Volume IV - Issue 2

Dan's Observations

Dan Arp

Last hundred days

I began my tenure as Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences in May of 2012. A month later, in June of that year, I wrote an essay about “First views” and commented on my “First hundred days plan.” I am now in my “Last hundred days” as my retirement date this summer quickly approaches. I still have quite a bit to accomplish before I turn over the keys to the new dean, but I also can’t help but look back in the rearview mirror over the past six years.

When I started as dean, I had been in the College for over 20 years. I must have known the College pretty well, right? Well, I knew my part of it for sure! But I soon realized the scale of our mission: the mission of research, teaching, and engagement across agriculture, food, and natural resources—which has us embedded in all parts of the state, embracing a variety of disciplines and working with many different industries. It was a lot to take in!

Over the years, I’ve come to talk about the “soil to shelf” breadth of our mission. A colleague of mine talks of wheat to whales. I might also note alfalfa to albacore, blueberries to beef, cheese to cherries, dogs to dams…you see where this is going. Our reach touches nearly everything that grows or flows from A to Z. The more I learned, the more I appreciated the importance of the work we do here in the College of Agricultural Sciences, tackling the toughest issues facing humanity and training the next generation of scientists and industry leaders.

Speaking of the next generation, I have come to believe that our students are truly special. While it is tricky to describe 2400 individuals, the one word that comes to mind is “passionate.” Our students are passionate about wanting to make a difference and help change the world. That’s why we currently have a banner outside Strand Agriculture Hall acknowledging that our students are preparing themselves to “Make a world of difference.”

Our students depend on us to provide them with first-rate educational opportunities in their chosen discipline, including internships to gain experience, and training in essential skills like communication, teamwork, and leadership. Our faculty, instructors, and advisors deliver on that expectation, and our students graduate with real-world skills for an ever-changing economy.

In addition to teaching, our faculty conduct cutting-edge research that makes a difference in Oregon, across America, and around the globe. The QS world ranking service has our programs ranked 13th worldwide, and 8th among programs in the US. That level of recognition is due to the amazing work of our faculty, and the outstanding staff in their research and outreach programs.

I commented six years ago that the work we do matters to our stakeholders. That appreciation has only deepened with time. When I think about stakeholders, one word comes to mind: partners. We have deep partnerships with the communities and industries we serve across the state. As I was reminded by one stakeholder recently, “we need you and you need us.” That pretty well sums it up.

It has been a great six years. Like you, I look forward to meeting the new dean! I have been lucky to have a career in such an amazing place, and the new dean will be lucky as well. With the winning combination of terrific staff and faculty, passionate students, and stakeholders who are our partners, the future is bright for the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Sincerely,
Dan

Daniel J. Arp
Reub Long Professor and Dean
College of Agricultural Sciences
Director
Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station

Recent News

New Brewery

A look inside OSU’s new high-tech brewhouse

A new $1 million fully automated high-tech research brewery was recently installed in the Wiegand Pilot Plant.  The brewery was a gift from Carlos Alvarez, owner of the Gambrinus Company and Bridgeport Brewing.  Featured in the news clip are Larissa Hitzman, a ferm-sci option student in Food Science and Technology, who has worked in the brewing lab for the past year assisting primarily in the pilot brewery, along with Jeff Clawson, Pilot Plant manager and Prof. Tom Shellhammer.  The new brewhouse featured in the KGW story is the first part of the modernization of our research/teaching equipment. A Meura mash filter will arrive this summer and a new cellar should be in place by autumn.

Dr. Joseph Spatafora new HEAD OF Department of Botany and Plant Pathology

Dr. Joseph Spatafora has been appointed department head for Botany and Plant Pathology (BPP). Joey is a tenured Professor in BPP and served for eight years as Associate Head. During his 23 years at Oregon State University, he has maintained an active and successful record of teaching, research and service, which was recognized by his selection as one of OSU’s Distinguished Professors in 2018. His research focused on the evolutionary biology of fungi is recognized internationally. His appointment began on April 9, 2018.

OSU Update

Celebrating osu's 150th birthday

Oregon State University:  A Legacy of Transformation
Exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society until September 9, 2018.

