Summer 2019

Volume X - Issue 3

From the Dean

It has been a busy few months at the College of Agricultural Sciences, and this issue of The Source reflects some of the exciting news taking place here. From the launch of our new Global Hemp Innovation Center to the appointment of nationally renowned Dr. Lisa Ballance to direct the Marine Mammal Institute, our work remains focused on making tomorrow better.

To help in that effort, I am also pleased to share the outcome of this year’s Statewides biennium budgeting cycle in Salem. Some of the funding is still awaiting final approval by the Governor. 

Thanks to the tireless efforts of faculty and the incredible support from stakeholders, the OSU Statewides (which includes the Agricultural Experiment Station (AES), Extension, and Forest Research Laboratory (FRL)) ended up with a $19.2 million increase to restore, maintain, and build essential research and Extension programs that address Oregon’s most critical needs in natural resource science and stewardship, sustainable agricultural, food, and forest production, and youth and community development. This not only provides the $14.6 million funding necessary to cover continued service level costs, and partially address past shortfalls, it also provides $5.2 million for new initiatives, including:

  • $2 million (Extension) for fire resilience and recovery
  • $2.27 million (AES) and $410K (Extension) for water quality and quantity programs
  • $375K (Extension) for organic agriculture and $125K (one-time funding AES) for a continuing berry position

We recognize that with this investment comes a great deal of trust in our institution to continue delivering on the positive impacts we make for all Oregonians as we build upon our three-pronged mission to advance research, teaching, and outreach.

For all who took part in this effort, my sincere gratitude. We do not take your trust lightly.


Alan Sams
Reub Long Professor and Dean
College of Agricultural Sciences
Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station

Recent News

World’s First Hemp Innovation Center Launches In Oregon

Oregon State University officials announced plans to launch the nation’s largest research center devoted to the study of hemp, and announced that OSU will begin certifying hemp seed for planting in Oregon.

The Global Hemp Innovation Center will be based in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences with research taking place across the state and world. Currently, there are more than 40 OSU faculty representing 19 academic disciplines engaged in hemp research, teaching and extension services. The center will serve as a research hub connecting faculty and researchers engaged in plant research, food innovation, pharmacy, public health, public policy, business and engineering. (See also Chronicle of Higher Education)

OSU names NOAA director of marine mammal science as head of its Marine Mammal Institute

Lisa Ballance, an ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California, has been named director of the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University.

She succeeds Bruce Mate, who is retiring after serving as the director since its inception in 2006. She will start in the new position on Oct. 14.

“Lisa Ballance is exceptionally gifted, both as a marine ecologist and an administrator,” said Alan Sams, dean of OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, which is the academic home of the institute. “She has an international reputation for her scholarship on marine birds and mammals, and for her leadership of large science teams within NOAA.” (Full Story)

Anita Azarenko Appointed as Interim Vice Provost, University Outreach & Engagement and Director

Dr. Anita Azarenko will serve as interim vice provost for the Division of University Outreach and Engagement and director of the OSU Extension Service effective July 7.

As you may know, Anita has been at Oregon State for over 30 years. She climbed the faculty ranks before serving in a variety of administrative roles, including Head of the Department of Horticulture in the College of Agricultural Sciences; Associate Dean for the Graduate School; and Special Assistant to the Vice President for Finance and Administration. For the past three years, she has served as Associate Vice President for University Facilities, Infrastructure and Operations. In this role, Anita has served as OSU’s chief facilities officer, responsible for the maintenance, operations, renovations and/or construction of all of the university’s facility assets and grounds. She also led implementation of the university’s 10-year capital forecast and annual capital improvement and renewal plans.

Anita’s leadership experience in both academic and administrative units makes her uniquely qualified to engage various stakeholder groups, hear their advice, and assist me with formulating the plan for permanent leadership of University Outreach and Engagement and the OSU Extension Service. As interim vice provost, Anita will serve as a member of the Provost’s Senior Leadership Team and the President’s Cabinet.

Dr. Scott Reed, Vice Provost for University Outreach and Engagement and Director of the OSU Extension Service since 2007, will retire on July 31. He and Anita will work together and with others to ensure a smooth transition.

Phil Hamm reflects on 45-year career

(Spudman) As the director of Oregon State University’s Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Phil Hamm has been at the forefront of potato research for decades. All good things must end, however, and the time has come for Hamm to call it a career. He’ll retire this summer.

Hamm has spent his entire 45-year career studying plant disease, including the past 30 years at Oregon State in some capacity. He has focused primarily on topics that affect growers in the Pacific Northwest, but often his research has rippled to affect the industry worldwide. (See also The Capital Press)

Tom Chastain named interim department head of crop and Soil Science

Dr. Tom Chastain has been named as the Interim Department Head for Crop and Soil Science at Oregon State University effective August 1, 2019.  Tom has been a member of the Crop and Soil Science faculty since 1989, serving as Associate Department Head since 2016.  As a Professor in the department, Tom provides leadership in a state-wide research, teaching and outreach program on seed production systems.   He will serve as Interim Department Head until a permanent Department Head is hired.  A search for the permanent position is underway.

