New director for Hood River County Research, Extension

November 22, 2010

Brian Tuck. contributed photo

HOOD RIVER, Ore. - The Oregon State University Agricultural Experiment Station and OSU Extension Service have appointed Brian Tuck as new director of the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center (MCAREC) in Hood River. In this role, Tuck will lead OSU agricultural research and Extension outreach education programs in Hood River County and the mid-Columbia region of Oregon.

Tuck's position as MCAREC director is a joint appointment in which he will have shared administrative responsibility for OSU'S agricultural research facility and the OSU Extension Service office in Hood River, said Scott Reed, OSU vice provost for Outreach and Engagement and Extension Service director.

"His many years of experience in the mid-Columbia area make Brian Tuck the ideal choice for this new leadership role," Reed added. "This background will enable Tuck to effectively guide local OSU research and Extension programs that address top priority issues relating to the county's people, economy and environment."

Tuck has been an OSU Extension Service field faculty member for the past 27 years and has worked in the Wasco County Extension office as a field crops specialist since 1998. He has served as Wasco County Extension staff co-chair over the past seven years and holds the academic rank of professor in the OSU Dept. of Crop and Soil Science.

MCAREC serves Hood River County's 22,000 people and provides research programs in support of the agricultural sector, which centers largely on tree fruit production. In 2009, Hood River County ranked 14th among Oregon's 36 counties with $80.5 million in farm commodity sales.

Research programs at the center focus on best practices in tree fruit production, insect pest management and improved storage processes for tree fruits. Extension Service educators at MCAREC are OSU faculty members and deliver 4-H youth development, nutrition and agriculture education programs to local citizens.

Tuck's appointment is part of a larger statewide effort in which the OSU Agricultural Experiment Station and OSU Extension Service are collaborating to streamline administration and direct more resources to program delivery.

"In these times of tighter operating budgets we have to find ways to do more with less resources," said Sonny Ramaswamy, dean of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the OSU Agricultural Experiment Station. "Realigning OSU agricultural research and Extension outreach education efforts under one director will help us become more efficient and responsive in Hood River County. Our goal is to reduce overhead while enhancing the integration of our research and Extension efforts in the county and region."

In his new assignment Tuck will continue in his role as a field crops Extension educator and staff co-chair in the Wasco County Extension office. He will split time between his duties there and his new role as director of MCAREC in Hood River.

For more information about research and Extension programs in Hood River County please contact the office at 541-386-3684.

Author: Bob Rost
Source: Brian Tuck