Extension ConnEXTion

March 2011 (print-friendly version)

Is Change the Same as Progress?

I write from the back of a room at a meeting of Extension Directors while listening to some of my colleagues describe their strategies for managing budget reductions. Except that beyond reductions, some of them are actually creating new resources in some interesting ways — and so are we. This has been labeled the “New Normal”. Our progress in obtaining grants and contracts for our work is amazing.  SOARS data continues to indicate that members of our Extension faculty are increasingly active in developing the needed funding partnerships to grow programs with extramural funds and by working with and through others.  New partnerships with community colleges and county government are bringing human capital as well as financial capital to Extension. This “rainmaking” takes many forms and is widely shared by all programs and units. Thanks to all who have moved this important needle of progress.

But substituting grants for appropriations doesn’t accomplish everything needed. We are also in good company with other states by examining the way we organize to administer the organization.  Before this year is over, we will identify multi-county “areas” that will be used to reconceptualize  our leadership model, add efficiencies to the amount we invest in administration, and maximize investments in programs.  Progress of this type will help position the OSU Extension Service to be smaller while maintaining robust programs and be ready to rebound as our state’s economy recovers. Like those we serve, we are learning to get by with less and focus on maintaining our core strength and resilience.

And it doesn’t stop there. The world and the application of knowledge to address issues and problems is changing around us—to make progress with today’s society means reaching people in the way they live. And we are. Please take a moment to experience our new social media programming. You can find the OSU Extension Service on Facebook and Twitter:

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/newsletter/march-2011/osu-extension-service-facebook-and-twitter

Take a look. And let me know what you think. I’d also like to hear about your personal approach to adding efficiencies and resources to Extension programs.

The next few months will be full of news about how Oregon will prepare for the upcoming biennial budget. I am in regular contact with policy makers and others who can help illustrate the value of our work. If possible, you may want to make time to join me at OSU Day at the Capitol April 12, or OSU Extension’s Centennial Day April 21 when we hope to see staff chairsand at least one elected commissioner or judge from each county. We are creating our future through careful changes—representing progress in each case.

Scott Reed, Vice Provost and Director

Community Handbook Project

Do you know of any really good 'welcome to our community' booklets? Have you done one?

I'm looking for more than a listing of businesses or services (not a DEX.) I'd like to develop a template for a booklet which includes local history and culture, natural resource information, community norms (dogs on leash please!), etc.

I have a coastal neighborhood in mind which would also need tsunami evacuation and specific coastal hazard info. However, in true Extension fashion, the guide's template would have to be adaptable for other communities. I'd appreciate any advice or information you wish to share.

Contact: viviane.simon-brown@oregonstate.edu

Viviane Simon-Brown, Sustainable Living Specialist, Forestry Extension
Director, National Network for Sustainable Living Education

OSU to Study Farming Methods to Curb and Adapt to Climate Change

Oregon State University has been named a partner on a $20 million grant to ensure the long-term viability of cereal-based farming in the inland Pacific Northwest amid a changing climate.

OSU will receive $4 million of the total award, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today in Washington, D.C. The other participants are the University of Idaho, Washington State University and the USDA's Agricultural Research Service.

The five-year grant will take a holistic approach to study the relationship between climate change and cereal crops, primarily winter wheat. Researchers will study how climate change might affect cereal crops; how production practices might contribute to or help curb climate change; what farming methods might help these crops withstand climate change; and which factors influence decisions about crop management.

"As a result of this project, the people who produce our food will be better equipped to reduce their carbon footprint and to face the challenges associated with climate change," said Sonny Ramaswamy, the dean of OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Susan Capalbo, an OSU agricultural economist and one of the researchers, added, "This research is important because our climate is changing, and agriculture is probably the sector that is most affected by variations in climate."

It's also a sector important to Oregon's economy. Oregon farmers and ranchers grossed $4.3 billion in sales last year, according to a report by the OSU Extension Service. About $354 million of that was in wheat. In terms of tonnage, wheat is the No. 1 export through the Port of Portland, which officials say is the largest volume wheat-export harbor in the United States.

The study will focus on northeastern Oregon, southeastern Washington and Idaho's panhandle. It includes the cities of Pendleton in Oregon; Pullman and Othello in Washington; and Moscow, Idaho. The area produces some of the nation's highest yields of non-irrigated winter wheat.