Appointment of Dr. Christina DeWitt as Interim Director of COMES/Newport

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Christina DeWitt as the Interim Director of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station-Newport at Oregon State University, effective August 1, 2019. Christina has been the Director of the COMES-Seafood Research and Education Center in Astoria since 2010. As Director, Christina provides leadership in a coast-wide research and outreach program on marine fisheries, marine conservation, aquaculture, and seafood processing and safety. She will serve as Interim Director until a permanent Director is hired. A search for the permanent position will begin within the next 6 months.

We sincerely thank Dr. Gil Sylvia for his leadership as Director of COMES-Newport since 1998, and his 31 years of service to Oregon State University. Gil is retiring on July 31st, 2019.

OSU Update

Oregon's strategic plan for bees creates a buzz

(By Dylan Darling, The Register-Guard)  Sure, people know about honeybees. But the imported black-and-yellow bee is just one of the more than 500 bee species flying around Oregon. A state effort aims to help bee pollinators of all sizes and stripes — including the well-known honeybee — thrive in gardens, farm fields and forests.

″(Oregon) is one of the hot spots for bee biodiversity,” said Andony Melathopoulos, a bee expert with the Oregon State University Extension Service in Corvallis. The state has more species of bees than all the states east of the Mississippi River combined, he said. The long list of bees in Oregon includes metallic sweat bees, alkali bees and black-tailed bumblebees.

The Oregon Bee Project has a strategic plan, launched in June 2018, with four goals: protect bees from pesticide exposure, increase habitat, reduce impacts of diseases and pests on bees and expand the understanding of bees in the state. Oregon State University Extension Service, the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Forestry teamed up to create the plan, which will be revised next year. Melathopoulos, whose official title is pollinator health extension specialist for the state of Oregon, chairs the committee behind the plan and project. As part of the plan, the state is training more than 500 beekeepers about managing diseases and has recruited about 150 citizen scientists to collect wild bee samples. 

The Oregon Bee Project also is behind the OSU Extension Service effort to produce PolliNation, a podcast about pollinators.  The podcast had more than 100 episodes, including titles such as “The Weird and Wonderful World of Alfalfa Pollination,” “Producing Native Plants for Bees,” and “Bees in Dynamic and Extreme Environments,” as of mid-July.

Our Best

2019 Outreach and engagement vice provost awards for excellence

At the Outreach and Engagement Vice Provost Awards ceremony held May 2nd, CAS faculty received nearly 40% of the total awards including the first ever 'Failing Forward Award'.

  • Failing Forward Award: VIEW (Vanguarding an Inclusive Ecological Workforce) by Dana Sanchez and Selina Heppell and other collaborators
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab on Collaborative Research in Aquaculture and Fisheries by Hillary Egna and other collaborators
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a Tool to Engage High School Students with Local Watershed Councils by Guillermo Giannico and other collaborators
  • Puerto Rico Engaged Service Learning Course by Wanda Crannell, Kate Field and Katie Gaebel and other collaborators
  • Also, there was a special feature of last year’s OSU Senate Outreach and Engagement award:
  • 2018 Faculty Senate O&E Award to Ramesh Sagili on his Master Bee Keepers Statewide Program.

Congratulations to all for this recognition of your outstanding outreach and engagement work! 

-Sam Angima

Dr. priyadarshini chakrabarti Basu receives a Postdoctoral Scientist award

Dr. Priyadarshini Chakrabarti Basu is a post-doctoral researcher at the Honey Bee Lab, Department of Horticulture. She was a recipient of the the prestigious Postdoctoral Scientist Award by the OSU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Research Honor Society on April 10th, 2019. (Shown receiving award from Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, Philip Mote.) Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest multidisciplinary research honor society. Priya was also initiated as a member to the honor society. Priya’s chief focus lies in improving bee health by understanding bee nutrition and deciphering the effects of pesticides, pathogens and other stressors on pollinators. She employs various techniques of molecular ecology, neuroethology, insect physiology, ecotoxicology, mass spectrometry and apicultural practices to address her research questions. She earned her Ph.D. in Zoology from University of Calcutta in India, where she studied the effects of pesticides on wild Indian honey bees.

Global Experiences

Dam proud day of giving

We are delighted to share that on April 30th, 2019, 97 donors raised over $37,246 in support of the Global Experience Fund in the College of Agricultural Sciences as part of the Dam Proud Day of Giving.  The impact of donor support was doubled with the generous match from Hiram Larew, and together a lasting impact is being made by creating life-changing international experiences for our students.

