Extension ConnEXTion

July 2012 (print-friendly version)

SOARS is a Rich Source of Extension Data

It has become a summer tradition that I report on the interesting organizational facts I discover while cruising SOARS, Extension’s electronic Stories, Outcomes and Accomplishments Reporting System. I had the privilege of delving deep into SOARS when preparing OSU Extension Service’s 2011 Report of Accomplishments (ROA) and 2012 Plan of Work (POW). Both the ROA and the POW were recently submitted to and approved by our federal partner, NIFA/USDA. If you are interested in viewing either the ROA or the POW, please visit our Plans, Budgets, and Reports page.

Thanks to each of you who made a contribution to the success of the ROA and the POW by entering your 2011 information and data into SOARS. The information and data you provide via SOARS is the primary source for all federal and state reports, briefings and presentations; the annual academic report to the Provost; budget support materials at all levels; press releases and media alerts; marketing and social media efforts; and many more communication efforts. The organization depends on your SOARS reports for telling Extension’s success stories. If we are to continue to deliver relevant, research-based knowledge through our educational programs, we must document and communicate the impact and value of our work. I acknowledge that reports are the least favorite activity for most Extension faculty members, but good reporting is essential to our future success.

Good reporting includes strong, articulate impact statements that focus on measurable outcomes. If you conducted a program evaluation that resulted in knowledge gained, actions taken or behaviors changed, you also need to complete a SOARS impact statement. This section of SOARS is our most valuable resource for creating marketing materials, news stories, talking points and general reports for use with our stakeholders and the public. Extension faculty submitted 192 impact statements in 2011, a 48% increase over the previous year. Thank you for making SOARS a rich and fertile source detailing the results of your important work.

If you feel the quality of your impact statements could improve, help is on the way. By October 1, 2012, thanks to senior faculty research assistant Linda Brewer, web-based learning modules will be available to guide you in better impact reporting. Watch for more details in the next issue of ConnEXTion.

As promised, here are a few interesting facts I discovered while cruising SOARS:

Recession Impacts Extension

In 2011, OSU Extension had 193.6 FTE paid on federal and state dollars. This represents 27 fewer FTE, or a 12% decrease, than when the recession began in 2008. Meanwhile the overall Extension budget is approximately 30% smaller today than it was in 2008. We’ve negotiated through these difficult times by tightening our belts, applying attrition as a management tool and downsizing Extension’s administrative footprint. To date, we’ve kept all whose performance has been fully satisfactory and who wish to continue working for OSU Extension employed.

Extension serves the state

2,130,824 Oregonians engaged at some level with Extension during 2011, compared to 2,163,893 reported in 2010 for a 1.5% decrease . . . These numbers include contacts made in group educational events or via phone, interactive video, mail, e-mail, newsletters, site or office visits. They do not include web hits or mass media.

Volunteers expand outreach

Over 14,000 volunteers (14,048 to be exact) helped Extension deliver educational programs across Oregon . . . Extension can achieve greater results and build community capacity with the help of volunteers. We value the public good that comes from collaborating with volunteers, a contribution of over a million hours of service – the equivalent of about 567 FTE.

Grants awarded enhance engagement opportunities

In 2011, 246 grants were awarded to OSU Extension faculty members, resulting in nearly $24 million of revenue. The grants varied in size from a few thousand dollars to a million-plus figure. Leveraging state dollars is one of the key objectives that our state funders use to measure Extension’s success. These extramural funds are possible because base capacity is provided by state appropriations that leverage 2.6 outside dollars for every state dollar invested during the last biennium.

Extension Faculty are respected as scholars

In 2011 Extension faculty authored 138 scholarly publications. Scholarship is defined as intellectual and creative work validated by peers and communicated . . . The medium and the review processes varied greatly, but the creative and intellectual work of OSU Extension faculty is being adopted and integrated by peers and publics beyond the university and the state.

