish an agricultural experiment station at the land grant institution in each state.
Today, the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station has programs at Corvallis as well as at 11 branch stations in 15 locations across the state. We are still at work solving problems to help Oregonians, the economy, and our world.
With pride, I want to share with you the Winter 2014 issue of Oregon’s Agricultural Progress magazine, our semi-annual report to the people of the state of Oregon. This special issue chronicles our contributions and discoveries over the last 125 years at our branch experiment stations. There are great stories and stunning photographs about each one of our branch stations. Read Oregon's Agricultural Progress
In keeping with modern times, if you have a new tablet or smart phone you can read the magazine on your device by first downloading the OAP app: http://oregonprogress.oregonstate.edu/winter-2014/apps
If you have comments, here is a link to leave your feedback, I’d value knowing your thoughts.
Daniel J. Arp
Reub Long Professor and Dean
College of Agricultural Sciences
Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station
Bill Braunworth named Head, Department of Horticulture
Bill Braunworth has been selected to head the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University, following a national search.
Since 1992, Braunworth has served OSU as the program leader of the Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Extension Program. As program leader, he developed greater budget capacity and flexibility and worked to preserve the Extension horticulture program in Multnomah, Lane, Linn and Lincoln counties.
In 2001, he led a 30-member team of scientists from three universities that reported the impacts from reallocation of water in the Klamath Basin.
Braunworth, who earned a doctorate in horticulture from OSU in 1986, has worked as an agronomist on water use and management in Egypt and as a horticultural researcher in Malawi. He served as the interim department head in horticulture after Anita Azarenko left the department in 2012 to become associate dean of OSU’s graduate school.
Winter: Oregon State University Snow Day 2013
(Ryan Creason) Freezing temperatures and significant snow accumulation forced Oregon State University to close its main campus in Corvallis early on Friday and all day Monday, December 9, including the Valley Library. Ryan Creason of Extension and Experiment Station Communications produced this video capturing the delights of the day right before Winter finals week.
Hermiston Partners with OSU for Industrial & Ag Development
(City of Hermiston) The Hermiston City Council has approved extending the urban growth boundary to place the local agricultural experiment station within the city limits. The city will build a $1.25 million water main to the facility as part of its deal with Oregon State University's Agricultural Research and Extension Center. The 1.5-mile line will bring the city's water system to within 300 feet of the Cook Industrial Site. The site currently has enough water for light use but not enough to support a heavy user, such as a food processing plant. (Read more...)
OSU Board of Trustees elects initial leadership
The Oregon State University Board of Trustees, in its first meeting since being confirmed by the Oregon Senate in November, on Thursday unanimously elected Patricia “Pat” Reser of Beaverton, Ore., as initial chairwoman.
The board also voted Darald “Darry” Callahan of San Rafael, Calif., as initial vice-chairman. The positions are being listed as “initial” until the board becomes official under state law on July 1.
OSU surpasses fundraising milestone of $1 billion
Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray announced on January 31 that the university’s first comprehensive campaign has surpassed its $1 billion fund-raising goal – 11 months ahead of schedule.
Ray made the announcement at his annual “State of the University” address in Portland to an audience of more than 600 business, political, civic and education leaders, alumni and friends of the university. He encouraged contributions through the remainder of the year to further deepen the university’s impact on students, the state, nation and world. Gifts to The Campaign for OSU now total $1,012,601,000. (The speech by President Ray)
New project works to raise the profile of the world's littlest bear
The world's least-known bear also happens to be the smallest: sun bears (Helarctos malayanus), so called for the yellowish horseshoe mark on its chest, are found across Southeast Asia. But despite their telltale markings, super-long tongues, and endearing cuteness, sun bears remain little-studied and little-known compared to many of the region's other large mammals. Now, a new project is working to raise the profile of the sun bears of Borneo—Survival of the Sun Bears—which are a smaller subspecies of the mainland animals. (Read more...)
Global Experiences Fund
Projects such as the sun bears are made possible by the College of Agricultural Sciences Global Experiences Fund. The Fund, established through the OSU Foundation, is intended to help introduce and broaden international perspectives--especially those related to agriculture--in the College’s teaching, extension, and research programs. Support is appreciated. (Read more...)
