Sonny's Observations

Impacts of Our Work: Responding to and Solving Problems

As I travel around the state, I occasionally run into someone who does not understand the purpose and meaning of a Land Grant college, such as the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University. 

I point out that our College, as a Land Grant, has a reason for being: offering an enabling education to the children of the masses; discovering new knowledge with a purpose; and delivering that knowledge to impact the everyday lives of the residents of our state and, for that matter, the nation, and the world at large.

In our renewed mission as a Land Grant college as we transform ourselves in light of the budget challenges, we have a new vision:

The College of Agricultural Sciences will be nationally preeminent, as a result of undertaking discovery with purpose, delivery of enabling educational programs, and positive impact on people, communities, and the economy.

 (Read more...)


The Strategic Transformation Plan

The Strategic Transformation Plan for the College was submitted on March 1.

Information will be added here as details unfold.



Join our List-Serv

Dean Sonny Ramaswamy has established a listserv for suggestions, observations, and questions about the College of Agricultural Sciences proposed Strategic Transformation plan.

As a member of the listserv, you will be able to post your thoughts and see those of others. College administration will be monitoring the listserv, seeking good ideas that will help refine our planning.

If you would like to join the listserv, please visit the web page, and complete the simple, on-line sign-up process. Anyone is welcome to join the listserv and you may unsubscribe at any time.

Once you are a member of the listserv, you may post your thoughts to it by sending an electronic mail message to this address:
Responding to Emerging Problems

Crop Destroying Spotted Wing Drosophila...

Scientists at Oregon State University are looking for ways to control the spotted wing Drosophila suzukii, otherwise called a vinegar fly. (Read more...)


Insect identification: Increasingly critical skill for wheat growers

Insect identification is increasingly important to wheat growers in the Pacific Northwest. Reason number one: Increase number of insect pests, and reason number two: introduction of benefical insects and soft insecticides makes pest control decision making more complex. (Read more at AgWeb)


Technology could keep GM and non-GM crops separated (ABC Rural)

Do genes from genetically engineered crops migrate into wild plant relatives? Are there other ways trans-genes can spread aside from pollination? Weed scientist Professor Carol Mallory Smith, from Oregon State University, has been researching gene flows for several years and says there have been several instances of genetic material being transferred through pollen and seed movement. (Read more...)


Sage grouse left off endangered and threatened lists for now

To reduce losses to the grouse population it is necessary to protect the habitat upon which it depends for food, nesting sites and protection from predators, said Richard Miller, a professor of rangeland ecology and management at Oregon State University. (Read more...)


OSU-led team frees sea lion (Oregonian)

On Wednesday, Oregon State University marine mammal experts found Willy inside an experimental floating capture cage with six other sea lions at the Newport docks. (Read more at the Oregonian)



OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. Faculty and students in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife acquire, integrate, and disseminate knowledge about fish and wildlife at all levels of biological organization. (Visit the Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page)


Newsletter:  Viticulture and Enology

Here you will find a collection of newsletters published primarily by the Department of Horticulture.(Read more...)


Blog: Memorial Union

The OSU Memorial Union has a great blog that is often updated.  Check it out to get a flavor of what is happening on campus! (Read blog)


Blog: Home on The Range

Chanda Engel, livestock and forage Extension agent at Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center, has joined the world of blogging to communicate about issues of interest to stakeholders in the region. (Read blog)


Are you Powered by Orange?

About the Food Innovation Center

Food Innovation Center - Advancing Northwest Foods

The Food Innovation Center is a resource for client based Product and Process Development, Packaging Engineering and Shelf Life Studies, and Consumer Sensory Testing.  Research work is conducted to develop innovative Processing and Packaging Technologies. The FIC also engages in scholarly research in Agricultural Economics and Marketing. The Agricultural Development and Marketing division of the Oregon Department of Agriculture located at the FIC provides Local, National, and International Marketing Access and Development. (More information) (Watch Video)


The Food Innovation Center is a collaborative effort between Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

We are a place to learn about food products and process and grow your food company. (Visit the FIC Facebook page)


USDA-NIFA Announces Availability of Research, Education and Extension Grants to Address Major Societal Changes

$262 million for five key issues available fhrough the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (Read more...)