. . . and recognized for good work

Extension faculty and staff received 91 community/industry (9), university (10), state (21), regional (19), national (29) and international (3) awards in 2011. A couple awards of note: the 4-H international exchange program received national recognition for extraordinary quality and Anne Hoisington received the Western Extension Directors Association Award of Excellence for engaging the medical community in combating childhood food insecurity. It is a continued privilege to work with such a dedicated and high performing group of people.

Commitment to Diversity

In order to be successful in reaching Oregon’s increasingly diverse population, we much strive to better reflect the State’s diversity within Extension. Extension’s Diversity Action Plan speaks clearly to this goal.

The OSU Extension Service Strategic Plan and our diversity plan are in alignment with the university’s mission statement: “We value diversity because it enhances and provides tools to be culturally respectful, professionally competent, and civically responsible.”

Each of you are encouraged to visit our diversity website to learn more about diversity in Extension and to read through the Plan and make a personal commitment to advancing diversity among our learners and our workforce!



Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Delegation

In April, an Oregon delegation of six OSU Extension faculty members and one ECAN member attended the 2012 Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference in Washington D.C. One day of the conference was spent meeting with Representatives, Senators, and staff from each of the Oregon congressional delegation.

Accompanied by Kate Sinner, OSU Government Relations; Dana Martin, Regional Administrator Central Oregon and County Leader Deschutes County; Amy Derby, Extension Educator-4H/AG and County Leader Wheeler County; Bob Parker, Extension Forester and County Leader Baker County; Peg Herring, EESC Unit Leader, Scott Reed, Vice Provost Outreach & Engagement/Director Extension; and Carolyn Oakely, Extension Citizen Advisory Network Co-Chair Benton County did an outstanding job of informing our Oregon congressional delegation of the impacts of OSU Extension programs and asking them for help in restoring cuts to Smith-Lever funding.


Promotions for Extension Faculty to Professor, Associate Professor, or Senior Instructor

Congratulations to the following OSU Extension Faculty for their promotion to Professor, Associate Professor, or Senior Instructor, (and in some cases, the award of indefinite tenure) effective July 1, 2012. Their promotion follows rigorous analysis of their dossiers by peers and administration at several levels of the University, as well as external reviewers. We applaud their success and take pride in the accomplishments of our Extension faculty.

Promoted to Associate Professor

  • R. Edward Peachy, Horticulture

Promoted to Associate Professor & Indefinite Tenure

  • Andrew Hulting, Crop and Soil Science
  • Clive Kaiser, Horticulture, Milton-Freewater, Umatilla County
  • Marilyn Lesmeister, Social and Behavioral Sciences, 4-H Youth Development
  • James Osborne, Food Science and Technology
  • Vaughn Walton, Horticulture
  • Elissa Wells, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Coos County

Promoted to Professor

  • Lisabeth Goddik, Food Science and Technology
  • Donald Horneck, Crop and Soil Science, HAREC, Morrow and Umatilla Counties

Promoted to Senior Instructor

  • Melissa Fery, Crop and Soil Science, Benton County
Staff Achievements and Awards

Association for Communication Excellence (ACE)

  • Dave King, associate provost for Outreach and Engagement at Oregon State University, has been awarded the 2012 Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) Professional Award — the highest award conferred by ACE.
  • Ariel Ginsburg, publishing manager of OSU’s Department of Extension and Experiment Station Communications, received the Western Region Pioneer Award for her leadership and participation in managing educational and publishing projects for OSU Extension.
  • Peg Herring, department head of Extension and Experiment Station Communications, received the Outstanding Professional Skill Award, a silver award for Writing for Magazines, and a gold award for Writing
    within a Specialized Publication.
  • Lynn Ketchum, video producer and photographer with Extension and Experiment Station Communications, received a gold and silver award for Environmental Portrait or Personality Photo and a gold and bronze award for Picture Story.

Additionally, OSU Extension and Experiment Station Communications was honored with the silver award for Magazines and Periodicals, and the bronze award for Special Report.

