OSU extension Linn County office switches chairs

January 13, 2006

SALEM, Ore. – Mark Mellbye has been named interim head of the Linn County office of the Oregon State University Extension Service while county Chair Dan McGrath is on sabbatical in Mexico.

Mellbye, part of OSU Extension's field crops faculty, provides training for growers in the mid-Willamette Valley. His work includes nutrient management and conservation practices compatible with grass seed production and pesticide training for private applicators with an emphasis on drift control.

McGrath, Linn County's vegetable crops specialist, is in Mexico through 2006 working with Mexican organizations to help strengthen OSU Extension's ability to meet the educational needs of Hispanic residents in Oregon.

OSU Extension has been serving Linn County since 1934. Today the Linn County office provides a broad range of programs in forestry, horticulture, 4-H youth education, family and community development as well as crops, livestock and agricultural programs, according to Deborah Maddy, assistant director of the OSU Extension Service.

For example, the 4-H youth program, available to all Linn County youth from kindergarten through high school, provided projects last year for more than 650 youth on topics including forestry, computers, natural resources and animal science.

In addition, Linn County's Small Farms program helps an increasing number of small-scale growers focus on specialty varieties of fruits and vegetables or exceptionally high-quality produce. And Linn County's Master Gardener program trains a legion of volunteers who in turn help Linn County residents with gardening questions.

To learn more about these and other Extension programs, contact the Linn County office of OSU Extension at 541-967-3871.

Author: Peg Herring
Source: Deborah Maddy