Researchers will use a computer model to study how different farming techniques affect yields, water usage, nutrient levels, greenhouse gas emissions and the removal of carbon dioxide from the air. These techniques could include rotating crops, seeding without tilling, leaving crop residue on fields, diversifying crop choices, and applying organic fertilizer such as manure.

The work will take place at eight research facilities throughout the region as well as on private farms. In Oregon, tests will be carried out at OSU's Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center, which has research farms near Moro and Pendleton. OSU agronomists Steve Petrie and Stephen Machado will experiment with various methods for managing crops, and examine how much carbon dioxide is sequestered when these methods are used and when the land lies fallow. They'll also investigate whether techniques for applying fertilizer can be changed to reduce the release of greenhouse gases.

Farming can contribute to greenhouse emissions in several ways. Tractors and combines emit carbon dioxide, as does the manufacturing of nitrogen fertilizer and the tillage of soil, which helps decompose organic matter. But certain farming practices can also cause less carbon dioxide to be emitted, such as using herbicides instead of plowing fields to kill weeds, Petrie said.

Petrie will oversee efforts to communicate the study's finding to stakeholders through meetings with growers, public talks at research sites, and web-based techniques, including social media. Stakeholder concerns and interests will also be conveyed to researchers.

On the economics side, Capalbo and fellow OSU agricultural economist John Antle will interview growers and ask them about their management strategies, costs, concerns and priorities. They'll compile their answers with the data on cropping methods and evaluate the likelihood of farmers adopting certain techniques under various climate and policy scenarios, including when incentives are offered.

Farmers won't be willing to change unless the economics are favorable and the benefits outweigh the costs, Capalbo said. She cautions that short-term considerations shouldn't be the only focus.

"Agriculture has traditionally been looked at in terms of maximizing net returns or minimizing costs," she said, "but we need to look at managing the ecosystem so it's resilient to change and sustainable in the long run."
Philip Mote, the director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at OSU, and John Abatzoglou, a professor at the University of Idaho, will provide data on temperatures, rain, solar radiation, humidity and wind speed.

The area to be studied is made up of different microclimates, but in general has cold, wet winters and warm-to-hot, dry summers. Mote expects that in parts of the region, typically dry summers will become drier, or the duration of dry summer conditions will be extended. More precipitation may fall as rain instead of snow, he said.

Warmer temperatures would reflect what has been happening on a larger scale. The average annual temperature in the Pacific Northwest increased 1.4 degrees during the 20th century, Mote said. Compared with 2005, the average annual temperature for the Pacific Northwest is expected to increase 3-10 degrees by 2100, he said.

Climate change aside, Antle said, the research about farming techniques will be useful for growers around the globe.

"The research aims to understand what makes systems sustainable," Antle said. "This project will pay off regardless of the climate part."

The project also has a public outreach component. Recognizing that change often starts with younger generations, faculty at OSU's agricultural education and general agriculture department will work with the other partners to develop a curriculum for K-12 students that discusses the relationship between agriculture and climate change. OSU faculty will also help design workshops, materials and online resources for agriculture and science teachers that address this topic.

More information on the project, which is called Regional Approaches to Climate Change for Pacific Northwest Agriculture, is at http://www.uidaho.edu/reacchpna.

Aritcle by Tiffany Woods, 541-737-2940,
Source: John Antle, 541-737-1425, Susan Capalbo, 541-737-5639, Stephen Machado, 541-278-4416, Philip Mote, 541-737-5694, Steve Petrie, 541-278-4415,

OSU Extension Service on Facebook and Twitter

OSU Extension Service is now on Facebook and Twitter. These will be great tools to tell the story of Extension in our Centennial year and beyond. 

Find us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oregon-State-University-Extension-Service/172985032725149

And on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/OregonStateExt

EESC could use your help to grow these communities! Here are a couple easy things you can do:

On Facebook:

  1. Check out the page and "like" it
  2. For those of you who manage Extension-related Facebook pages, add this page to your "Favorites" by clicking the "Add to my Page's Favorites" link in the left-hand column
  3. Let others know about the new page by linking to it on your wall
  4. Include a link to the Facebook page in your email newsletter

On Twitter:

  1. Encourage people to follow @OregonStateExt
  2. Retweet posts from @OregonStateExt
  3. Include a link to the Twitter profile in your email newsletter

Questions, comments and suggestions can be sent to Chris LaBelle in EESC at chris.labelle@oregonstate.edu.