Program Highlight - Oregon Wine Research Institute
Oregon Wine Research Institute 2013 Year in Review
- The OWRI engages Industry and University partners through
- technical groups
- Connecting research scientists to the future generation of industry and academics
- OWRI research was presented locally, nationally, and internationally
- Thank you and farewell to Gabriel Balint, Extension Viticulturist, SOREC
- Wishing you a safe and happy New Year from the Oregon Wine Research Institute!
A non-traditional graduate student
(by Erin Martin) Even while Signe Danler was working as a real estate agent in Corvallis, her heart was always with plants, gardening, and sustainable landscaping. A Master Gardener since 1995, Danler spent much of her free time working in her own garden and volunteering in gardens around Oregon. She began studying botany at Linn Benton Community College over 20 years ago, but life got in the way, so she made do as a graphic designer, and and she later moved into a real estate career. But opportunity arose in 2011 -- Danler was now eligible for grants to assist in paying for her education. (Read more...)
Clark Meat Science Center retail store
Now that we're in winter term, a reminder that the Clark Meat Science Center’s retail store is open every Friday, from 1:00-5:30 p.m. Located off of Campus Way, behind the Motor Pool, the meat lab offers a variety of meat products developed and crafted by OSU students. Products include fresh retail cuts, fresh and cooked sausages, hickory smoked bacon, jerky, and dry-cured products. For more information, including pricing and availability, call 541-737-1927.
Ag Honors Scholarships
The College of Agricultural Sciences awarded 42 undergraduates $82,600 in scholarships for the 2013/2014 school year. Donations for some of these scholarships were raised through The Campaign for OSU, the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. It has raised more than $860 million toward its $1 billion goal, including more than $145 million in scholarship and fellowship support for OSU students. Learn more at campaignforosu.org (List of recipients)
Corvallis woman, Nicole Schrock, places third in national rodeo queen competition.
(Gazette-Times) A Corvallis High School graduate and Oregon State University student placed third in the Miss Rodeo America Pageant. Nicole Schrock, a 24-year-old double major in bioresource research and agriculture education at OSU, was announced as the pageant’s second runner-up at the conclusion of the week-long competition.
November Student of the Month: Raven Waldron
Participation in Student Organizations
Raven says attending the SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) National Convention as a freshman opened many doors for her. She did some networking with professionals and learned about opportunities for minorities in science, such as the University of Utah Native American Research Internship Program, and programs at other institutions. Knowing about these programs early will help her to be prepared to apply.
Raven is an Honors student in BioResource Research and expects to graduate in June 2017.
December Student of the Month: Zachary Van Hoesen
Zach observes: I’ve spent an immense amount of time under the impression that leadership was garnered through a position and only then would someone be considered a leader. Although I’m currently in possession of several leadership roles: Philanthropy chair and historian for my fraternity, vice president of the Young Cattlemen’s Association, a local church volunteer, etc. I’m convinced the strongest and most effective leaders are forged through service. My experiences last summer have facilitated tremendous strides of personal learning and just as a surgeon can be a leader in the medical community by using skills to serve his patients, I too will lead by serving the less fortunate.
Zach is a Pre-Vet Animal Sciences student and expects to graduate in June 2016.
January Student of the Month: Anthony Dulaney
Anthony has been an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Mike Penner’s lab working on membrane-‐assisted electrolysis to recover caustic soda from alkali processing. This technique has utility in food, animal feed, pulping and other bio-‐product industries. He has learned to be systematic in approaching a complex system using the scientific method in an integrated way.
He has had the experience of applying for funding of his research projects twice, and received OSU’s Richard Scanlan Undergraduate Scholarship, which helps to support his research effort.
Anthony is earning a double-‐degree in Food Science and Technology and Innovation Management and expects to graduate in Spring 2014.
Science through a microphone
(OSU Stories) Graduate research may seem like a strange topic for the radio. Blueberry root rot disease and applied economics in transportation may seem even stranger, but these are the topics that guests of “Inspiration Dissemination” bring to the table. The KBVR talk show that friends Joseph Hulbert and Zhian Kamvar have created really is an inspiration for researchers and listeners alike. (Read more...) Inspiration Dissemination website
OSU MANNRS receives gift from Northwest Farm Credit Services
Northwest Farm Credit Services has donated $5,000 donation to the OSU MANNRS chapter. This is in support of students attending the national MANRRS conference.