Since June 2013, the Global Experience Fund has supported thirty-four of these student experiences, with awards ranging from $200 to $2,000.  These seemingly small financial awards can often be the difference that allows students to engage in these transformational experiences.  So far, students have engaged in International Internships; experienced the Exploring World Agriculture trip to France; rolled up their sleeves in a work-study trip to Puerto Rico; twice participated in the International Association of Agriculture and Related Sciences National Summit; and attended the Population Genetics Workshop in Nepal. In total, the fund has provided over $40,000 in support since its inception in 2013, and our donor’s generosity will further increase our impact.

The fund’s founder, and Dam Proud Day matching donor, Hiram Larew, expressed his gratitude as well.  “I'm sending my deep gratitude to you, and those who donated to the College of Agricultural Science's Global Experience Fund's Endowment during Giving Day.  As a result of your generosity, more students will be able to undertake life-changing travel overseas to study and conduct research, and Oregon agriculture and natural resources will be made that much stronger for the scientific and cultural ties that are made.”

We pleased to make international experiences financially possible for our students.  See video.

Donors to this fund are invited to join us on October 11, 2019 at the OSU Foundation from 4-6 p.m. for a celebration of the international experiences of our students. To give you a preview of this year’s student experiences, the most recent awards from the Global Experience Fund will help support a Dairy Assistant internship in Ireland, a Community Medicine Intern in Ecuador, a Student Animal Care Assistant in Australia, a Research Assistant at the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center in Costa Rica, and a Tropical Forests Natural Resource Management Intern in Malaysian Borneo.  We look forward to hosting these students and others and invite our donors to join us.

-Stella Coakley


meet michelle mcallaster, head advisor

We are pleased to welcome Michelle McAllaster as Head Advisor for the College of Agricultural Sciences beginning on July 15th.  Michelle comes to us with several years of experience working with undergraduate and graduate students at OSU and in the Registrar's Office.

Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academy is a one-year program open to all undergraduates in the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Forestry. Selected students evaluate their leadership strengths and areas for growth and set goals for long- and short-term leadership development. Working closely with a faculty mentor, students identify on- and off-campus activities, professional development workshops and organizations that will help them take steps toward reaching their leadership development goals. Students also seek out academic coursework that will enhance their growth and complement the requirements of their chosen degrees.


celebrating excellence in the college of agricultural sciences

Wrapping up the 2018/19 academic year, the annual Celebrating Excellence Awards reception on May 21st honored student-nominated faculty, student leaders, scholars, clubs and graduates.  Dean Alan Sams welcomed guests and Associate Dean Dan Edge was Master of Ceremonies.

The Agricultural Executive Council Awards - Student nominated and presented
Distinguished New Professor Award: Dr. Si Hong Park, Food Science and Technology
Distinguished Professor Award:  Dr. Lisbeth Meunier-Goddik, Food Science and Technology
Advisor of the Year Award: Dr. Scarlett Arbuckle, Fisheries and Wildlife
Club of the Year Award:  Food and Fermentation Science Club

College of Agricultural Sciences Awards

Savery Outstanding Doctoral Student Award
Sponsored by the Agricultural Research Foundation
Evan Bredeweg, Fisheries and Wildlife

Savery Outstanding Master’s Student Award
Sponsored by the Agricultural Research Foundation
Lisabeth Arellano, Biological & Ecological Engineering Water Resource Graduate Program

CAS Outstanding Senior Award
Sponsored by the CAS Academic Programs Office
Melissa Hui Weng Wong, Food Science and Technology

Burlingham Undergraduate Student of Excellence Award
Sponsored by the Burlingham Family
Christopher Cousins, Fisheries and Wildlife


Acknowledgement of Student Leaders

Here we acknowledge this years' outgoing student leaders.  Celebrating Excellence brought together friends, great achievements and wonderful memories of the 2018/19 Academic Year. 

New Fields (Agricultural Executive Council update)

Do you believe in the future of agriculture? 

Because the Agricultural Executive Council and 30 student organizations within it sure do!

Let’s take a back road and find out more about the remaining clubs who presented about their bright spots in serving the agricultural industry to end the 2018-2019 year off. So, sit back, pull over, and put the tailgate down...

spring term club highlights

Collegiate Future Farmers of America (CFFA)

Learning to do. Doing to Learn. Earning to Live. Living to Serve. These four statements make up the FFA motto that embodies what it means to be a servant leader in high school and progressing even further into college. Collegiate FFA serves to support the Oregon FFA Association as well as Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom. The Oregon FFA organizes Career Development Event Days (CDE Days) for two days all over OSU’s campus during Spring term. CFFA is the group of people who are passionate for the future of agriculture and strive to help the annual operations that is the Oregon Future Farmers of America.