 

Resource Information on Extension's History for County Use

The Extension Centennial Committee produced a series of short stories that celebrate Extension’s past while pointing to its future. You are free to use them as you would like. They are appropriate for newsletters or your local newspaper. The stories are general to the state, but you may wish to localize them with county facts and connections from your county archives.  The stories are online at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/internal/osues-centennial  Select Tool Kit, scroll down to Centennial Stories.

  • OSU Extension to Celebrate 100 years of Service
  • Creating Youth Leaders – 4-H
  • Extension Serves Oregon’s Diverse Agriculture
  • Extension – Adapting Informal Education to Needs for 100 Years
  • Building Community Leaders through OSU Extension Service
  • A 100 Year Focus on Oregon Families
  • Extension and Homeland Security
  • Applying the Land Grant Model to the Sea

The OSU Archives provide another source of historic information and photos relevant to your county. You can access this material by going to the Centennial website http://extension.oregonstate.edu/internal/osues-centennial clicking on the Tool Kit, scroll to Archives and seclect University Digital Photo Archives: How to Access County Specific Digital Photos (instructions). This document provides the link to the University photo archive and instructions  As you locate historical photos you would like to use, the online version is suitable for e-newsletters and similar publications. For use in print publications and physical displays, you can order high resolution versions from the Archives reference desk at archives@oregonstate.edu.

And, if you would like to know more about the history of Extension in Oregon and your county office, or find dates of your county's first agent, (see appendix at the end of the document), you can download a pdf copy of the complete book "The Oregon State University Federal Cooperative Extension Service, 1911-1961, by F. L. Ballard.  http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/18850

New Bilingual Nursery Training

There is growing interest within the nursery industry to train the Spanish speaking workforce on plant health topics. Faculty at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) in Aurora has developed a series of bilingual workshops about diseases caused by Phytophthora spp (multiple species) as well as the best management practices for nursery production.

The main goal is to offer the workshops twice a month; one in English and one in Spanish. This continual training process along with hands-on experience has the support of the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Grower Assistant Inspection Program, which is represented by various nurseries and multiple levels of management.

"This training opportunity engages the Hispanic audience," says Luisa Santamaria, nursery plant pathologist at NWREC. "I will continue my effort to provide new training opportunities for the nursery industry in Oregon and target our Spanish-speaking workforce."

Check for new events for this program at http://oregonstate.edu/dept/NWREC or contact Luisa Santamaia by email.

Source: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/clackamas/focus-extension

Important Updates to Teaching Evaluations Processing

To improve the quality of your results, and due to the number of teaching evaluations received that cannot be processed as sent (that require correcting or entirely new forms filled in) we have begun returning the incorrect sets to the office where the instructor resides.

Please take the time to review each form before they are mailed to campus.  Following these few simple steps will greatly improve the processing time and quality of your results:

  • Only No. 2 PENCILS, or softer lead, can be used on the form.
  • Forms using pen, marker, colored pencil, checks or Xs, and/or any other sloppily filled in bubbles cannot be processed and are not included on the summaries.
  • Fill in a new form if any markings are not erasable or white-out cannot easily cover.
  • Only original forms can be processed, no copied forms.
  • Each set of citizen evaluations must be accompanied by a pink Instructor Header Sheet.
  • Completely fill out the Instructor Header Sheet – including program (and department code for Ag and Forestry).
  • Only one instructor can be named for each set of evaluations. Multiple instructors may turn in evaluations from the same class IF a separate set of evaluation forms is completed.
  • Mail each set of evaluations as they are completed. Try not to hold them until the end of the year!

Remember, teaching evaluation forms not completed according to the instructions will be returned for correction in your office.

Send all teaching evaluation forms to:
Vicki Campbell
OSU Extension Administration
101 Ballard Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331

Feel free to contact Vicki Campbell with any questions. Thank you for your help.

Website for evaluation instructions http://extension.oregonstate.edu/internal/teaching-evaluation

Mastery of Aging Well Online Course

The Lifelong Learning program would like to alert you to an upcoming educational opportunity that may be of interest in your county.  