For 150 years, Oregon State University has provided access to a high-quality college education for all Oregonians, solving tough challenges through groundbreaking research, serving community needs, and propelling the state and global economy. Following the Morrill Act of 1862, the Oregon Legislative Assembly designated Corvallis College as the state’s land grant college on October 27, 1868. Today, Oregon State serves more than 31,800 students and continues its land grant mission to reach communities across the state through OSU Extension Service operations in all 36 counties.

Global Experiences

Service learning in Puerto Rico packs lifelong lessons

(by Ben Davis) In late March, thirty-one students led by seven faculty members traveled to Puerto Rico for a service learning trip, the third one since 2016. Previous trips were designed as agriculture tours that focused on tropical sustainability and food security—but this trip was different.

In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, a one-two punch that ravaged the island last fall, program organizers saw an opportunity to help affected communities, and in doing so, to deliver an unforgettable experience to OSU students who participated.

Katie Gaebel, lead organizer of the trip, teamed up with faculty members from the colleges of engineering, education, and science to maximize the relief effort and add an interdisciplinary scope to the students’ experience. Faculty and students worked with contacts in Puerto Rico to develop projects that would benefit the community.

Their destination was the Segunda Unidad Bernaldo Mendez Jimenez school in the town of San Sebastian, which sits in the foothills of La Cordillera Central mountains (the Central Range) and could be considered the edge of accessibility. Towns beyond that point are virtually unreachable because of storm damage.  ...Click title to read full story and see photos

Trynity Alvarez in Thailand

Spring 2018 Update

(by Stella Coakley) We are pleased to share that we have now received $ 55,764 towards the $ 50,000 endowment for which we had a commitment; the expendable fund will now be replenished by the endowment earnings and we will be able to benefit students into the future. That said, since this endowment will now generate only about $2,200 per year (4%), we are hoping to significantly increase the corpus over time in order to benefit more students and to expand the impact to our faculty. We invite you to consider adding your contributions to the Global Experience Fund. On-line gifts can be made with a note added to specify the endowment. Gifts can be made in honor or memory of your colleagues and friends which is a thoughtful way to honor someone with an interest in international experiences. A description of our efforts.

Shown above, The Global Experience Fund recently partnered with the E.R. Jackman Friends and Alumni to help support eight of the 32 students who participated in the spring break trip to Puerto Rico.

Jerry Carter, in his report on his international internship below, was sponsored in part by the Global Experience Fund.

Both of these contributions indicate how this fund can help change lives.

The lead gift for this endowment was Dr. Hiram Larew, (MS 1977, PhD 1981) with additional support from ER Jackman Friends and Alumni and the Deans’ office. We are grateful to all who have been helping us grow the endowment.

Contact:  Stella Coakley, 541-737-5264

Internship: Glen Dene Limited

(by Jerry Carter) During the duration of my internship, my job responsibilities were very diverse. I had the privilege of having both hands-on and administrative experience in every aspect of their large and diversified business. I generally worked 45-55 hours per week. During an average week approximately 30 hours were spent doing hands on farm work and assisting with the hunting business. The remaining 10 to 15 hours was used learning about the financial side of the business and creating budgets and plans for the business.

Independent Study:  Germany, ITALY AND SWITZERLAND

(by Grace Masterjohn) In August 2017, I went on a three week trip to Europe. This included the countries Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. For this report, I will focus on my time visiting wineries in the Chianti region of Tuscany and my visit to an alpine farm in Switzerland. It was interesting to learn about how each region’s climate and topography will affect their agricultural practices.

Wine is a major part of Italian culture and is commonly consumed with regular meals. This could be because before water was able to be filtered and disinfected, wine would be added to it to kill any bacteria. Also the tannins in the drier wines help to bring out the flavors of the sharp cheeses and more “gamey” meats (such as boar). Either way, winemaking has left its mark on Italy.  Read more.

Independent Study:  WINTER IN THE ALPS

(by Grace Masterjohn) This will be a comparative analysis of traditional Alpine dairy farming in the Swiss Alps and commercial dairy farming in my region of Western Washington. It will also expand upon my previous report that detailed my findings from summer 2017. As a reference point, I will use Krainick Dairy in Enumclaw, Washington to discuss topics such as breeding, feeding, and facilities. 

