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A big crowd of blueberry growers, processors and field representatives from the Pacific Northwest, California, Europe and South America showed up for Oregon State University’s blueberry field day at North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) in mid-July. They came to hear the latest about OSU and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research findings, management issues and to check out the latest in equipment, techniques and varieties, including talks on organic production, new pests and soil amendments.
The Agricultural Research Foundation has recently awarded $337,844 in grants to initiate 35 Oregon State University projects ranging from a study to generate electricity from wastewater to an investigation of the cancer-fighting properties of hops.
Farmers from Lebanon, Philomath, Grants Pass and Portland are teaming up with Oregon State University scientists to limit farm pest populations by restoring and conserving habitat for beneficial insects — insects like bees and spiders that perform important pollination and predation roles within fields and farms. The Farming for Beneficials Program is part of OSU’s Integrated Plant Protection Center, and is funded by a grant from the USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.
James E. Johnson has been named associate dean for extended education and the OSU Extension forestry program leader. His research includes a long-term investigation of the impacts of gypsy moth defoliation on tree growth and mortality in mixed forests, and the ecological restoration of riparian flat rock plant communities.
This summer, as part of the Environmental Health Sciences Center Summer Institute, OSU is hosting a four-day workshop for high school teachers to learn how to implement the Pesticide Spill Scenario in their classrooms. The Pesticide Spill curriculum is a nine-week unit that introduces students to toxicology, risk analysis and decision-making. It was developed, along with three other scenarios, as part of the larger Hydroville program by Extension faculty and scientists at Oregon State University and was written primarily for students in 9th and 10th grades, but can be modified for other levels.
Oregon State University has named Robert J. McGorrin, head of its Department of Food Science and Technology, interim superintendent of the Food Innovation Center Experiment Station in Portland, operated in partnership with the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
The Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Resource Center, a new clearinghouse of information and technical support, is being created in cooperation with Oregon State University to help connect growers with the information they need as they look to new ways to market their products.
Sharon Johnson, an OSU associate professor and Family and Community Development extension faculty member, was this year’s recipient of OSU’s Extended Education Faculty Achievement Award for her work with older adults in Southern Oregon counties.