The "Mastery of Aging Well" program produced by Sharon Johnson (SOREC) focuses on key issues of healthy aging, including memory, depression, medication, food and physical activity.  The six-week (2-hours per week) interactive Mastery of Aging Well online course is scheduled to begin April 5th.  Sharon will provide personal interaction with participants as they explore this important topic in a highly engaging, e-learning multimedia format.

This program is provided in a variety of options with the interactive Mastery course available April 5 - May 10 and again October 11-November 15. Please share this opportunity with your local  community by directing them to the OSU Lifelong Learning webpage at: http://ecampus.oregonstate.edu/workforce/aging-well/

New Faces at Extension in Clackamas County

We are pleased to introduce Kelly Streit (pronounced "street"), MS, RD as the newest addition to the Clackamas County Extension Service faculty. The Family and Community Health (FCH) program is growing in Clackamas County in response to local needs assessment input. This position is partially supported with District dollars. Please join us in welcoming Kelly to our Extension team!

Kelly, a native Oregonian and a Tualatin small farmer, brings a strong nutrition and food science background to our program as well as educational outreach experience and service that reaches across the state and into most every Oregon community. Now an FCH Instructor in Clackamas County, Kelly will focus on program outcomes related to "Healthy Eating and Activity" and "Reducing Food-borne Illness." She has the added responsibility of managing faculty for the Oregon Food and Nutrition Program (OFNP) and will coordinate the Family and Community Education and Family Food Educator volunteer programs.

In January, Sigrid Clark joined the Clackamas County Extension Office serving as the office receptionist and secretary to the Family Community Health and OFNP programs.

Sigrid and her husband, Rob, live on five acres in between Springwater and Dodge near Estacada. She has a strong clerical background and brings a multitude of skills and talents to the position. We are pleased to have her as part of our local Extension team.

What‘s her favorite part of her new position? She can‘t decide if it‘s fellow staff, the citizen assistance, or the subject matter of gardens and foods.

Source: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/clackamas/focus-extension

This newsletter can be a useful tool to connect with each other, and a great way to connect names, faces, positions, and locations. If you have new staff to introduce to our Extension community, or if you would like to spotlight your current county staff please email: jackie.russell@oregonstate.edu with information and pictures.

Spring Training & Faculty Forum 2011 (May 3-5)

Extension Spring Training and Ecampus Faculty Forum Professional Development Days will be held May 3-5! View the draft schedule here

Spring Training has become a tradition among Extension faculty and staff serving Oregon.  It is a time for gaining knowledge, improving skills, and enhancing personal capacity; to connect with colleagues; and to celebrate Extension’s centennial and prepare for its future success. 

This year we are cooperating with Ecampus’ Faculty Forum (May 5) to offer you more learning options about developing and delivering online education.  Spring Training includes classes that deal with handling stress and change, “Social Media Tools”, “Internal Controls for County Offices”, “OSU Marketplace” training, “Adobe Acrobat 9 - Forms”, and “Transformation - What it Might Mean to You”. In addition to the workshops, we will have some fun!!  Support Staff are invited to an Extension birthday party lunch (May 3) as a salute to your many contributions to making Extension successful. 

All faculty and staff members are invited to an after-hours social with live music supplied by one of our talented colleagues.  Registration is scheduled to open April 1st. We hope to see you sometime during May 3, 4 or 5!

Navigating Difference in a Multicultural Workplace May 3-5

Navigating Difference is a skill based cultural competency training designed to enhance the ability of faculty, staff, students, and administrators to work effectively with diverse audiences.   This training is being offered May 3-5 at OSU at the Memorial Union.

  • Enhance your ability to work and thrive in a multicultural workplace.
  • Enhance your ability to succeed in a global, multicultural marketplace.

Module One: Cultural Awareness Skill Set                           

  • Recognize your own culture(s), including your organizational culture.
  • Explore personal and cultural values, biases, prejudices and views.
  • Identify similarities and differences among cultures.
  • Identify ways in which culture shapes beliefs, practices, and values.

 Module Two: Cultural Understanding Skill Set

  • Understand the developmental nature of cultural competencies.
  • Describe issues and concerns which arise when values, beliefs, and practices differ from those of the dominant culture.
  • Recognize ways culture affects participation in educational programs.