The village where I stayed was in the Müstair valley near the border of Italy.
The dairy that I visited is a part of a cooperative of farmers that owns a cheese factory within the village. This type of farmer owned cooperative is also used in the US. It can be seen with Krainick Dairy and Darigold as well as the cooperative built by farmers in Tillamook. While I was visiting, they were currently working on building a new facility that is more efficient and can process more milk. It will be on the outskirts to allow for more space and is set to be finished this fall.

Our Best

2018 Distinguished Professor Lecture - Joey Spatafora

Dr. Joseph Spatafora of the Department of Botany and Pathology was named a 2018 Distinguished Professor. The university has presented the Distinguished Professor award annually since 1988 to active OSU faculty members who have achieved extraordinary national and/or international stature for their contributions in research and creative work, education, outreach and engagement, and service.

Professor Spatafora has developed a world-class research program focused on molecular systematics and population genetics of fungi. He has also curated the mycological (fungal) collection, which contains nearly 100,000 specimens, in the university’s Botany Herbarium. His teaching at Oregon State has earned him three teaching awards: The Fred Horne Award for Excellence in Teaching Science, the OSU Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, and the Outstanding University Honors College Professor award. Click title for lecture video.

Lesley Morris

Lesley Morris wins Society for Range Management Award

Dr. Lesley Morris, Assistant Professor of Rangeland Sciences at the OSU Agriculture and Natural Resource Program at EOU, received the prestigious Range Society Education Council's Early Career Undergraduate Teaching Award at their meeting in January. 

Western Region Award for Excellence in Teaching - Ryan Contreras

Dr. Ryan Contreras of the Department of Horticulture was awarded the 2018 Western Region Award for Excellence on College and Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences.

President’s Commission on the Status of Women honors 3 CAS women

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women recently held an awards ceremony called “Breaking Barriers: A Celebration of the Accomplishments and Impact of OSU Women.” A number of women were honored during the event.

The winner of the Breaking Barriers in Education Award is Lisbeth Goddik, professor and Dairy Processing Extension Specialist in the Department of Food Science & Technology. She was recognized in part for providing individual mentorship to female graduate students and younger faculty in the College of Agricultural Science.  This has included professional development, career strategy, and work-life balance.

The winner of the Breaking Barriers in Research Award is Yanyun Zhao, professor and Value-added Food Product Specialist in the department of Food Science & Technology. Zhao is an internationally prominent researcher and trailblazer in developing new knowledge and value-added applications for edible food coatings and films, and a pioneer in the capture and conversion of food processing bio-waste streams into value-added products for food and non-food applications.

The winner of the PCOSW Community Builder Award is Bouquet Harger, administrative manager in the Department of Agricultural Sciences and Agricultural Education. Harger has been lead organizer for a number of community events including the Corvallis Changemakers conference and the Corvallis Women’s March.

Students

Celebrating excellence

The College of Agricultural Sciences celebrated student excellence at its annual awards reception on May 17th. 

CAS Student Award Recipients

CAS presented its outstanding student awards for the year to:

Ashley Reese – BioResource Research major - Burlingham Undergraduate of Excellence Award

Raven Waldron – BioResource Research major - CAS Outstanding Senior Award

Jane Dolliver – Fisheries and Wildlife - Savery Outstanding Master’s Student Award

Michelle Fournet – Wildlife Science - Savery Outstanding Doctoral Student Award

Each award recipient was presented with a plaque and $1,000.

College of agricultural Sciences Registry of Distinguished students

The following students were added to the CAS Registry of Distinguished Students during the Celebrating Excellence event:

Aaron Anderson, Adan Avila, Danica Berry, Lissa Davis, Thomas DeBell, Andrew Miller, Benjamin Nicholas, Benjamin Rietmann, Melissa Robell, Ty Seely, and Saddie Vela.