University Day Award Winners 2012

  • Patty Skinkis, assistant professor and viticulture extension specialist in the Department of Horticulture - The Outreach and Engagement Award
  • Greg Thompson, Jonathan Velez, Kellie Strawn, Misty Lambert and Kristopher Elliott from the Department of Agricultural Education and General Agriculture - The Student Learning and Success Teamwork Award

Journal of Extension (JOE)

The following Extension faculty will have articles published in the June 2012 JOE issue:

National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA)

  • Sandy Macnab received the National Association of County Agricultural Agents 2012 Western Region Hall of Fame Award at their annual conference held in July.  The conference program with Sandy's award information is available here (PDF).

New York Times Publication

  • Extension forester Nicole Strong's WOWNet program was the focus of a July 10, 2012 article in the New York Times. The article titled "The Chain Saw Circle: Women of the Woodlands" is available online.

Society of American Foresters

  • Steve Fitzgerald, Extension forester located in the Deschutes County Office, will receive the 2012 National Technology Transfer and Extension Award from the Society of American Foresters.

Western Agriculture Economics Association (WAEA)

  • Bruce Sorte, Extension Community Economist for Agricultural and Resource Economics, will receive the 2012 Western Agricultural Economics Association "Outstanding Extension Program Award for Career" in June 2012 at the WAEA annual meeting in Park City UT.
OSU Printing and Mailing Design Online Services

View the New Design Online Video. The video walks you through all parts of the Design Online service from Printing and Mailing: design, invoicing, shipping.

  • Choose from numerous templates
  • Proof your design in "real time"
  • No special software needed
  • Access to OSU's IMC templates and photos

Start designing your project immediately! Simply log in, choose your template, and you are off and running. When you're done, view your proof in "real time" and make corrections if necessary. If everything looks great, you are ready to place your order.

Using Design Online, you will be able to create business cards, achievement certificates, table tent inserts, 8.5" x 11" flyers, 11" x 17" posters, bookmarks, and more. In addition, new templates will be added and available for your next project.

Simply go to the catalog, and select the item you’d like to order. You can access this site 24 hours a day, view your proof in real time, check the status of your order, and edit and reorder existing items from the Order Manager. Please check back frequently! We are creating a living, breathing site that will often bring you something new. We will continue adding more items to the OSU Marketing Templates as well as other commonly ordered printed materials.

"Navigating Difference" Courses Offered

Two sessions of the "Navigating Difference" class, covering different aspects of diversity, will be offered this November and December.

Part one of the course will take place at the Washington Street Conference Center in Hillsboro November 7th through 9th. For more information on part one of this course, please contact Patrick Proden at (907) 460-1974.

Part two will be held in Corvallis December 4th through 7th. For more information on part two, please contact Dan McGrath at (503) 931-8307.

Navigating Difference Part One – Cultural Competency
Washington Street Conference Center
November 7-9, 2012, Hillsboro, Oregon
Contact: Patrick Proden (907) 460-1974

Navigating Difference Part Two – Personal Leadership
Outreach and Engagement Diversity Catalyst Team
December 4-7, 2012, OSU Campus, Corvallis, Oregon
Contact: Dan McGrath (503) 931-8307

New Address for Benton County Extension

The Benton County Extension Office has relocated from their office on Ninth Street to the newly renamed Benton County Sunset Building on SW Research Way.  Their telephone numbers will remain the same.  The complete address for Benton County Extension Office is below.

Benton County Sunset Building
4077 SW Research Way
Corvallis, OR 97333-1065

2012 Food Safety/Preservation Hotline

A reminder that the 2012 Food Safety/Preservation Hotline became active June 25. Thanks to the great group of volunteers from Douglas and Lane Counties, they are ready to help you handle the many consumer calls offices receive once canning season starts.

Details are in the attached promotion pieces that Carolyn Raab has kindly created (flyer, bookmarks). 

Food Safety/Preservation Hotline 
(800) 354-7319

June 25 to October 12, 2012
Monday through Friday (except holidays)
9:00am-4:00pm (1:00pm-4:00pm on Wednesdays)

Please feel free to use and promote this free service. 


Sherman County Dedicated New Office June 13

On Wednesday, June 13, Sherman County dedicated its first new office building since they opened the historical County Courthouse in 1899, with a special ceremony at the Sherman Experiment Station near Moro.