Oscar-winning filmmakers say sushi bar served them whale meat

The samples were sent to Scott Baker, a whale expert who is the associate director of the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University. Baker said DNA testing there revealed that the samples sent to him were from a Sei whale, which are found worldwide and are endangered but are sometimes hunted in the north Pacific Ocean under a controversial Japanese scientific program. (Read more in the following publications: San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times,, New York Times, CNN, Nature and Discover)


Wild grass genome sequenced (ScienceLine)

The International Brachypodium Initiative, based at Oregon State University, recently completed the DNA sequence for the wild grass Bracypodium distachyon. T. (Read more...)


A million bucks to study beer? Count Oregon State in.

Tom Shellhammer and Shaun Townsend gained additional publicity in a KVAL News story about the $1 million gift they received from Indie Hops to develop new aroma hops. Kudos to Tom and Shaun for receiving significant funds for expansion of their brewing and hops research programs! (Read more...) (Watch Video)


Oregon Invests!

The Research and Extension Accountability Database

With just a few mouse clicks, Oregon Invests! offers you a wealth of information about more than 300 projects and programs.  (Go to the database...)


2010/2011 Ambassadors

An outstanding team of young men and women has been selected to promote and support the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Forestry. (Read more...)


Ag Day on OSU Quad

May 4 is the day CAS student clubs show their stuff on the quad during the annual Ag Day in the Quad. Check out our time-elapsed video of an earlier Ag Day on the quad. (Watch video...)


FFA Principles Turn Optimism into Success

These are hard times for many farmers and ranchers, and the economic news has often been bad. The recession lingers, debts are mounting, legal challenges continue and much of the West faces another difficult water year. (Read more at the Capital Press)


Equestrian Team headed to Nationals in Kentucky

If you have ever made the short trip out to the OSU Horse Center on any given day, most of the time you would find a peaceful place with a barn full of horses, a couple arenas, both indoor and outdoor, plenty of fencing, some workers here and there, hay and feed holders and the smell of leather and sawdust - you know, the usual horse playground. (Read more at the Barometer)


10 Years of Organic Growth

On a perfect spring morning, James Cassidy stands in a field explaining about planting crops. In the course of a few minutes, this involves a story about eating nutria (“delicious”), an apology to vegetarians (“We all should be vegetarians”) and an explanation of a “chicken tractor”. (Read more at the Gazette-Times)


OSU Multicultural Scholars get a boost from USDA

Six minority students at Oregon State University will get closer to achieving their career dreams through OSU and the United States Department of Agriculture Multicultural Scholars Program. (Read more...)
Faculty and Staff

Attention unit leaders:  Nominations for the 2010 Faculty and Staff Awards are due June 4.

To nominate, and for more information:

Alumni and Friends

ER Jackman Spring Tour destined for The Harvey Ranch

Located 11 miles west of Paisley, Oregon, a four and one-half hour drive from OSU, this eastern Oregon ranch consists of 1,200 acres and public land permits for spring and summer grazing. The original homestead provided 640 acres of pasture land for sheep, but through the years additional acreage has been added and, since 1917, the ranch has been producing high-quality beef cattle.  (Read more...)

More information about the June 4-5 tour (Read more...)

Awards and Honors

Dr. Robert Martin honored

Congratulations to Dr. Robert Martin, Research Leader and Research Plant Pathologist (Virology) for the USDA-ARS Horticulture Crops Research Unit, and courtesy professor in Botany and Plant Pathology. Bob will be the recipient of the 2010 Lee M. Hutchins Awardgiven by The American Phytopathological Society (APS). This award recognizes basic and applied research on perennial fruit plants which has been published in APS journals within the past ten years and which has contributed to better understanding of fruit plant diseases and ultimately providing value to the fruit industry. Bob will receive this award in August at the annual meeting of APS. (Read more...)

CAS Calendar

College of Agricultural Sciences Calendar


Take our Survey Monkey survey and look for the results in our next newsletter!

Question: What do you think of the proposed new name for the College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences?

Take the survey

View archive of previous survey results


The College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University is Oregon's principal source of knowledge relating to agricultural and food systems, and a major source of knowledge regarding environmental quality, natural resources, life sciences, and rural economies and communities worldwide. The College provides undergraduate and graduate education leading to baccalaureate and graduate degrees, and extended education programs throughout Oregon and beyond. Its research programs create knowledge to solve problems and to build a knowledge base for the future. It is a source of information and expertise in integrating and applying knowledge with benefits that are felt in domestic and international settings.