URISC: Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship and Creativity Awards
The Research Office has announced the awards for the Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship and Creativity (URISC) Winter and/or Spring 2013-14 solicitation. Three proposals from CAS students were selected for funding:
- Schenk, Erin [Major: Food Science and Technology, University Honors College] (Faculty Project Advisor: Juyun Lim, Dept. of Food Science and Technology, College of Agricultural Sciences): “Effect of Zero-and-Low Calorie Sweeteners on Retronasal Odor Enhancement”
- Stokes, Jocelyn [Major: Fisheries and Wildlife] (Faculty Project Advisor: Nicole Duplaix, Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife, College of Agricultural Sciences): “Behavioral Observation Study on Borean Sun Bears”
- Ziaie, Navid [Major: Microbiology and BioResource Research, University Honors College] (Faculty Project Advisor: Luiz Bermudez, Dept. of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine): “Understanding Transmission of Mycobacterium avium through the use of C. elegans”
Fishful thinking: Top five reasons mermaids can’t exist
Sheanna Steingassis a graduate student at Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute studying the behavioral ecology of pinnipeds.
“Mermaids are real- I saw it on Animal Planet!”
No, you didn’t. That ‘documentary’ was in fact a new generation of fictional media called a ‘mockumentary’, or as Animal Planet puts it, ‘docudrama.’ It’s like “This is Spinal Tap” for marine biology. And they admit that. http://realscreen.com/2013/08/07/discovery-defends-shark-week-special/ However, people took the show so seriously that in order to deal with massive amounts of inquiries, NOAA had to issue an official statement that, to their knowledge, mermaids aren’t real. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/mermaids.html
Small Oregon chicken producers see surge in demand
(Oregonian) Randy and Sarah Walker opened their booth at the Newport Farmers Market Saturday about 9 a.m. as usual, selling packages of pasture-raised poultry, lamb and pork. In an hour and a half, customers had snapped up all of their chickens.
That's a first for the Walkers and marks a new trend. During the past few weeks, they've seen a surge in demand. A co-op in Corvallis that buys their poultry also stepped up orders this month, forcing the Walkers to butcher up to 60 chickens a week, or twice as many as usual.
Since small producers have fewer customers, if they do have a problem, it’s easier to contain, said Lauren Gwin, a small farm expert at Oregon State University. (Read more...)
Spread of stinkbug alarms growers, scientists
(OPB, Northwest News Network) Researchers say the population really seems to have taken off this year. With the approach of winter, these stink bugs are leaving the fields and may just crawl into your home. One of the ways scientists are following the spread of the non-native stink bug is by setting traps. There are four traps at the edge of a blueberry field at Oregon State University’s North Willamette research farm.
Eco-briefs | Those emerald shores just might be toxic
(Boulder Weekly) Cyanobacteria, some of the oldest microorganisms on Earth and the bacteria believed to have produced the oxygen that made life possible, are turning against us as they adapt to a changing climate. Researchers at Oregon State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released findings in the latest issue of Science that the proportion of cyanobacteria in algal blooms is increasing, and subsequently increasing the toxicity of freshwater lakes and estuaries, threatening aquatic organisms, ecosystems and drinking water. (Read more...)
Research says onion bulbs pose no E. coli risk
(Capital Press) Research by an Oregon State University scientist shows there is no risk of E. coli contamination from dry bulb onions.
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., will carry the results of that research with him when he meets with top Food and Drug Administration officials Nov. 13 to try to convince them to alter their proposed new quality standards for agricultural water.
The research by Clint Shock, director of OSU’s Malheur experiment station near Ontario, was conducted after FDA released proposed new food safety standards for produce farms. (Read more in the Capital Press or Argus Observer).
New study identifies five distinct humpback whale populations in North Pacific
The first comprehensive genetic study of humpback whale populations in the North Pacific Ocean has identified five distinct populations – at the same time a proposal to designate North Pacific humpbacks as a single “distinct population segment” is being considered under the Endangered Species Act. Results of the study are published in the journal Marine Ecology – Progress Series. It was supported by the National Fisheries and Wildlife Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and the Marine Mammal Endowment at Oregon State University. (Read more...)
Online access to spotted wing drosophila genome could accelerate research
Oregon State University hopes to aid research on the fruit-damaging spotted wing drosophila by providing online access to the fly's newly sequenced genome.
OSU anticipates that scientists will use its new SpottedWingFlyBase website to develop ways to combat the invasive pest. Since its launch in November, the site has been used by researchers in dozens of countries, said Vaughn Walton, an entomologist with the OSU Extension Service.