OSU Dairy

Cheese, ice cream, milk, and so much more! The OSU Dairy Club is here to fill our admiration for all things milk related as they strive to achieve educational activities for dairy youth as well as the general public. Members also serve both the State of Oregon and the national dairy industries as they maintain a presence at the Oregon Dairy Farmers Convention and the Oregon State Capitol to celebrate Oregon Dairy Day.


The Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences Club is here to empower and promote academic and professional advancement with minorities in agriculture and surrounding fields. Some of the activities they seize include the Food for Fund Food Drive, Mentor Program with the Junior MANRRS, and hosting mock interview as well as professional development workshops for its membership to further their growth in leadership opportunities. In the past one such leadership experience was the journey the membership embarked upon as they traveled to Puerto Rico for a service learning trip. A few of their projects during their stay ranged from incorporating an Agriculture Education curriculum and performing construction, engineering, and cleaning around the region.

Collegiate 4-H

“To Make the Best Better.” This club found a place here on campus to bridge the gap between the 4-H youth and desire to continue the passion as well as the drive for continuing growth beyond high school. The Collegiate 4-H and its members serve to provide immense assistance with the 4-H extension office and maintain an active presence at the National Conference, which will be in Oklahoma this next year. Some of the social impacts this club has to offer is found also in their bowling nights and membership retreat they have in the fall. Moreover, Collegiate 4-H has a handful of volunteer opportunities that promote their Head, Hands, Heart, and Health to greater service and loyalty to the Oregon State Fair.

Poultry Science

Why didn’t the chicken cross the road? Because it was too busy enjoying the Poultry Science Club meeting! It is at these meetings that they discuss research opportunities to understand the laboratory setting and gain animal experience in a field not a whole lot of people are comfortable working in. The list for public outreach with this club is endless. They help out at the Oregon Ag Fest with bringing a BABY CHICK display. Members also volunteer at the FFA Poultry Judging at the CDE Day Event and assist with 4-H Club Presentations.

Team Toxicology

Trainees of the Environmental and Molecular Toxicology are here to save us all in times of need. Their mission is to further enhance and diversify the educational experience of all EMT graduate and post graduate trainees, and associated undergraduate students. Team Tox is very involved in K-12 Outreach as they introduce several modules and activities including yeast-dose response, strawberry DNA extraction, and dealing with exposure and the susceptibility with that. Within the past two years a new partnership has formed with STEM Leaders where they are now able to pursue an array of mentoring and networking opportunities for students. Talking about succeeding in helping the future generations grow!


Who here loves some friendly competition Jeopardy style? Well, one thing is for certain. The members of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Associations do. This is the unique opportunity to join a professional association to study, research, teach, and participate in agriculture and applied economics in a whole new light. This summer, actually, the team will be going up against 35 teams in Atlanta, Georgia and making an early arrival a few days in advance to visit the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.

Sigma Alpha

A professional sorority with a passion fueled by agriculture, the Xi chapter of Sigma Alpha serves to promote their four pillars of scholarship, leadership, fellowship, and service. OSU founded their chapter in 1991 and since then has had over four hundred active members. Their philanthropy is for Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom, a very impactful program for K-12 education in Oregon, teaching students how agriculture affects them in everyday life. Sigma Alpha members volunteer to help organize lesson plans and go out into the community to provide literacy projects.

OSU Sheep Club

Who would turn down the opportunity to pursue any activity that involves learning more about sheep production? It definitely would not be the members of the Sheep Club. They gain countless hands on opportunities throughout the year including lambing, ultra sounding, breeding, hoof health, and vaccination. Did I mention Lambing Crew? Because... members are able to actually watch and help BABY LAMBS being born. As if this isn’t enough fun stuff members get to do, there is also the opportunity to experience basic sheep handling by showing the animals at a competition, drawing blood and collecting fecal samples, and learning how to grade wool. The team travels to the Northwest Championship Sheep Dog Trials.


The Horticulture Club participates and actively engages in the National Collegiate Landscape Competition where they make professional connections and access internships all over the country. Something super interesting about the club is how they fundraise; they grow most of their plants from starter plants in the green house, which is an amazing opportunity for those who are interested in greenhouse production.

Sigma Delta Omega

A sisterhood of scientists, Sigma Delta Omega was founded here at OSU in 2006. These intelligent women are united by their passion for pursuing a future in science not only for themselves, but also the community. Every member actively volunteers in tutoring OSU students or working with OSU’s STEM Academy Program. In fact, the OSU STEM Academy is their philanthropy, which advocates for Women in Science, Engineering, and Math. SDO organizes a trivia competition for science and raises money for the program by selling chocolate covered espresso beans. YUM! Last year they raised over $3,000 for the STEM Academy. It is clear that these ladies have a good balance between social, academic, and professional life.


The Society for Advancement of Chicano/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science is an outlet for all to understand and help in the promotion of recruiting students in underrepresented minorities. This group of genuine people hold an essential and thriving position as they represent at the Mi Familia Weekend to assist in families’ understanding of what college is all about and so much more. Furthermore, they host a wide variety of workshops including topics on how to find an internship, grad school options, and salary negotiation.

