January 2010

January 26th

The Oregon State University Extension Service has opened registration for its 10th annual Oregon Small Farms Conference on Feb. 27 in Corvallis. The daylong event is geared toward farmers, agriculture professionals, food policy advocates and managers of farmers markets. Fourteen sessions will be offered on topics that will include agri-tourism, farm internships, cover crops, small-scale grain production, alternative poultry feeds and alternative meat marketing strategies. Speakers will include farmers, OSU Extension faculty, U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader and Mas Masumoto, an author and organic farmer from California.
Mas Masumoto, an author and organic farmer from California, will give a free presentation for the public on Feb. 26 at Oregon State University. He will discuss his life as a writer and farmer. Masumoto has published six books, including "Epitaph for a Peach," "Four Seasons in Five Senses" and his latest, "Wisdom of the Last Farmer."

January 25th

A local healthy-beverage campaign is encouraging Latino families to enjoy the benefits of nutritious drinks that are part of their cultural heritage.

January 15th

Scientists at Oregon State University are hunting for substitute chemicals for a toxic dioxin to fight diseases that are triggered by haywire immune systems attacking the body. The dioxin, known as TCDD, has been shown to suppress the immune system in animals and prevent type 1 diabetes in mice. OSU researchers hypothesize that it could do the same in people. But they aren't considering it as a treatment because it has produced bad side effects in animals and can cause chloracne, a disfiguring skin disease in humans. Instead, they're looking for safer alternatives that would function like TCDD. If successful, the chemicals might able to prevent and treat autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and type 1 diabetes. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has provided $1.8 million in funding.

January 12th

Oregon State University animal science experts will present best practices for getting lambs off to a good start at an annual lambing school on Jan. 26 in McMinnville. The OSU Extension Service and Chemeketa Community College will sponsor the workshop. The presenters will be Gene Pirelli, a regional livestock specialist with Extension; Jim Thompson, an Extension sheep specialist; and Charles Estill, an animal scientist from OSU's College of Veterinary Medicine.
New lambs will begin arriving at Oregon State University's Sheep Center in February, and the public is invited to view them Feb. 15–March 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and weekends.

January 1st

Salt, smoke and heat are the essentials of making delicious hot-smoked fish at home, but unless you consider one more factor—safety— food-borne illness can be a major problem and even lethal. Explicit directions on how to avoid harmful bacteria can be found in "Smoking Fish at Home—Safely," (PNW238)