Module Three: Cultural Knowledge Skill Set

  • Develop familiarity with specific cultures, especially the ways in which they differ from one’s own.
  • Use conceptual and theoretical models for understanding human culture.
  • Identify and work with appropriate cultural guides

Module Four: Cultural Interaction Skill Set

  • Recognize factors impacting successful intercultural communication.
  • Use concepts and theories of intercultural communication.
  • Manage intercultural conflicts effectively.
  • Interact productively and seek input and guidance from cultural partners.
  • Form new programmatic partnerships across intercultural difference.

Module Five ~ Cultural Sensitivity Skill Set

  • Identify historical and sociological influences on cultural interactions.
  • Recognize the impact of privilege, inequality and oppression.

For more information and registration form contact: Daniel McGrath 503-931-8307
Email: daniel.mcgrath@oregonstate.edu

Safety Tips

After reviewing the accident and incident reports for the past quarter, the Extension Centralized Safety Committee for Off-campus Sites would like to offer the following safety insights:

  • When preparing for an event, please evaluate the area for safety issues.  This could be determining if a stage is too close the an edge or evaluating if hand-rails are needed; or, that the area is clear of any obstacles or hazards such as cords, stands, boxes, etc.
  • Please remind staff to be aware of their surroundings and to use their best judgment especially during winter months when there are icy conditions.
  • If your office and/or building has not undergone a recent fire inspection,  we encourage people to be proactive and consider contacting their local Fire Department to ask for a fire inspection.  In addition to providing a fire inspection, they should be able to determine the occupancy limits for your meeting rooms.   Please coordinate this through the person responsible for the property.

To respond to immediate concerns in Oregon, EESC has created an emergency information website to help people prepare for earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters:
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/tough_times/emergency/natural-disasters

New Extension Websites

In early April, OSU Extension will have a new web presence. This will help us work together as a group to tell the story of Extension’s history and invite new participation in Extension’s future. You will notice a new look and some new features, but we are especially pleased with a stronger focus on our statewide presence and improved navigation so that our online users can quickly locate the things that they care about the most.  We highlight the “Life: Get Good at It” message with invitations to “ask an expert; take a class; extend yourself.” As a result of these enhancements, our new web presence provides more entry points for our online users to locate Extension resources and should give us more opportunities to increase our traffic to classes, publications, and program-related activities. 

We’re excited to share more details about the new web presence and will be holding a webinar April 12th at 10 a.m. to provide an overview and offer suggestions for how Extension employees can leverage these new resources. We will send out an email with login information soon. We welcome your input and hope that our new web presence provides you with another tool to celebrate our upcoming Centennial and accomplish your Extension-related goals.

Personnel Updates

Provided by: UABC-HR

New Hires

  • Karen Hottman – Ext. Klamath Co., Education Program Assistant 1
  • Diane Silberstein – Ext. Polk Co., Instructor
  • John Brunoe – Ext. Warm Springs., Education Program Assistant 1
  • Amy Garrett – Ext. Benton Co., Instructor

Retirements

  • None

Terminations

  • Lauren Clymer – Ext. Washington Co.
  • Kristen Weidman – Ext. Klamath Co.

Recruitment Updates: Unclassified

  • #0006643 Instructor – Marion Co. Ext.
    Committee Chair: Debra Driscoll
    Status: Interviews approved

Recruitment Updates: Classified

  • #0007084 – Education Program Assistant 1, Hood River
    Committee Chair: Dani Peters
    Status: Closed 3/25/1011
  • #0006622 – Education Program Assistant 2, Jackson Co.
    Committee Chair: Maud Powell
    Status: Pending offer
  • #0007123 – Education Program Assistant 1, Linn Co.
    Committee Chair: Janice Gregg
    Status: Closed 3/25/2011

Upcoming Events

2014
Sep 15 - Sep 20 Lexington, KY
Sep 29 - Oct 3 Alumni Center, Corvallis, OR
Oct 6 - Oct 9 Indianapolis, IN
Oct 21 - Oct 24 Florence, AL
Oct 26 - Oct 30 Minneapolis, MN
Nov 2 - Nov 4 Orlando, FL
2015
May 4 - May 7 Atlanta, GA
Oct 6 - Oct 9 Las Cruces, NM
Oct 25 - Oct 29 Portland, OR