Let’s keep on cruising as we take a trip down memory lane with a little reminiscing from the Agricultural Executive Council’s main events this term!

"Coast with the most" Spring Industry Tour

Do you smell something fishy? Do you see beyond the douglas firs? Do you taste the cranberries in your juice? This year’s annual industry tour took us on a road trip full of singalongs, sightseeing, and exploring along the great Southern Coast of Oregon. Our adventure started off with going to Newport to visit Pacific Seafood and partake on a dock walk to see the various types of boats used for different purposes. We traveled a little further over to Coos Bay where we explored a little bit into the past of the town and the history that shaped the agriculture that surrounds the county. On day two of the trip, we started off with visiting a cranberry farm to learn more about the process from start to finish on their production site. Additionally, we had enough time for a pit stop to the Coquille River Light where we took a step into the past to see what it was like to manage a light house in the early 1900’s. Nothing like an amazing view of the ocean and the little town of Bandon! Afterward, we detoured to the Face Rock Creamery to get dessert first with delicious dairy products just before heading on over to shoot some oysters and get our feet a little wet as we understand what it takes to shuck some oyster shells. On our last day we ventured on over to the Coquille Tribal Land to explore their forestry management program. Our final stop was a luncheon with the amazing people of Northwest Farm Credit Services over in Roseburg. Here we discussed what it is that they do and how it can apply to what we, as students pursuing degrees in the agricultural sciences, hold a strong passion and desire for. One common thing was for certain on this Industry Tour among the various fields we uncovered along the southern coast: We all believe in the future of agriculture.

Ag days BBQ, Panel and more!

Tuesday, April 16th: The Agricultural Executive Council and hundreds of people in attendance celebrated agriculture and its importance. The first day of Ag Days showcased the outreach and individual interpretation of what agriculture means in our lives. Each student organization was in attendance and were all stationed at booths around the SEC Plaza. There were interactive displays filled with baby goats, tastings of sausage, and roping dummies. Also, on display were undergraduate research posters, John Deere tractors, and a hay pyramid for all to enjoy. To top it all off, we had an amazing live performance put on by a local high school Mariachi band courtesy of the MANRRS club here at Oregon State. How cool is that?!

Wednesday, April 17th: The following evening the student organizations were invited back to the SEC Plaza for a lovely BBQ and to hear from a panel of Oregon agriculturalists. They discussed the peaks and valleys of the hard work it takes to operate a farm as well as the day to day balance of pursuing this lifestyle.

Read more about our Spring Term:

Ag Exec Council takes on Dam Jam!
Ag Exec FarmHouse Wild Wild West Dance
Huge Shout out to ARF and ER Jackman
Words of Wisdom from Our Advisor

Closing Remarks for the Year

Just like when it is time to harvest your crop and plant a new one, it has come to the end of my time as your Director of New Fields for this year. It has been a huge pleasure serving in this position and utilizing this communication platform to advocate for Ag Exec and the amazing individuals, members, and clubs within it. Without any of you there would be no Ice Cream Social for recruiting new students in the College of Agricultural Sciences, there would be no funding from the Agricultural Research Foundation and E.R. Jackman Foundation for the clubs, and there would be no future for agriculture to continue to flourish on the OSU campus.

With this said, I am beyond excited for what the future holds with the New Fields Blog as Ms. Baylee Amion-Jarra takes over. Baylee is going into her Senior year here at Oregon State as she pursues a degree in Animal Science. She is an active member in the professional agriculture sorority, Sigma Alpha, and is highly motivated for what is to come in this leadership position. More to come about her and the rest of the 2019-2020 Agricultural Executive team coming to a computer near you in the Fall term edition of the New Fields blog.

Stay on the beaten path with OSU Ag Exec’s New Fields! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you students, faculty, alumni, and supporters for helping the blog become what it is today.

As always, GO BEAVS!


Jessica Croxson, Editor, New Fields
Ag Exec Officers: Monica Debord, Dakota Lager, Katelyn Schrum, Jolie Dickerson, Ashleigh Ehrke, Katelyn Wetzler


Why do we need to keep breeding new Crop varieties?

(Seed Today) Crop breeders continue to improve familiar crops. The February 7th Sustainable, Secure Food blog describes crop breeders’ progress towards the future of barley, wheat, and potato varieties.

“Global warming and changes in the amount–and location–of water are key factors in the need to continue crop breeding programs,” write crop breeders Patrick Hayes, Bob Zemetra, and Sagar Sathuvalli of Oregon State University. “In addition, there are many diseases that affect crop yield and quality. We need to continue breeding new disease-resistant crop varieties to ensure a healthy, adequate food supply.”  Read more...

