|Making a case for agricultural research|
Photos provided courtesy of Lynn Ketchum, Oregon State University.
|Amy Dreves monitors home-made fly traps |
By Bruce Pokarney
Research is the pursuit of knowledge that leads to discovery, interpretation, and methodology that advance practical solutions for humankind. For agriculture, research is how the industry moves forward. Research helps agriculture to provide food and fiber to the world.
Agricultural research may provide hope for a sobering statistic of the future-the current global population of 6 billion is expected to reach 9.5 billion in just 40 years. That will require a doubling of agricultural production. Today's technology and land base won't get it done.
"From a broad perspective, research is needed to provide for a growing population," says Katy Coba, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. "On a day-to-day scale, agriculture faces more and more challenges. Research is critical to understand the cause of a problem in the first place, and then how to resolve it."
ODA does not directly conduct research, but certainly relies on its results. The state's preeminent agricultural research institution remains Oregon's land grant university.
"What has kept America ahead of the competition during all these decades is our incomparable research enterprise in general and agricultural research in particular," says Sonny Ramaswamy, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University. "The discoveries being made at US land grant colleges have underpinned the efforts of our outstanding farmers and ranchers, enabling the average American to spend less than 10 cents of every dollar they earn on food, an achievement no other nation has been able to match."
Of course, industry conducts much its own research. So do federal government programs. No matter who does the research, everyone from agricultural producers to consumers benefits.
"As I look into the future and see the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture-especially when it comes to keeping agriculture in Oregon and the US viable-I think one of the absolutely critical components is research," says Coba.
Or as Dean Ramaswamy cautions during these tough budget times, "Education and discovery are what enabled America to be the greatest nation on earth. The continued disinvestment in these endeavors is seriously jeopardizing our ability to undertake the kind of research needed to address the challenges of the 21st Century."
There are numerous examples of successful ag research and how ODA's subsequent programs have helped the industry.
The bad bug with the funny name
A year ago, Oregon fruit growers were besieged by a tiny vinegar fly with the exotic name of Drosophila suzukii, commonly known as spotted wing drosophila (SWD). With a taste for ripe but not rotting fruit, the new and invasive insect caught tree fruit and berry growers by surprise. Some Willamette Valley growers lost up to 80 percent of their crops. Little was known about SWD, and less was known about how to control it.
"A year ago, I was visiting the affected fields, contacting entomologists trying to figure out what the heck we were up against," says ag consultant Tom Peerbolt, who has worked diligently the past 12 months with ODA, OSU, and the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to develop a response plan for growers. "It was pretty scary, to tell you the truth. Major crop losses were not only possible, but likely, in my view."
At the heart of the response plan was research to develop effective tools for growers to control SWD in an environmentally sustainable manner. Those tools include effective monitoring and use of pesticide products-some certified for organic use-when the bugs are first detected in an orchard or berry field.
"The spotted wing drosophila is relatively easy to control using standard chemical control programs," says OSU horticultural entomologist Vaughn Walton. "That's something we did not know a year ago when the insect was first making news."
By studying SWD's morphology, life cycle, preferences, and anything else that might help battle the bug, OSU and USDA-ARS developed effective protocols and management practices that help keep fruit growers in Oregon from suffering huge losses. Research projects led to the discovery that the insect is attracted to red and black-which has led to an effective trapping method using specifically colored cups. Research has also helped growers recognize the early signs of damaged fruit.
Ultimately, consumers benefit.
"The local fruit Oregon consumers have been finding in the marketplace is clean, good tasting, and nothing to worry about," says Dan Hilburn, administrator of ODA's Plant Division.
Without the research, it might be difficult to make that statement.
War of the weeds
Once thought of as just agriculture's problem, the issue of invasive noxious weeds has spilled over into Oregon's natural environment, threatening native plants and established ecosystems. The annual damage caused by noxious weeds in Oregon is in excess of $100 million.
Meanwhile, ODA continues to be a national leader in using biological control agents against unwanted plant species-essentially using good bugs to fight bad weeds. Research conducted by USDA in controlled laboratory environments reunites invasive weeds with their natural enemies, and assures that the release of biocontrol agents does not negatively impact native species. Of course, ODA learns a lot along the way as these beneficial insects are deployed.
"We monitor the agents for efficacy and their impact on the targeted weed," says Noxious Weed Control Program Manager Tim Butler. "Part of our field research is to document success, and we've been able to do that."
To date, ODA has used 71 biocontrol agents against 31 weed species. About one out of every three has proven successful. Positive results range from the battle against tansy ragwort in the 1980s to the more recent success stories involving purple loosestrife and diffuse knapweed.
