IMPACT STATEMENT - If Southern Oregon Research & Extension Center closes

OSU IMPACT ON JACKSON COUNTY

Extension & Experiment Station

Budget

  • 2012 County Budget - $205,644.  Proposed Administrator’s 2013 Budget - $204,204
    • County budget is 11% of the Southern Oregon Research & Extension Center budget.
    • The county support provides the base budget that allows us to find other investors for our activities.
    • For every $1 invested by Jackson County, OSU faculty (6 FTE) leverage $8.48 from grants, contracts, state & federal support
    • The OSU Extension Service requires county partnership (financial support) in order to locate faculty in any county.   Without this county allocation of dollars, matching funds, grants & contracts are diverted to other counties or lost.        
    • County In-Kind-$100,000 for the Extension building

Jobs

  • 31 full & part-time employees 

Programs

  • OSU faculty and projects in Jackson County support Agriculture, Forestry, Youth and Family Development (including 4-H), and Natural Resource Management programs that are central to the economic vitality of this county.  OSU partners with many entities that come to us to deliver research-based education to the community.

 

Master Gardeners

1)      479 volunteers, largest in the state.  Donated 20,000 hours of time and made 15,000 contacts in 2012.

2)       Master Gardeners are self-sufficient except for use of the facility & grounds.  Without the Jackson County Extension, they cease to exist as it is policy that without faculty oversight to ensure compliance they cannot continue to deliver educational programming

3)      The community will lose the Plant Clinic, Winter Dreams & Summer Gardens and the Spring Fair.

 

Forestry-Small Woodland Owners

1)      184,000 acres of private forest land in the county managed by 3,000 families that make vital contributions to the timber supply, environment, and quality of life in Jackson County.  With recent declines in federal timber harvest, timber from small woodlands is increasingly important.  The 2000-2010 average annual farm gate value of timber harvest from small woodlands was over $8,000,000.

2)      Programs managed by the Extension Forester are:  Master Woodland Managers, Woodland Stewardship Short Course, Smalls Woodlands Programs & Tours, Tree School Rogue,  Land Stewards & Living on the Land Conference. 

3)      Whether the issue is reducing fire hazard, improving timber production or addressing threats to forest health,  OSU Jackson County  Extension Service is the go-to source for objective, research-based information and education for the county’s woodland and rural landowners. 

4)      There is a continuing need for landowner education with roughly 20% turnover in woodland parcels in a 5-year period.  In 2012 the program offered over 30 educational programs with more than 1,500 participants with over 6,000 reached through classes, newsletters and other programs.

5)      Impacts:  Since completing Land Stewards training, 90% of participants completed at least one project on-the ground, while 65% completed 5 or more projects on their property & 32% completed more than 10 projects.  Projects have resulted in improved forest health, reduced fire hazard, reduced spread of noxious weeds, increased wildlife habitat, and soil and water conservation.

6)      The OSU Extension led Seven Basin fire project resulted in more than 1,500 acres of on-the-ground fuels reduction, increased protection from fire for more than 500 residences, improved neighborhood cohesion and greater interagency coordination.

 

Small Farms

1)      Small Farms faculty provide advice and support for new landowners and what can be done with their land to make it productive.

2)      In 2012, the Small Farms program reached 2,161 small farmers and landowners through classes, newsletters, events and one-on-one consultation. 

3)      They concentrate on Beginning Farmers, Winter Farming, livestock, Farmer to Farmer networks & the League of Women Farmers and provide Pesticide Recertification for commercial applicators.

4)      Since inception, 37 new vendors have begun selling at local farmers’ markets of which the OSU Small Farm program has worked with 46% of these new farmers.

5)       Offer Growing Agripreneurs, a hands-on seven month training program for 5-7 beginning farmers each year. 60% of participants have started their own commercial farms upon completion of the program.

6)       Partner with numerous other agencies and groups, including Thrive, Rogue Farm Corp, Friends of Family Farmers, Southern Oregon Dairy Goat Association, NRCS and Jackson County Soil and Water to provide high-quality educational programs.

7)       Currently facilitating the formation of the Southern Oregon Seed Growers Association, which will increase the capacity and quality of specialty crop seed grown in Jackson County.

8)       As a result of information sessions held during 2012, ten producers received funding from the NRCS High Tunnel program, valued at $50,000.

4H & Youth

1)      Over 4,000 youth participated in OSU Extension programs through the traditional 4-H program, school enrichment programs such as Hands on Ag Day, After School Programs at Gold Hill & Sams Valley elementary schools, Master Gardener Children’s Garden program, Oregon Food & Nutrition Education Programs, one day events such as Kids & Bugs.

2)      4-H members entered 2,528 projects at the 2012 Jackson County and Spring Fair:  including livestock, photography, lego robotics, art, food, clothing…

3)      Young people in 4H report better, grades, higher levels of academic competence and an elevated level of engagement at school.  Nearly 2X more likes to plan to go to college and more likely to pursue future courses or a career in science, engineering or computer technology.

 

Family & Community Health

1)       Family Food Education Volunteers logged over 100 hours assisting OSU Nutrition Educators with hands-on food activities in school, food pantries and with youth groups.

2)      Living Well Programs available through a partnership with Rogue Valley Council of Government has assisted over 1200 older adults with chronic health conditions to become better self-managers of their health challenges.

3)      Master Food Preservers provided 27 classes including the importance of food safety and logged over 4,500 volunteer hours in 2012.

Experiment Station

1)      Our researchers provide support to the agricultural industry to address pest control, productivity and meeting new emerging state and federal laws.

2)      Oregon State University is currently interviewing and is investing in a permanent Viticulture position here at SOREC which would be lost.

3)      1,200-1,500 acres in winegrapes in the Rogue Valley

4)      6,000 acres in Pears & Peaches in the Rogue Valley.

5)      Plant Pathologist- retires in a year and the university may decide not to replace him if we cannot get support of county $$.  He is 20% Extension.

6)      Currently negotiating a new lease with the county, if it cannot be agreed upon and the County eliminates funding for Extension the college will likely pull out of the area.  Once the Experiment Station is gone, it will never come back and Jackson County will lose the researchers for our commercial agriculture industry.