January 2009

January 23rd

Food prepared at home is often the cause of foodborne illness. Steps can be taken, however, to prevent foodborne illness, and several publications on the subject are available online from the Oregon State University Extension Family and Community Development program.

January 22nd

Newood Display Fixture Mfg. Co. launched its MightyPine shelving line after OSU wood science professor Rakesh Gupta and colleagues at the Oregon Wood Innovation Center subjected the rack to seismic testing that included two weeks of simulated earthquakes measuring up to 7.1 on the Richter scale. The shelving units are primarily designed for wine departments in retail stores.

January 13th

The Oregon State University Extension Service has created a Web site that links people with key assistance programs to help them weather the economic storm. The site links them to agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and Oregon's Employment, Education and Human Services departments. These sites help people find information about filing for unemployment, finding a job, avoiding foreclosure, staying mentally and physically healthy, and applying for food stamps, nutrition programs and free or lower-priced school meals. The OSU Web site is http://extension.oregonstate.edu/emergency/tough_times.php.

January 12th

About 20 new county commissioners have signed up for classes that will teach them everything from how to run a public meeting to how to maintain county roads cost-effectively. The training, called County College, will span 13 days between January and September and take place in cities that include Portland, Corvallis and Salem. The Oregon State University Extension Service and the Association of Oregon Counties sponsor the voluntary classes, which have taken place every year since the program's inception in 2006. They started it as a way to educate newly elected county officials who had little, if any, political experience. So far, 40 individuals representing 25 of Oregon's 36 counties have completed the training.

January 9th

Several kinds of berries, fruit trees, roses and native plants can be grown successfully in Central Oregon. Amy Jo Detweiler, Oregon State University Extension Service horticulturist for Deschutes and Crook counties, has authored four new OSU Extension online publications that provide details.

January 6th

Children can tell the difference between burgers made from the USDA-purchased commodity beef served in their school lunch program and Northwest-raised beef, but when it comes to preference, they're evenly split, according to taste tests conducted by Oregon State University at two grade schools in Portland. Ninety-six students tasted three similar-looking hamburger patties and were asked to identify the one that was different. Seventy-three of the students correctly identified the patty that was different. Later, 91 students at another school tasted two hamburger patties made from the beef served in the prior taste test. Forty-five students preferred the hamburger from Northwest-raised herds while 46 liked the USDA-supplied one best.