"Once a noxious weed becomes so widespread and abundant that other methods of control are either too costly or prohibitive, the program turns to biological control," says ODA entomologist Eric Coombs. "For every dollar spent in our biocontrol program, the public gets back about $15 in benefits due to the impact of reuniting a noxious weed with its natural enemies."
"Biocontrol is a critical tool in the toolbox used to fight noxious weeds in Oregon," says Butler. "Research has given us that tool."
CSI Oregon: Cow scene investigators
Although DNA testing has been used for years in a variety of applications, ODA recently used molecular-level fingerprinting to clear a group of cows from allegations of water pollution. A Canby-area dairy herd was blamed for elevated bacteria levels in a nearby creek. Inspections by ODA's CAFO Program could not find any discharge of animal waste, so it turned to laboratory analysis of water samples.
"We needed to find out if the contamination was coming from regulated animals or unregulated animals," says CAFO Program Manager Wym Matthews. "DNA testing has been used before to determine the source of bacteria in watersheds. However, this is the first time we've used that technology to clear a dairy of pollution claims."
A complex protocol of sampling and testing helped determine if the bacteria could be traced to bovines, humans, dogs, horses, or birds. Dr. Kate Field's lab at OSU was instrumental in providing the technology and interpretation to complete the analysis. In the end, based on the day the samples were taken, it was determined the guilty party was a large number of geese that graze the pasture during much of the year.
Research and advances in DNA technology have led to rapid identification of bacteria that cause food borne illnesses. ODA's Food Safety Division and its counterpart agencies rely on identification of pathogens that can only be made through DNA analysis.
"We may be using the technology in the future from time to time to solve a water quality mystery," says Matthews.
The investigation may not have led to the next episode of a prime time television crime drama, but it was enough to find the cows not guilty.
Ag economics 101
Research is not confined to scientific disciplines. Economic research can be just as critical to an agriculture industry that needs to demonstrate its importance and impact to all Oregonians.
In early 2007, ODA helped fund a project conducted by OSU's Agricultural and Resource Economics Department to determine agriculture's economic footprint in Oregon-essentially finding out the total impact ag has on the state's economy, from production to processing and all the related goods and services.
"We wanted to quantify the true positive impact Oregon agriculture has on our economy," says ODA analyst Brent Searle. "OSU conducted extensive research using production values, employment data, food processing information, and other statistical data to track all the dollars generated from farm to fork."
OSU economists studying 2005 data found that value added to $4.1 billion in crop and livestock sales generated another $2.1 billion in first-handler economic activity, a 53 percent increase over the value of farmgate sales alone. Broadening the scope to all transactions related to agriculture-transportation, storage, marketing, and other services-brings the total to more than $25 billion in Oregon's economy.
"It took research to come up with good and accurate numbers that reflect the real value of Oregon agriculture," says Searle. "Everyone from policy makers to consumers can at least appreciate the way agriculture ripples throughout our economy. The OSU study made it clear."
ODA is planning on having OSU update the economic footprint study, hopefully in time for the 2011 Legislative Session.
A show of support
The results of valuable agriculture research are not hard to find. Part of the mission of commodity commissions is to use growers' money for research projects. Research has helped the grass seed industry move away from field burning and towards value-adding sustainability. Renewable energy is rife with research-already conducted and more on the way-to help agriculture find new opportunities. Wheat breeding research at OSU has led to varieties that make up 60 percent of the Pacific Northwest's wheat production. The list is endless, but money for research is not.
"Tough economic times usually bring cuts in research," says ODA Director Coba. "That's a huge concern. The good news is the federal government has invested in research, and dollars are available for agriculture. Oregon should be taking advantage of those new federal resources and it behooves us all to become more aware about what is available."
OSU is a good source for learning about research funding as are various USDA programs such as SARE-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. In the meantime, the university's dean of agriculture dreams of what could be 20 years from now.
"There will be amazing discoveries that can be enabled if we have adequate funding and support," says Sonny Ramaswamy. "We would not only be able to feed the world, but ensure the health of our citizens, and meet the liquid fuels needs of our nation. One need only look at the investments made in the 1960s and 1970s to see what has been wrought."
Oregonians, Americans, and the world's population may not realize it, but much of our future depends on agricultural research.
|Board of Agriculture profile|
Dairy operator Bernie Faber and winegrower Pat Dudley, both from Polk County, recently attended their final Board of Agriculture meeting as board members. Both have served the maximum two terms and reflected on their time on the board in an interview with the Agriculture Quarterly.
|Pat Dudley, Katy Coba and Bernie Faber|
Q: How would you each describe your experience during two terms on the Board of Agriculture?
Dudley: For me, personally, it has been an enormous education. I had no idea about the diversity and the amazing vibrancy of Oregon agriculture. I wish every citizen of this state could have that experience.
