Our Stories: Spring 2020

Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks

Retirees from the Crop and Soil Science Department have met for coffee at 9:30 am on the first Monday of each month for over a decade.  The group traditionally met at the OSU Foundation (OSUF) building on 35th Street and now Research Way.  OSUF College of Agricultural Sciences development staff have been our hosts over the years with Tonya Fodge our able on-site coordinator.  Thank you OSUF and Tonya!  With the advent of COVID-19, we were no longer to meet in person as of the end of March, but like the rest of the world, we discovered Zoom.  It took a bit of time to help everyone figure out how to make the proper audio and video connections, but we have successfully met twice thus far using this format.  We discovered that while colleagues from Hood River, Dufur, Waldport, The Dalles, Redmond, and other locations outside the Corvallis areas could not justify driving to Corvallis for coffee, they were happy to join us electronically.  Coffee participation, by head count, has increased 25%.  Even when we are able to meet again in person, we will explore options for maintaining electronic connectivity to allow farther reaching participation in our “gatherings.”  If anyone with CSS affiliations or affinity would like to join us for coffee, please contact Russ Karow, keeper of the CSS retiree email list.

Poetry X Hunger: Fighting Hunger with Poetry

Hunger in the U.S. and around the world is on the rise.  Beyond longstanding levels of hunger, the pandemic is putting millions more at risk.  This, when groups like Bread for the World indicate that hunger should be entirely preventable. 

While all kinds of traditional tools – science-centered, environmentally-attuned, economically-savvy, and/or culturally appropriate – are being used to reduce hunger, headway in this struggle is going to require help from all quarters, including the arts.  That’s why I started an informal initiative called Poetry X Hunger – to enlist the help of poets in the fight against hunger. 

Over the years, poetry has been used very effectively to raise awareness and concern over many other social issues like homelessness, social inequity and racial bias.  But, it hasn’t been as intentionally brought to bear in the fight against hunger.   Poetry X Hunger is focused on changing that.  By rousing powerful poetic voices to the cause, the initiative is bringing poetry to the anti-hunger cause.  

To find out more, take a minute to visit the Poetry X Hunger website at PoetryXHunger.com where lots of info is posted including poems by several poets from the U.S. and Africa along with hunger facts, historical accounts of hunger, and other prompts for poets.  One important spot on the site, the Now More than Ever page, contains poems about pandemic-related hunger.  Along with the text, audio files of the poets reading their work are posted as well.

And hey, feel free to send in a poem for possible posting!!

I appreciate the Maryland State Arts Council’s support for development of the website as expertly designed by Dr. Tatiana LeGrand with input from Dr. Sue Schram and many others.  I also thank the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s North American Liaison Office for supporting the 2018, 2019 and 2020 World Food Day Poetry Competitions as implemented by Poetry X Hunger.   The Capital Area Food Bank and Split This Rock are also important partners.  

Hiram Larew at poetryxhunger@gmail.com
May 2020

Course Description

Designed as a facilitated once-a-week 5-week course that includes 1) an introduction to hunger trends and to poetry written in response to hunger, 2) a visit to the OSU Food Pantry to journal impressions, insights and reactions; use such reflections to write poems about hunger, 3) a review of historical and contemporary poetry written in response to hunger, 4) a scan of historical and contemporary global hunger issues and poetry written in response to it, and 5) a presentation of plans for a relevant stakeholder hunger-focused poetry activity. 

The overall intent of this 5-week discussion is to increase awareness by both the students and the facilitator about poetry’s response to local and worldwide hunger.  Beginning with a scan of the hunger landscape that includes facts, history and culture, the class will then consider how an art-form that is often considered contemplative, introspective, even shy – namely, poetry – may be powerfully brought to bear.   Included will be introductions to and reflections on active hunger organizations.  Students will also search for and discuss poetry about historic famines, about fasting, and about current hunger in the U.S.   In addition to writing relevant poetry, students will plan/describe an outreach activity that involves poetry in service to the fight against hunger.  The overall goal is to finish the class as an opening -- with a enlivened sense of what can be done using available poetry tools, with a respect for the many questions that will remain unanswered, and most of all, with a desire to keep going.  

CAS Ambassador Update – May 2020

The CAS Ambassador team has had a busy and productive year and this unprecedented spring term of sheltering in place hasn’t stopped them from engaging prospective and current students in a variety of ways which include but aren’t limited to:

  1. Preview and Next Steps Meetings with Prospective/Admitted Students
  2. Weekly chats with Prospective/Admitted students
  3. Weekly Instagram Take-over’s and Instagram Live events that have been getting a lot of current and prospective student engagement.
  4. Creating and fun Tic-Tok Shrek Parody - https://vm.tiktok.com/ca77a6/
  5. Engaging in virtual zoom group bonding sessions to stay connected and support one another through this challenging time.

Ambassador team members have represented CAS at countless events and supported recruitment efforts on-campus, around the state, and beyond. The largest recruiting events attended by the Ambassadors were the:

  • Kern County College Fair and Tulare College Fair, Bakersfield, CA & Tulare, CA
  • Pendleton Roundup, Pendleton, OR
  • SACNAS National Conference (Long Beach, CA) and AFA Leaders Conference (Kansas City, MO)
  • Portland National College Fair, Portland, OR
  • Latino Family Night, Salem, OR
  • Oregon Native Youth Conference, Portland, OR

This spring term marks the end of the service period of the 2019/2020 Ambassador Team.  The team for academic year 2020/2021 have been selected and are enrolled in a seminar this term to provide information and training they will use in their role.  Check out the CAS Ambassador Website to learn more about the future Ambassador team members.  This team has also created an awesome Tic-Tok, introducing the new members -  https://vm.tiktok.com/cm1xjw/

E.R. Jackman Information

E. R. Jackman Friends and Alumni is a volunteer organization within the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University.  Edwin Russell Jackman was an OSU Extension farm crop and range management specialist for more than 40 years.  He was widely recognized for dedicating himself to supporting Oregon agriculture and helping to increase awareness of Oregonians about the importance of their state’s agriculture. The organization is intended to perpetuate E.R. Jackman’s vision and ideas through the commitment of alumni and friends to support higher education in areas related to agriculture and natural resources.  The mission of the E.R. Jackman Friends and Alumni organization is to plan, participate in, and support student programs, alumni relations, friend building, and fund raising on behalf of the College of Agricultural Sciences.

The organization currently has about 260 listed friends and alumni members out of approximately 18,000 CAS alumni.  The organization is planning to provide approximately $40,000 to support 17 CAS student clubs, $20,000 to support intern programs, and $17,500 to support undergraduate research programs plus assistance with funding several smaller requests for the 20-21 academic year.  These funds are made available through five education and endowment funds currently totaling about $2.5 million within the E.R. Jackman organization.

Anyone interested in further information about the organization is invited to visit the E. R. Jackman link within the College of Agriculture Sciences website or contact any of the Board members listed in the website.  The Board would like to invite anyone interested to attend the annual Board and membership meeting to be held on Oct 23, 2020 from two to five PM at the OSU Foundation building.        

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.