Winter cherry modeling is coming

(Good Fruit Grower) By this fall, cherry growers in the Northwest should have a site-specific online model to help them determine when they should turn on their wind machines or fire up their orchard heaters, something their grape-growing colleagues have had for several years. “That’s what we want,” said David Gibeaut, the Oregon State University researcher building the model.

Researchers determine ideal areas and timing for biological control of invasive stink bug

Biological control of the brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive pest that devastates gardens and crops, would be more effective in natural areas bordering crops or at times when certain insecticides aren’t being applied, according to a new Oregon State University study.

The study, published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, advances the understanding of using the samurai wasp for biological control of the brown marmorated stink bug, and has significant implications for Oregon’s growers of orchard fruits and nuts, said David Lowenstein, a postdoctoral research associate in Oregon State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and lead author on the study.

(Full story)

New scat study provides clues to puzzling existence of Humboldt martens in Oregon Dunes

With a new scat study, researchers are chipping away at solving a biological mystery on the central Oregon coast: the existence of an isolated population of a small but fierce forest predator that makes its home in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

Pacific martens, which resemble a cross between a fox and a mink, are often associated with mature forests that provide their unique needs for denning, resting, and efficient hunting. However, a small, isolated subspecies known as the Humboldt marten occupies a narrow strip of young, coastal forest on sandy soils of the Oregon Dunes.

Wildlife biologists have spent the last several years trying to figure out not only how many Humboldt martens live in the dunes, but why... (Read the full story)


Study finds reduction in seabird bycatch since 2002

A collaborative effort among the fishing industry, scientists and resource managers has led to a significant reduction in seabird bycatch in Alaskan longline fisheries since 2002, a new study documents, but researchers say that bycatch incidents are now increasing.

Scientists involved in the effort are unsure of whether the birds – which include the highly endangered short-tailed albatross – have adjusted to the new fishing techniques, or may be seeking new food sources as a consequence of changes in climate or prey availability.

Results of the study have been accepted in the journal Conservation Biology and have been published online... (Full story)

Of ARF, ODA and Oregon Commodity Commissions

(by Russ Karow) The Agricultural Research Foundation (ARF) was established in 1934 to facilitate the acquisition of funds for agricultural and natural resource research by scientists at Oregon State University (OSU).  Commodity commissions were established in Oregon, and other states, to allow producers to assess themselves for the support of research.  Oregon producers of an agricultural or natural resource commodity vote to unite for the purpose of taxing themselves to support research and/or promotional activities for their commodity.  At present, Oregon has 23 commissions including Beef, Blueberry, Dungeness Crab, Hazelnut, Salmon, Sheep, and Wheat Commissions.  See - for a complete listing.

The commission system began in Oregon in 1943.  Commissions are organized as quasi-state agencies under the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA).  A number of state statutes define how commissions operate.  At present, individual commissions each year provide from several thousand to nearly a million dollars in funding for research work in their particular area of interest.  These research funds are routed to OSU through ARF.  ARF has master agreements with each commission that define this fiscal relationship.

Master agreements last for five years and are nearly identical among the commissions.  Each year, task orders are written under a master agreement for work that is to be done in a particular year.  Commissions all operate on a July to June fiscal year.   Most commissions use a request for proposal and review process to decide what research to fund each year.  Some of the smaller commissions will work directly with individual researchers to develop research plans and funding.  In recent years, Oregon commodity commission funding to ARF totaled near $3.5 million dollars.  Overall ARF research income is ~$8 million.  Commission funding is the largest sector of research support within ARF.

Commission funds for OSU research carry no overhead fee.  This is a great savings to the commissions as the typical state agency overhead rate is 26%.  Commissions do not pay overhead for several reasons.  OSU recognizes their multi-generational and on-going support of OSU research.  Producers frequently provide in-kind support for research - land, equipment, labor, plant materials, livestock, access to boats, etc.  Commissions have no intellectual property right claim to findings resulting from the work they fund.  Most of the information derived from commission-funded work is in the public domain.  If work that is patentable is developed, OSU manages the patents and resultant income.  In several cases, commissions have negotiated with OSU to have some say in how patents are managed and income used.

The relationship between ODA, commodity commissions, ARF and OSU has been a long and productive relationship.  We look forward to continued cooperative work for the good of Oregon agricultural and natural resource industries.

Further information about ARF can be found at our website  or can be obtained by contacting Russ Karow, Executive Director, at or 541-737-4066.

Newly discovered fish named for OSU Scientist

(by Bennett Hall, Corvallis Gazette-Times) Brian Sidlauskas has achieved scientific immortality. The Oregon State University associate professor, an expert on neotropical fishes and curator of the university’s extensive fish collection, recently learned that a newly discovered fish species has been named in his honor.