Faber: During my experience with the board, we all learned how everything works in the Oregon Department of Agriculture. It's an experience that most producers could have or should have in the future because until you are there, you never know exactly what happens inside the department and how much it does. Also, I enjoyed having the ability to meet, talk, and communicate with others in the industry and hopefully the ability to get all of agriculture to work together on key issues.
Q: How has the Board of Agriculture changed during your time as a member?
Dudley: I think it has become a much more activist boardever since it was approved by the legislature to become a policy making board. There has been a lot more engagement in discussing issues, making decisions, and I think it has been all for the good.
Faber: I agree. One of the things we have to look at is our ability to keep communicating and finding a way to get the board more involved in particular situations that are critical to agriculture. I think we made progress the past few years but need to keep going.
Q: What accomplishment stands out during your time of service?
Dudley: I would like to say something about the accomplishments of the Department of Agriculture. I've seen first hand incredible dedication of the staff in the department, always managing somehow to find a way to fulfill the mission with the funding being cut out from under them. It's just been continually and constantly eroding, yet they are maintaining an incredibly high level of service to the community and agriculture.
Faber: I have thought the ability of the board to reach out to different agencies has been a major accomplishment, being able to sit down with different environmental organizations as well as agricultural organizations like the Farm Bureau and Oregonians for Food and Shelter, and develop a relationship with all of them that allows us to keep working together.
Dudley: I have to add that Bernie was largely responsible for this new dialogue and openness with the environmental community. That was in a very different state when I came on the board. Thanks to Bernie, this has happened, and it's huge.
Q: What words of advice do you have for those who may serve on the board in the future?
Dudley: Anybody who wants to be on the Board of Agriculture should ask for a list of acronyms before they attend their first meeting (laughs). If you have the time, there is no greater educational opportunity in the whole state, I would say.
Faber: I've always thought that if you keep adding new pieces, new people, and new ideas to this board, it will make it a real progressive board that will move on in the future to do bigger and better things for agriculture.
At the most recent Board of Agriculture meeting in Astoria, board member Bernie Faber had some kind words for the Oregon Department of Agriculture at the conclusion of his final meeting before his two terms expired. (His quotes can be found on this page in the article above this column.) To paraphrase, Bernie said he wished every agricultural producer could have a chance to be on the board and get the opportunity to see first hand all the work the ODA staff does, the diversity and complexity of issues we deal with, and the expertise found within the agency's programs.
|ODA Director Katy Coba|
I couldn't agree more with Bernie.
I've been ODA director since 2003 and spent time, years earlier, at the department. It would be easy for me to take for granted the talented and dedicated people who work for ODA. But each day, I see all that happens behind the scenes and I believe our staff represents the very best in state government.
ODA has a dual function of regulating and promoting the agriculture industry. As regulators, our staff does so with the philosophy that we try to help solve problems, not just regulate. Our goal is to keep the industry in business and moving forward.
In these tough economic times when Oregonians may wonder about the value of state employees, I believe we have some amazing people at ODA who have been recognized by peers around the country for their successful efforts. There are many examples of this recognition. Just a few of them include three separate prestigious awards to our Insect Pest Prevention and Management Program from USDA and the Entomological Society of America for successful efforts dealing with cereal leaf beetle; key appointments of ODA Food Safety Division staff to nationwide workgroups, established by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to improve the nation's ability to ensure a safe food supply; and, a perfect score given by auditors looking at ODA's Metrology Lab, making it one of just nine mass laboratories nationwide to offer the highest precision calibrations available. These esteemed recognitions are only possible because of the expertise and hard work of our people.
There are many more examples found throughout our many divisions and programs, and I'm proud to say each one of them is meaningful to all of us at ODA. It should be meaningful to everyone outside the agency as well. Again, budget issues are casting a dark shadow on all state agencies. But I'm convinced that the agriculture industry and all the rest of our customers in Oregon don't want to lose that expertise we have in ODA.
Our reputation comes from a nice blend of employees. A lot of us came to ODA with a background in agriculture, which has led to an inherent commitment to the industry. We marry that commitment with expertise. We have a number of seasoned, experienced people but continually bring in new people with new ideas and energy. That helps create a culture of advancement and progression. People who have been at ODA for years are incredibly knowledgeable, but when new ideas come their way, they are often eager and willing to embrace them. Experienced employees also bring the new ones up to speed. We seem to assimilate well in this agency.
We think we do a great job, but ODA staff are always looking at ways to improve. Our programs and services continue to evolve to meet an industry that has changed rapidly over the years. Our goal is to keep pace with the industry and keep it healthy.
