Term needed: Summer 2018. The internship starts one week after spring term ends and ends one week before fall term begins.
Faculty mentor name: Javier Fernandez-Salvador
BES Facility: NWREC
Location (town) of internship: Aurora, OR
Hourly Salary: 10.50 Expected hours/week: 40
Student may be asked to work on weekends or outside of 8-5. Farm harvest and other data collection may start at 6 am on weekdays during hot summer days. Some data may need to be collected on Saturdays
Are Housing Benefits included in addition to hourly salary? Yes, A small stipend for housing can be provided to round up the total amount of hours worked and any remaining funding until the entire amount ($7000) is used between wages (40h/week for 3 months) and any remaining funds.
Student will have interaction with minors or access to hazardous chemicals. Student will need to complete a criminal background check.
Student will be operating vehicles or farm equipment/machinery. Student will need to submit a driving background.
The goal of this project is to conduct research in organic fresh market, day-neutral strawberry production systems to determine the best practices for existing and future growers. Specific objectives include determining techniques for organic plug/transplant production, nutrient management, and row density and spacing, as well as implementing new season extension technologies and in-field crop rotation systems. An additional objective is to evaluate some of the most popular day-neutral strawberry cultivars for their performance and yield in an organic setting. Strawberry production in Oregon has historically focused on June-bearers, which fruit once earlier in the summer and are sold mostly for processing. A growing percentage of fruit produced in Oregon is now being utilized for fresh market. Day-neutrals have a longer growing season, which may be extended with the use of transplant plugs, and protected coverings such as high and low tunnels. In addition, there is an unmet and growing demand for locally grown organic strawberries in the state. Research based information on the best production techniques to use in organic system in this region is needed. This internship will focus on the establishment and maintenance of strawberry demonstration and research plots, as well as data collection and analysis.
The chosen student intern will work a total of 40 hours per week, split between 30-35 hours outdoors/in the field at NWREC, and 5-10 hours in the office/working remotely. Field work will include data collection (taking soil, plant tissue, and fruit samples), planting and establishment of the fields, participating in fruit harvest, applying fertilizer, scheduling irrigation, crop inspection, and tending to research plots and crops including manual labor and other production tasks as needed. Office work will include data entry, analysis, writing and summarizing results and findings. Previous experience with agricultural systems, and an interest in small fruit and/or organic production is preferred. Students must have their own transportation to and from site. Some additional travel may be required, to collect data at collaborating farm sites and driving a manual shift is necessary.