“It’s a huge honor,” he said. “It’s definitely one of the highlights of my career to date.” (Read the full story)

Given more information about how wine is made, consumers less likely to pay for organic

(by Chris Branam) Consumers are more willing to pay for wine that comes with an organic or organic grape label but providing information about certification standards and organic production practices reduces consumer willingness to pay for all wines, according to an Oregon State University-led study. Further, the study found that additional information about conventional wine making practices restores consumer willingness to pay for wine labeled organic, but not for wines made with organic grapes, or conventional wines.

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The study provides insight on consumer perception of organic and organic grape labeling, and how labels that highlight the absence of ingredients are perceived by consumers who aren’t familiar with standard production practices, said study lead author Nadia Streletskaya, an economist at Oregon State University who collaborated on the research with colleagues at Cornell University.

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Art About Agriculture

Robert schlegel:  DEEP ROOTS OF SHAPES

July 9 - September 6, 2019
Reception:  July 25 3:30 - 5:30 PM with artist talk at 4:00 PM
Gallery hours:  Tuesdays from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM as well as 3:30 - 5:00 on the third Thursday (Corvallis Art Walk) or by appointment: 541-737-5534

Art about Agriculture is thrilled to showcase Robert Schlegel's recent explorations from observations near his home in Washington County.  "My great grandfather, grandfather, father and uncle farmed on the property where I currently reside.  Now my brothers and cousin all reside on the farm and continue to produce things from the land," writes Robert Schlegel.  These deep family farming roots resonate in Schlegel's paintings and sculptures of agriculture structures that stand proud as utilitarian shrines of optimism as we journey to repair and cherish the land that rewards our good stewardship and sustenance.  This exhibition presents Schlegel's quest for shapes in landscapes and youthful spontaneity as mixed media artworks on paper and assemblage sculptures from found materials.

Oregon's Agricultural Progress Magazine

OAP cover Summer 2017

Digital OAP:  New look. new stories.

Over the past several months, the editorial and publishing team at Oregon's Agricultural Progress (OAP) magazine has been busy listening to you: our readers. In that process, we've conducted an online survey and had in-depth conversations with a cross-section of loyal and new readers. This research has been invaluable as we look toward the future of OAP in both its digital and print formats. A full report of that research will be featured in the next print issue of OAP.

If you haven't visited the new OAP magazine website in a while, I encourage you to check out the new layout and stories. In response to feedback from our readers, we continue to add more video content and other multimedia pieces to the website with each story. All while we remain committed to the print publication that we expect to be released late summer 2019.

Until then, enjoy some of our most recent Station Profile stories (Seeds of Success, Going with the Grain, Playing a Pivotal Role) and please visit Oregon’s Agricultural Progress online to share your thoughts with us. 

Heidi Happonen 
Executive Editor, Oregon's Agricultural Progress

Reaching Out

CAS student and Oregon
Agriculture in the Classroom
intern, Bella Giraud volunteering
in a local classroom with this
year’s agricultural literacy project
New resource: Careers in
Agriculture Folder. This
folder encourages students
to explore different careers
in agriculture by reading
through features of careers
in plant sciences, animal
and food systems and
agribusiness and

Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom has just completed our annual Agricultural Literacy Project. This project pairs volunteers from the agricultural community with local classrooms to learn about a new subject in agriculture. This year’s book, John Deere, That’s Who! is the story of John Deere and his development of the steel plow.  The accompanying activity allowed students to explore the STEM concepts within agriculture and discuss inventions that, throughout history, have changed the agriculture industry. The activity encouraged students to become inventors themselves and construct a weight bearing structure using popsicle sticks, clothes pins, and binder clips. Several College of Agricultural Sciences students participated in this activity reading to local Corvallis classrooms.

This year, Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom also published a new resource called “Careers in Agriculture”,, a folder comprised of three pamphlets of interviews with professionals in the industries of Animal and Food Systems, Plant Sciences, and Agribusiness and Communications, all sharing their journey of their career and offering advice and encouragement to students interested in pursuing a career in agriculture. We launched the release of this resource in conjunction with a Careers in Agriculture event that was held at the Northwest Ag Show in Salem this past January. We hosted several high school classes from the local area who participated in several rotations of round table discussions with the professionals featured in the pamphlet.  

This summer, we are excited to once again be partnering with Summer Agriculture Institute from June 23-28 here in Corvallis and July 14-19 in La Grande. This program, a partnership between Oregon State University and Oregon Farm Bureau Foundation for Education, continues to be an effective resource to educate teachers from around the state not only about the industry but also how they can incorporate agricultural education it into their classrooms in a very unique and immersive way.

Alumni & Friends

Did you know that...