Alumni Panel membersCAS Leadership Academy hosts Alumni Panel

Since it began in 2011, the CAS Leadership Academy has graduated over 120 students and will be graduating its largest cohort to date, 32 students, this June. One of the main goals of the CAS Leadership Academy is to prepare students to be successful early-career professionals in the field of agriculture and related industries. With many Leadership Academy alumni now a few years into their careers, at the end of winter term 2018, the CAS Leadership Academy hosted its first Leadership Academy Alumni Panel.

Smit Vasquez-CaballeroOSU MANRRS once again top Chapter at National conference

(by Wanda Crannell) On Tuesday, April 3, 2018, a team of faculty, graduate, undergraduate and high school students representing OSU Oregon State University Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) caught their flight to the 33rd Annual MANRRS Career Fair and Training Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Participants attended the 3rd Annual Diversity Summit, (where Tiffany Harper OSU Alum, now with Kentucky Department of Agriculture served as a panelist in the It’s Time to Talk Forum), and a variety of Mobil Tours: Syngenta RTP Tour, Civil Rights Center and Museum, The Cotton Inc. and NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. Students attended the US Forest Service OnSite Hiring Event and the Career Fair with over 75 industry employers, government, academic, or non-profit organizations represented, including Oregon State University Graduate School and College of Agricultural Sciences.

Logan HaileyLogan Hailey supported by the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Logan Hailey has devoted her life to growing nutritious food while preserving and enhancing the soil, water, air, and biodiversity of our planet for generations to come. Within the next few years, she hopes to start a small-scale, highly biodiverse farm that utilizes clean renewable energy, permaculture design, and ecological methods to produce certified organic vegetables, fruit, honey, and free-range eggs. Hailey is currently gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve this goal, including getting her B.S. in Soil Science and Ecological Horticulture Production from Oregon State University as well as farm experience throughout the country. When she is not farming, she enjoys seed saving, foraging, mushroom hunting, hiking, traveling, reading, writing for the Country Grind Quarterly (a rural farm punk magazine), playing banjo, working on her school bus conversion, and exploring the wilderness with her inspiring life partner and their three wonderful dogs. They are currently living and farming in northern Montana. You can follow her adventures in organic farming and beyond at www.farmer-v.com

2018 Food science college bowl winners

Congratulations to the OSU Food Science IFTSA College Bowl (food science trivia) team! On March 31 they beat 5 other IFT chapters to become the 2018 Pacific NW champions. Team captain Danton Batty and his teammates Jordyn Bunting, Nick Engels, Rachel Hahn, Lauren Olson and Megan Ooi will be representing the pacific NW in the IFT national competition this July.  They are coached by Dr. Elizabeth Thomasino.

New Fields

AGRICULTURAL executive COUNCIL ANNOUNCES 2018/19 ELECTED OFFICERS

New officers for next academic year were announced on May 23rd at Ag Exec's last meeting of the year.

President: Monica Debord
Vice President: Dakota Lager
Director of Finances: Jolie Dickerson
Director of Correspondences: Katelyn Schrum
Director of Public Relations: Ashleigh Ehrke
Director of Ag Days: Katelyn Wetzler
Director of New Fields: Jessica Croxson

Research

Novel ecosystems provide use for some native birds

(by Chris Branam) Ecosystems that have been altered by human activities can provide suitable habitat for native birds, according to scientists in the United States and Australia.

The study results shouldn’t be interpreted that habitat restoration to historic conditions is futile and that all novel ecosystems are acceptable, said lead author Dr. Pat Kennedy, a wildlife biologist at Oregon State University. But they do show that habitat restoration can be prioritized.

killer whalesResearchers use “environmental DNA” to identify killer whales in Puget Sound

(By Mark Floyd) When endangered killer whales swim through the sheltered waters of Puget Sound, they leave behind traces of “environmental DNA” that researchers can detect as much as two hours later, a new study has found.

The findings, published today in the journal Frontiers, are surprising and significant. They not only provide a new non-invasive way to study whales, they may help scientists locate cetacean species that are known but have rarely been detected – including certain beaked whales.

“If we can replicate this in the open ocean, it will be a game-changing advance,” said Scott Baker, associate director of the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University and lead author on the study. “It’s been well-established that you can follow a whale and capture some of its fecal plume before it dissipates. But this is completely different”.