Biodiversity as protection goal in environmental risk assessment for EU agro-ecosystems (EFSA)
Nearly 100 people from a wide range of scientific backgrounds, including many risk assessors and risk managers, gathered in Parma, Italy, to discuss how to establish a harmonised approach to implementing protection goals in the environmental risk assessment of regulated products and invasive alien species. Paul Jepson, from Oregon State University, examined “The role of population modelling in the assessment of recovery in ERA”, using case studies from the USA to illustrate how farmers can limit pesticide use and reduce the area of impact of pesticides in agricultural landscapes. (Read more...)
Editorial: Research bears out growers’ beliefs
(Bend Bulletin) Bulb onions, you see, are cured in the field before they’re ever sent to market, a process that an Oregon State University scientist has found leaves the onions E. coli free. In addition, the papery outer skin is virtually always removed before the onions are eaten..
Scientists complete genetic fingerprint of pest
A group of scientists has published the genome and accompanying sequence data for the spotted wing drosophila, a serious pest of berries and soft fruit. - See more at: http://www.thepacker.com/fruit-vegetable-news/crops-markets/Scientists-complete-genetic-fingerprint-of-pest-234507881.html#sthash.eHKjDhdl.dpuf
(The Packer) A group of scientists has published the genome and accompanying sequence data for the spotted wing drosophila, a serious pest of berries and soft fruit. “Scientists from all over the world are interested in knowledge locked inside the fly’s genetic material,” Vaughn Walton, an Oregon State University entomologist, said in the release.
New compounds discovered that are hundreds of times more mutagenic
Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered novel compounds produced by certain types of chemical reactions – such as those found in vehicle exhaust or grilling meat - that are hundreds of times more mutagenic than their parent compounds which are known carcinogens.
These compounds were not previously known to exist, and raise additional concerns about the health impacts of heavily-polluted urban air or dietary exposure. It’s not yet been determined in what level the compounds might be present, and no health standards now exist for them.
The findings were published in December in Environmental Science and Technology, a professional journal.
Bounty and Community – in the City and in the Town
To celebrate and be inspired by agricultural bounty and by people who are part of food and agriculture communities, the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University is organizing its 32nd annual Art About Agriculture exhibition for 2014, embracing artistic perspectives on the theme, Agricultural Bounty and Community in the City and in the Town. The College convened a committee of art professionals to nominate artists living in the Pacific Northwest for this invitational.
The College invited the fifteen artists listed below to participate in the exhibition, and asked them – in creating and selecting their art – to consider people, places for coalescing around the availability of food and agricultural products, and concepts relevant to agricultural bounty and community in cities, towns, and villages.
College of Agricultural Sciences
Biological and Ecological Engineering
OSU Agricultural Executive Council
OSU Department of Horticulture
Central Oregon Agricultural Research Center
OSU Superfund Research Program
OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
OSU Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences
Blog: Oregon’s People, Places, & Society
Recent posts have covered topics such as:
- Achieving the Governor’s 40-40-20 goals for education (see below)
- Economic success in Hood River County!? What’s replicable for other counties?
- The rise of small towns in Oregon
The Oregon Small Farm News (Vol. IX No. I Winter 2014)
This edition features:
* OSU Creates New Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems
* Michael Ableman: Keynote Speaker for 2014 OSU Oregon Small Farms Conference
* 2014 Oregon Small Farms Conference Schedule (online registration is open)
* Small-Scale Poultry Processing: Mobile & Modular
* The Competitive Advantage of "Food from Somewhere"
* Fodder for Forage: Fact, Folly, Fable or Fabulous?
* New Food Safety Rules: What's Next?
* Cornell Meat Locker Pilot Project
* Grow the Coast 2013
Industrial hemp in Oregon
(Oregonian) Russ Karow, a crop and soil scientist at Oregon State University, told the gathering of enthusiastic hemp supporters to have realistic expectations. Oregon’s climate, irrigation demands and the economics of farming will factor into farmers’ decisions about whether to farm hemp, he said. (Read more...)
Are caterpillars on the march in your backyard?
(Oregonian) Silvia Rondon, who is an Extension Associate Professor with Oregon State University, says this is the first time in eight years working at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center that she has fielded calls about caterpillars. (Read more...)
Harvest, weed prune for winter
(Oregonian) “Speaking for me, I’m celebrating the break from vegetable gardening that winter provides – it’s time to clean up and look ahead,” said Weston Miller, horticulturist for the Oregon State University Extension Service.“As an avid vegetable gardener, I am anticipating applying what I’ve learned in the garden for next year’s crops.” (Read more...)