ER Jackman Friends and Alumni is the College membership organization for our alumni and friends. Anyone donating an annual gift of $1000 or more to any of the College’s programs is automatically listed as an ER Jackman member. There are, however, ER Jackman endowments totally about $ 2.5 Million which were established by generous donors specifically to benefit all students within the college regardless of major. The primary focus of the ER Jackman Endowment, Scholarship, and Enhancement Funds is to provide enabling opportunities for students and to support learning experiences beyond the walls of a classroom. In early May 2019, board members Kim Bellingar and Karen Withers joined assisted long-time ER Jackman Internship Chair Dale Weber, Kelvin Koong, Penny Diebel, and Paul Dorres to interview 12 applicants. Interests ranged from on-campus research on slugs to bear tracking in Yosemite to rural community medicine in Ecuador. As always, these students were a great example of the amazing range of skill sets and interests of the College’s students. We awarded $14,200 to the 12 students with amounts ranging from $500 to $2,000 each. Four of the students were headed to international internships and their awards were doubled through the generosity of donors to the Global Experience Fund, a fund we are closely aligned with. Several students also noted their thankfulness to the board for their previously awarded ERJ scholarships and support of clubs as well.  On May 23, President Denver Pugh was joined by Stella Coakley and Lynda Ciuffetti to interview 20 different Clubs, Ambassadors, and Agricultural Executive Council. Approximately $ 42,000 was distributed to these functions for 2019-2020.

The next Annual ER Jackman Meeting and Reception will be held on Friday, October 11, 2019 at the new location of the OSU Foundation (4238 SW Research Way, Corvallis, OR 97331). Current members should receive a postcard invitation in August and we hope that many will join us from 2-5 p.m. This opportunity will include a chance to meet and visit with other ER Jackman members, hear an update from Dean Alan Sams, and to enjoy hearing a sampling of students report on the support they have received from our funds.

Our 2018-2019 ER Jackman Friends and Alumni Board members, Operating Guidelines and the summary from the October 19, 2018 annual meeting can be found at:

ER Jackman Friends and Alumni questions or comments can be sent to Stella Coakley (, a volunteer board member.

In Memoriam

Moyle E Harward

Moyle Harward, OSU Professor Emeritus of Soil Science, died on May 4, 2019 at age 97.  Moyle was born in Aurora, Utah, and after military service during World War II, attended Brigham Young University, receiving the B.S. degree in 1948.  He received the M.S. from the University of Massachusetts in 1950 and the PhD from North Carolina State University in 1952.  He remained on the staff at NC State for three years, then was hired in the Oregon State College Soils Department in 1955.

Moyle’s research contributions were in several areas, including soil chemistry, clay mineralogy, soil fertility, and soil erosion.  Research in soil fertility emphasized the importance of interactions in agronomic research and the use of response surfaces in their evaluation.  His work on soil erosion in western Oregon was the first to document in extensive detail rates of soil erosion in relation to the amount, frequency, and intensity of precipitation and the condition of the soil cover.  He was an invited speaker at two international symposiums based on his work on the reactions and movement of sulfate.  In collaboration with Dr. Chet Youngberg, Moyle was the first to document the mineralogy and stratigraphy of young pumice soils derived from Mt. Mazama ash.

Dr. Harward’s research on the basic nature of soils has led to a greater understanding of their properties and usage.  This increased knowledge continues to be of immense benefit to Oregon growers.  His teaching helped distribute his knowledge of soils and his research findings in countless ways to aid Oregon agriculture.

In 2011, “The Ash Crew” held a reunion in Corvallis with Dr. Harward and agreed to establish an endowment in his honor – the Moyle Harward Issues in Agriculture Lectureship Endowment.  Over the years, this endowment has funded a fascinating array of speakers to address topics with titles such as – The Joy of Looking at Soils;  Why We Get Fat: Adiposity 101 and the Alternative Hypothesis of Obesity; and  The Ecological Homogenization of Urban America.  The Harward lecture series has been instrumental in broadening the thought horizons of current students and will do so for generations to come.  If you have interest in supporting this work, we invite you to contribute to this fund.  This can be done by doing a web search for the OSU Foundation webpage and clicking on the “How to Give” link at the top of the page to make an electronic contribution.  A check payable to "OSU Foundation" with “Moyle Harward Issues in Agriculture Lectureship” in the memo line can be sent to:  OSU Foundation, 4238 SW Research Way, Corvallis, OR 97333-1068.  The Ash Crew thanks you.

Learn more about Moyle Harwards' legacy in the 2012 issue of Oregon Agricultural Progress Magazine -- "Mapping Mazama Ash".

Obituary from the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

The College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University is Oregon's principal source of knowledge relating to agricultural and food systems, and a major source of knowledge regarding environmental quality, natural resources, life sciences, and rural economies and communities worldwide. The College provides undergraduate and graduate education leading to baccalaureate and graduate degrees, and extended education programs throughout Oregon and beyond. Its research programs create knowledge to solve problems and to build a knowledge base for the future. It is a source of information and expertise in integrating and applying knowledge with benefits that are felt in domestic and international settings.