The dedication was of the annual research field day, celebrating new findings of agricultural interests to producers. The new building itself will house the County Planning Office, the County Weed Department, the County’s OSU Extension Service and the Sherman Station Manager, marking a unique cooperative effort by the county and the state land grant university.

The new 3,650 square foot facility also features a conference room that will be available to the public and local groups, such as many 4H related groups and advisory boards, plus offer enough room for educational presentations.

The building is a county owned and built facility but incorporates a blending of old and new. It replaces the old Experiment Station lab and office, which while an old building, was not historical. It was also in bad need of repair and upgrading. Original plans to combine the Experiment Station and Extension Office were to remodel, but the sagging floors, 2X4 ceiling joists on erratic centers, poor insulation, lack of handicap accessibility, high asbestos and lead paint issues signaled replacement beyond repairing. The County Extension office faced similar challenges and the marriage of the two made good sense.

While Sherman County was the primary financial backer, the facility also received generous support of $75,000 each from the Sherman Station Endowment Fund and the Sherman Development League. Oregon State University Extension and the College of Ag Sciences also pledged support in the effort.

The dedication was held on Wednesday, June 13. Speakers included newly appointed Dean of the College of Ag Sciences at OSU, Dan Arp, Extension Director Scott Reed, farmer Ernie Moore, chair of both the Station Liaison Council and the Sherman Station Endowment Fund and Steve Burnet, Sherman County Commissioner.

As a new facility the building has many energy saving features that will passively reduce heating and lighting costs. Plus in an effort to blend the old with the new, much of the trim and center hallway are from wood salvaged and recycled from the old Experiment Station building adding character to office. The rock wall that covers the conference room was also a money savings measure with local rock provided from County road crews. The building is also the first known building to use Juniper siding on the outside which should provide an insect free and smart look. The Juniper was logged and milled by Kendal Derby of Fossil (married to Wheeler County Agent Amy Derby).

Sherman County Commissioner Burnet stated that the County’s role in this cooperative project should send a loud message of the County’s continued support for continued research at the station.


Extension Skills Webinars: Tools and Techniques for Managing and Resolving Conflict

This series of webinars is intended to provide broad based topics that many Extension educators may need to be successful. Please email Jim Lindstrom with other topics that you would find of interest. Each webinar is from 9:00-10:00a.m. Pacific Time, and is located at http://breeze.wsu.edu/ext_skills/.

July Webinar Series: Tools and Techniques for Managing and Resolving Conflict

This three part series introduces a range of skills for managing and resolving conflict and is presented by Amanda Murphy (PDF) from the William D. Ruckelshaus Center.

Effective Communication: The Basis of Conflict Resolution

Date: July 25, 2012

When conflict arises, it signals the need for communication and problem solving. To solve a problem effectively both parties must first understand each other’s viewpoint, assumptions, and underlying needs. This requires good communication skills that enable an exchange of information and convey interest in and respect for the other party. Such skills include the effective use of body language, speech, and listening, all of which are essential to managing and resolving conflict. 

This session will:

  • Introduce general communication styles
  • Look at the role of verbal and nonverbal communication in conflict
  • Present basic principles and techniques of better communication 

A Framework for Problem Solving

Date: August 1, 2012

Daily we are faced with issues that require us to make decisions with others. In most conflicts, neither party is right or wrong; instead, differences in perceptions, values and ideas collide to create disagreement. When disagreements arise, good problem solving skills are essential. 

This session will:

  • Introduce the steps of problem solving
  • Show how to use communication skills to define problems and uncover interests
  • Introduce techniques for generating and evaluating solutions
  • Present options for when resolution cannot be reached
New UABC Manager Appointed

Dee Wendler has recently been appointed as manager for University Administrative Business Center (UABC). Dee comes to OSU with over 25 years of experience in Higher Education finance and management, most recently as the Associate Vice President for Finance and Controller for Portland State University. She is a native Oregonian, originally raised on the Oregon coast before relocating to Corvallis, and eventually to Portland. Dee has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Oregon State, as well as a Masters in Public Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Portland State University. 