Rooftop gardens are the future of farming
(Statesman Journal by Al Shay) So many of our horticulture students at Oregon State University are enthralled with the thought of becoming organic farmers despite the fact there seems to be an overabundance in the Willamette Valley already.
I encourage them to look at the new urban environment, you know the one that covers only 2 to 3 percent of the earth’s surface but consumes nearly 70 percent of its resources. This particular model also predicts that the urban environment is poised to house and accommodate the needs of seven out of every 10 inhabitants by 2050. I recently examined a rooftop gardening operation on the east coast and was simply amazed at what they are doing. (Read more...)
Faculty and Staff
In Memoriam: Robert Gene Anthony
Robert Gene Anthony of Corvallis passed away on Dec. 21, 2013.
Bob so cherished nature that he dedicated his career to conserving wildlife and the natural environment. He headed the U.S. Geological Survey’s Oregon Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit at OSU before he retired in 2010 as a Full Professor. He was internationally renowned for his expertise in wildlife ecology, population analysis, and environmental contaminants.
Among his academic accomplishments was serving as major advisor for 46 Master of Science and doctoral graduate students in the field of wildlife ecology. In recent years, Bob probably was best known for his research on Northern Spotted Owls and Bald Eagles. Bob was president of the Oregon Chapter of The Wildlife Society in 1981, and president of The Wildlife Society, an international professional society, during 1997-98.
In Memoriam: John Bruce Hays
John B. Hays, 76, of Corvallis died Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, at his home. John was a faculty member in Environmental and Molecular Toxicology for 25 years, made extensive research and training contributions to the department, and few scientists exceeded his passion and dedication for his research and to the training of future generations of scientists. John will be greatly missed by all of us at OSU.
Among Dr. Hays many scholarly accomplishments and contributions to OSU, in 1991 he was one of the two founding Co-Directors of the BioResource Research (BRR) program, which is a biosciences major at OSU that is centered around student research. This novel and visionary BRR program which Dr. Hays founded still provides students with a strong background in physical and biological sciences and in-depth knowledge in a selected area of specialization to the student.
Alumni, Donors and Friends
A degree in beer, wine and kombucha
(The Atlantic) Led by Seth Cohen, who earned a doctorate in food science and tech from Oregon State University, Corvallis, the Appalachian State fermentation science program began about two years ago with more than $250,000 raised in state and federal grants. The first wave of about 70 students in the program will graduate by the end of the year. (Read more...)
Oregon State alums outfit Olympians
(Kevin Miller, OSU Stories) Many Beavers have participated in the Olympics over the years, but not one of them has done it the way four Oregon Staters and members of an iconic Oregon ranch family have done it for this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
About 5.6 million yards of yarn from Oregon’s vast Imperial Stock Ranch went into the sweaters designed by Ralph Lauren for the U.S. team’s appearance in the opening ceremonies.
Covering some 50 square miles of the high desert — about 120 miles east of Portland and 60 miles south of The Dalles — the ranch is owned by Dan and Jeanne Carver. He earned a bachelor’s in business administration technology from OSU in 1956, and she earned a master’s in physical education in 1979.
Son Blaine Carver runs the day-to-day operations; he earned his bachelor’s in agricultural business management from the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences program at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande in 2000, while Blaine’s wife Keelia, manager of the warehouse part of the yarn operation, graduated from the Corvallis campus in 2008 with dual bachelor degrees in chemistry and environmental science. (Read more...)
Kitumara receives 2013 Alumni Hall of Fame award from Oregon State University
(Argus Observer) Grant Kitamura, of Ontario, received the 2013 Alumni Hall of Fame Award from Oregon State University of Agricultural Sciences at a ceremony on Oct. 25 in Corvallis.
Kitamura’s roots are in farming where he learned all aspects of production agriculture from his father. He is very family oriented. He married Carole Morgan in 1976 and they have three children.
In 1980, Kitamura assumed the role of general manager for Murakami Produce, where he is the current managing member, and is also president of Kitamura Farm, Inc.
Kitamura has been a part of many boards and associations because everyone recognizes his ability to get things done and to provide leadership. Kitamura has played a pivotal role in the community, including his key support and dedicated service to the Malheur Agricultural and Extension Coalition, and his dedicated working for the passage of the county Service District funding of the OSU Malheur Experiment Station and Extension office.