Our Stories: Winter 2020

One Smalle Ladleful: Poetry of Hunger

From Hiram Larew (MS Botany, 1977; PhD Entomology, 1981);
Courtesy Professor in Botany and Plant Pathology

For those of us who have never been hungry, the trends are hard to believe. More and more of our friends, cousins, co-workers, team mates and so many others experience hunger. Within our communities, states, the U.S. and around the world, hunger continues to undercut the future of all too many.

Efforts to prevent hunger rely on data, research, and statistics to catch attention, develop and describe responses, and raise alarms. No one questions the importance of such science-based information that is grounded in agricultural and nutritional surveys and studies. There are, however, additional non-traditional ways to reach hearts and minds in the fight against hunger. The arts, for example, often grab the public’s attention in surprising and potent ways.

Realizing that the written arts, especially poetry, can powerfully rouse public attention, we (Hiram Larew and Stella Coakley) collaborated with the Honors College to offer the first-ever poetry of hunger colloquium “One Smalle Ladleful: Poetry of Hunger”  during Fall Term 2019 and will oversee a student project that emanated from that class in Spring 2020. The colloquium will be offered again in Fall 2020. Students study local, regional and international hunger alongside historical and contemporary poems about it. They analyze some of the fundamentals of hunger including production and consumption, and also historical and current accounts of hunger, famine and starvation.  At the same time, they consider the many ways that poetry can speak up against hunger, and how poetry’s form and the way it is presented (written, spoken, performed) can impact the reader/listener differently. A field trip to the OSU Food Pantry also gives students the chance to reflect on hunger as it occurs locally—and to write reflectively about it. Finally, to activate their insights, students plan a hunger-focused poetry event on campus or in Corvallis.

If you are on the Corvallis campus for the next Beaver DAM Proud Day on April 30, look for a booth on the Memorial Union Quad which will showcase one of our students doing a “Chalk the walk with poetry” in support of the OSU Food Pantry and its fund raising efforts to address student food insufficiency.

On a National basis, check out https://www.poetryxhunger.com/ to see how awareness can be raised. Consider writing a poem and submitting it to that website.

RancHER, A field day for women in agriculture.

According to the USDA, the number of female principal operators (having primary responsibility for the day-to-day decisions of the operation) has increased significantly from 25 years ago when less than 5% were women. The recent analysis conducted by the USDA shows that women are the principal operators of about 256,000 farms and ranches or approximately 14% of the total in the United States of America. 

In order to attend this growing clientele, RancHER was developed thinking about the ranching women in Oregon. RancHER is a field day for women in agriculture that aims to highlight and attend women in a field that has been historically led by men.  The first edition of RancHER will be held in the summer of 2020 at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC – Burns, OR).

RancHER will be divided into two educational sections, the first section will highlight the research conducted by women in agriculture, our invited speakers, and also the research conducted by students at Oregon State University. The second portion of the event will focus on beef cattle management, with hands-on activity on how to properly handle cattle.

Although RancHER focuses on women in agriculture, this event will be open to anyone interested in learning more about the beef cattle industry, agriculture, and agricultural programs at OSU.

Agricultural Research Foundation awards $714,000 to 46 investigators through Competitive Grants program

For nearly three decades, the Agricultural Research Foundation has sponsored a Competitive Grants program.  For the 2020-2022 funding cycle, 97 proposals were submitted and 46 were selected for funding.  Sixtyone of the proposals were from new investigators and 34 of those were funded.  Most proposals were funded at or near the $15,000 maximum.  A total of $714,000 were awarded to the 46 investigators.  Awards were made to investigators with academic homes in 12 departments or schools in three different colleges (College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Forestry, College of Engineering) and included faculty at branch experiment stations, extension offices and USDA facilities.  Funded proposals covered a wide range of topics in the areas of food, agriculture and natural resources.  Examples include lamb growth in agrivoltaic systems; antibiotic resistance in Listeria species; nitrogen fertilizer fate in tall fescue production; natural liquid mulches as polyethylene alternatives; the role of salmon shark feeding ecology on salmon stocks; thinning intensity impacts on Douglas-fir plantations; and robotic pruning of trellised cherry systems.  Each proposal was read and scored by 13 members of the Agricultural Research Foundation’s Board of Directors.  The average scores led to a ranking that was used to determine which proposals could be funded with available funds.  Historically, awards have helped new investigators establish their research programs, helped established investigators move in new directions, and provided preliminary data for proposals to other agencies.

Dan Arp, Executive Director
February 18, 2020

CAS Ambassadors at The 2020 World Ag Expo

Five CAS Ambassadors were able to attend the 2020 World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA earlier this month. The World Ag Expo is the world’s largest agricultural exposition where more than 1,500 exhibitors display the latest in farm equipment, communications, technology, and education. Oregon State University and the College of Ag were proudly representing their programs in the Ag Education pavilion along side UC Davis, Fresno State and others. The Ambassador team interacted with hundreds of prospective students of all ages, family members, ag educators, and OSU alumni. Ambassador team members also had the chance to take part in workshops and talks on topics ranging from “Are Cattle the Culprits”, “Crop Management”, “Enhancing Wine Appreciation”, “Integrated Pest Management”, “Mental Health Wellness & Farm Stress”, “The Future of Fertigation”, and more. CAS will be looking forward to taking part in the 2021 World Ag Expo slated to take place February 9-11, 2021.

CAS attendee list:

  • Michelle McAllaster – College Head Advisor & CAS Ambassador Advisor
  • Liberty Greenlund, Ambassador Student Director, Senior in Crop & Soil Science
  • Tyler Kammeyer, Student Ambassador, Junior in Agricultural Business Management
  • Gloria Ruiz-Orozco, Student Ambassador, Senior in Bioresource Research
  • Melanie Hanlon, Student Ambassador, Junior in Food Science and Technology
  • Emily George, Student Ambassador, Senior in Agricultural Business Management

Ford Family Scholars Recognized

On February 19th a reception was held celebrating The Ford Family Foundation scholars at Oregon State University. 13 of these scholars were from the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Every year, the Ford Family Foundation awards hundreds of scholarships to students from Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. Students from Oregon have a choice of any institution in the state, and some recipients can choose any university in the country. But since the Ford Family Foundation scholarship program began in 1994, more recipients have chosen Oregon State University than any other institution. 

CAS Ford Scholar Recipients

  • Bilal, JJ - Animal Sciences
  • Clawson, Makayla - Animal Sciences
  • Durning, Ashley - Agriculture, General
  • Hammond, Claire - Agricultural Business and Management
  • Hasan, Dani - Animal Sciences
  • Higgins-Porterfield, Madelyn - Agricultural Business and Management
  • Isenhart, Jack - Agricultural Business and Management
  • Luo, Winnie - Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences, Other
  • Nyce, Trevor - Agricultural Business and Management
  • Sabin, Kira - Agricultural Business and Management
  • Santa Cruz-Enriquez, Jackie - Agricultural Business and Management
  • Villanueva, Reyna - Animal Sciences
  • Wilson, Tanner - Applied Horticulture and Horticultural Business Services

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.