Columbia County large and small farmers have access to a number of OSU Extension faculty with specialized knowledge in a variety of areas including field crops (grain, mint, and others), livestock, soil fertility and fertilizers, crop protection and pesticide safety, forage and pastures, weed management, and horticultural crops (vegetables, fruits, nursery, and other specialty crops). Your first point of contact should be through Chip Bubl, the OSU Agricultural Extension agent based in St. Helens. You can reach him by phone at 503 397-3462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Columbia County has excellent spring pastures and produces a significant amount of beef and lesser amounts of lamb, milk, and other specialized livestock products. Here are some useful links:
Gene Pirelli is a regional livestock Extension agent based in Polk County. He is the state specialist in swine and very knowledgeable about pasture production, beef, and sheep: Check out his web site at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/polk/livestock-and-forage
Shelby Filley is a livestock Extension agent based in Roseburg with an equally interesting website http://extension.oregonstate.edu/douglas/LF/livestock.php
Finally, this is the direct link to the small farms website housed at OSU: http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/
Farmers large and small have a legal obligation to keep agricultural runoff from degrading our streams and rivers. In addition, efforts to improve riparian habitat can help salmon recovery. Many of the things we can do to improve water quality also improve livestock comfort and health. The following links can help you think about steps you could take on your own property. Call our office if you have specific questions. In addition, there are links to the three watershed councils that operate in Columbia County as well as the Columbia County Soil and Water Conservation District. All can be very helpful.
Lower Columbia River Watershed Council (their area is from Columbia City north and west to Westport just into Clatsop County): Margaret Magruder 503 728-2945
Upper Nehalem Watershed Council (their area is the upper drainage of the Nehalem River centered around Vernonia): http://unwc.nehalem.org/
Scappoose Bay Watershed Council (their area is from St. Helens to the Multnomah County line and west to the beginning of the Nehalem drainage): http://www.scappoosebay-wc.org/
Columbia Soil and Water Conservation District: http://columbiaswcd.com/