FFAR Awards Four Grants totaling $1.5 Million to Enhance Economic Opportunity for Clam, Halibut, Scallop, Yellowtail and Sea Cucumber Producers in the United States

Matt Hawkyard, Ph.D., Oregon State University research associate, and collaborators are developing more efficient methods for delivering nutrients to commercially raised marine fish with the goal of improving production of California yellowtail and California halibut, two high-value fish species. Researchers expect the technology to be applicable to other species and available for adoption by industry within three years of project completion. A $275,792 FFAR grant is being matched by Hubbs-Seaworld Research Institute (HSWRI), Oregon State University and Reed Mariculture.

Extreme climate variability destabilizing West Coast ecosystems

(By Chris Branam) New research shows that extreme climate variability over the last century in western North America may be destabilizing both marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Climate is increasingly controlling synchronous ecosystem behavior in which species populations rise and fall together, according to the National Science Foundation-funded study published in the journal Global Change Biology.

Climate variability is of concern given that extreme events, such as prolonged drought or heatwaves, can disproportionately impact biology, reduce resilience and leave a lasting impact. An increase in the synchrony of the climate could expose marine and terrestrial organisms to higher risks of extinction, said study co-author Ivan Arismendi, an aquatic ecologist and assistant professor at Oregon State University.

Art About Agriculture

Susan Burnes’s show in Gallery 440

Rogue River artist Susan Eileen Burnes is exhibiting her abstract creations in paint and fiber in Gallery 440 in Strand Agricultural Hall on the Oregon State University campus through June 8, 2018.

Burnes creates fiber art with layers of color by applying pastel pigments and acrylic paint onto hand-stitched fiber attached to painted canvases.  This process creates a highly textured surface that supports abstract geometric forms and patterns intended to express the basic structure of material life. Her artwork has been featured in exhibitions, galleries and private collections in nine states and Europe.

A resident of the small town of Rogue River since 2001, Burnes says she is inspired by the rhythms and patterns she finds in her Southern Oregon environment.

“As I require the quiet, empty spaces to breathe, to dream and to create, my artwork is a realization of these natural processes,” she writes. “Through my art I intend to convey the experience of unity and harmony through the repetition of simple geometric forms in linear patterns.”

Burnes is represented in the College's Art About Agriculture Permanent Collection with her fiber work “Community.”

Burnes first became involved with the College’s Art About Agriculture program in her capacity as director of exhibitions with the Grants Pass Museum of Art, where she oversaw the installation and promotion of both the 2009 and 2016 Art About Agriculture annual touring shows. She also participated in the annual Art About Agriculture exhibitions in 2014 and 2017.

Gallery 440 is located on the fourth floor of Strand Agriculture Hall and is open by appointment.

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Spring 2018 - Small Farm NewsSpring 2018 Oregon Small Farm News

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  • Take Action RIGHT NOW to Manage Tansy Ragwort
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textVine to Wine (May 2018)

Program Coordinator Update
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Protecting Oregon: The Importance of Clean Plants
What's the Status of Red Blotch Disease in Oregon?
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In Memoriam

PhilLip walker

(by Mitch Lies, Capital Press) Phillip Walker, a Salem tree fruit and nut grower who held leadership positions in the agricultural industry for many years, died of cancer April 6. He was 64.

Walker served on the Oregon Hazelnut Commission from 1991 to 1997 and from 2003 to 2009, including serving as chairman for three years and treasurer for three years. From 1987 to 1991, Walker was a member of the Nut Grower Society Board, serving as president of the society in 1991. He received the Nut Grower of the Year award in 1997.

Walker served as a Polk County Commissioner in 1998 and from 2003 to 2005. He served a stint on the Polk County Budget Committee, on the Polk County Citizens Advisory Committee for Corrections Facilities and on the West Salem Little League Board of Directors.

For nearly 30 years, Walker served on the board of Oregon State University’s Agricultural Research Foundation, from 1991 until his death, including serving as president of the foundation from 2009 until his death.  (Read more...)