In her off hours, Dee enjoys traveling, camping, cooking, and country western dancing. She is an avid animal lover and bird watcher, and is thrilled to be back in Corvallis at her alma mater!


Lena Etuk Appointed Social Demographer

As of July 1, 2012, Lena Etuk (Social Demographer) will dedicate part of her time to Extension faculty members as a resource to assist with program planning. Though she will be continuing her specialist duties in Family & Community Health, she will have roughly .5 FTE devoted to help faculty and leaders across Extension program areas and the state use social demographic data and information to make decisions about statewide and local program direction, development, and delivery.

In partnership with other faculty members, Lena will lead efforts to provide a suite of services for Extension faculty and administrators that include:

  • Access to data about Oregon towns, cities, and counties;
  • Trainings to develop our capacity to independently perform analyses;
  • Consultation with us about how to use various social demographic data to inform decision-making;
  • Data analysis at state and local levels about emerging trends and client populations; and
  • Tailored needs assessment research.

We can use this social demographic information to identify ways the direction, development, or delivery of programs might be modified or maintained to meet the needs of Oregonians.

Because this is a new service for OSU Extension, Lena actively seeks input about how to best meet our needs. If you would like to participate on an advisory committee for a few hour and a half long meetings please contact her. Alternatively, feel free to send her your ideas via email or call her.

Please contact Lena Etuk via telephone (541) 737-6121 or email if you have any suggestions, feedback, need for services, or interest in serving on the advisory committee.

O&E, Extension Administration Welcome New Staff

The Division of Outreach and Engagement and Extension Administration are pleased to welcome Andrea Zigler as our new Administrative Program Assistant, starting July 16.

Most recently, Andrea has been employed in the Extension Benton County office providing administrative support. Andrea will be responsible for O&E/Extension Admin: OSU and OSU Foundation financial support, Professional Development and Conference Coordination, Professional Development Fund Coordination and Committee member, Extension Promotions and Marketing items (including business cards and name badges for new staff), Newsletter and website, and general office duties.

Joys, Sorrows, and Well-Wishes


Congratulations to Dave King on the birth of his granddaughter, Payton Harper Wettschurack, on June 29, 2012.  


Jim Burr, retired Horticulture agent who (among other counties) last served in Malheur County, passed away June 29, 2012. Jim was especially helpful to the Onion growers in Oregon.

A memorial service to celebrate his life was held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bend, Friday, July 6, at 5 p.m. Contributions may be made to the Family Kitchen.

Darrell C. Maxwell passed away on June 4th in Tacoma, Washington.  Darrell is former Extension faculty having served the Madras, Hermiston and Pendleton areas.

Tom Bedell, OSU Extension Agent and Rangeland Resources Specialist, 1973-1992 passed away on July 3, 2012.

A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall, 2945 NW Circle Blvd, Corvallis, OR at 1 p.m., July 21, 2012. Charitable contributions may be made to Benton Hospice Service, NW Professional Drive, Corvallis 97330; Oregon Aviation Historical Society Endowment Fund, PO Box 553, Cottage Grove, OR 97424; and/or the Society for Range Management Endowment Fund, 100030 West 27th Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO 80215-6601. 

Personnel Updates

Provided by: UABC-HR

New Hires

  • Jennifer Petti, Education Program Assistant 1-Ext Lincoln Co Office
  • Kimberly Griffiths, Office Specialist 2, Ext Deschutes Co Office
  • Jeffery Hutcheson, Office Assistant, Ext Benton County Office
  • Andrea Zigler, Administrative Program Assistant, O&E/Extension Admin


  • None


  • None

Recruitment Updates: Unclassified

  • None

Recruitment Updates: Classified

  • #0009443 – Education Program Assistant 2
    Committee Chair: Westen Miler
    Status: Under Review by Committee
  • #009480 – Accounting Technician
    Committee Chair: Roxie Applebee
    Status: Under Review by Committee