So if you hear me make the claim that the employees of the Oregon Department of Agriculture are the best, it's not just lip service. I believe it, and at the risk of bragging, I'm proud to say it.
|Desert Rose: ODA pesticide specialist goes to Lebanon|
Rose Kachadoorian is a pesticide registration specialist with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Her expertise in the field of pesticides was greatly appreciated this summer when she was asked to join a team headed for Lebanon-the country, not the Willamette Valley city. The program is run through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which provides economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide. In this case, the team focused on pesticide issues and ways to help strengthen and stabilize an economy in a region that is often unstable. The following account by Rose describes her experience.
|Greenhouses are covered with white shade cloth. |
This summer I took some time off from my job as a pesticide specialist with ODA to work on a USAID hydroponics project in Lebanon, and help develop and write a "Pesticide Evaluation Report and Safer Use Action Plan" (PERSUAP). The PERSUAP focuses on the particular circumstances of a program, the risk management choices available, and how a risk management plan would be implemented in the field.
Lebanon is a small country on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, and is smaller than many Oregon counties. It is religiously and ethnically diverse, and there is more gender equity than in many other countries in the region. While the Middle East is often thought of as a desert-like area, certain areas of Lebanon can be very humid in the summer, and are semi-tropical. I did not expect to see so many bananas being grown! Other areas receive snow in the winter, and visitors can see the famous Cedars of Lebanon growing in protected mountainous reserves.
It is a war-torn nation and there are many remnants of the regional violence, although there are signs of rebuilding and modern development, especially in downtown Beirut. However, it doesn't appear that their pesticide regulation is quite as developed as many western countries.
Our team was composed of four people, and I was the person primarily writing the pesticide safety portion of the report. I also provided justification and documentation for the pesticides that we said could be used within the scope of the project. Because we could not be assured that mitigation measures (such as wearing Personal Protective Equipment) would be enforced, only pesticides with low toxicity were selected for possible use.
We did manage to get all the information we needed, but since this was a federally funded project, we could not speak with the Ministry of Agriculture. I was told that the political party in charge of that agency had been deemed a terrorist organization by the US government. I decide to just focus on pesticides and not think too much about politics-although it was a little hard when all the tanks and soldiers started showing up on the streets. But I learned that the extra security was because King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and President Assad of Syria were visiting with the Prime Minister of Lebanon.
Also while I was in Lebanon, there was a "skirmish" along the Israel-Lebanon border, and four people died, including a reporter. We were initially told to stay in our hotel room until we found out if shelling was going to occur. We later were told that there had just been a "misunderstanding" at the border.
I was very impressed with the Lebanese people. Despite the bullet holes in a number of buildings and the constant threat of war, they appear to value hard work, excellent food, education, and family. Many of the old war torn buildings are being removed and replaced with new buildings. I have to add that I have never been to a country with so many fantastic bakeries and chocolate shops.
Getting back to pesticides, in the months preceding our visit to Lebanon, there had been numerous newspaper articles discussing excessive pesticide residues in crops and illegal pesticide use. The general public is concerned about food safety. The Ministry recently banned many pesticides, although it seemed that the pesticide dealers and pesticide users were unclear on whether certain pesticides were banned for importation, sale, or use. The concept of pesticide investigators visiting dealers seems to still be in development, and pesticide regulation is not at the same level that it is in the US. There is not a pesticide applicator certification or licensing program.
Farmers that I spoke with knew about pre-harvest intervals (PHIs) on pesticide labels, but did not know how anyone could possibly follow them. I did not meet one person who knew about the concept of a Restricted Entry Interval (REI), which in my opinion is problematic. But we could not find REIs listed on pesticide labels, so perhaps that is why it is an unfamiliar concept. Also, personal protective equipment, such as gloves and respirators, are available but not widely used.
Many of the farm laborers and pesticide applicators are Bedouin, Egyptian, and Syrian. Although the Lebanese have a high literacy rate, the laborers and applicators do not. I was told by someone in the pesticide business (a literate person) that if children apply pesticides they become "immunized" (he mentioned the age of three). At first I was puzzled why he would think such a thing, but then I realized vaccines are given to children to immunize them from disease, and that this idea had somehow become dangerously distorted.
The most comprehensive pesticide labels were on Syngenta, Bayer, Dow, and DuPont products. There were also less expensive Chinese products, although we were told that growers often did not trust the quality. Because of quality control issues, the government has banned importation of many Chinese products.
My time in Lebanon was a fascinating experience. Hopefully there will be the opportunity for me to work there again, and be involved with direct pesticide applicator training.
|Oregon agriculture a national leader in many areas|
Oregon agriculture boasts more than 225 different commodities, making it one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the US. While its total value of production may not rank as high as the mega-agriculture states of California, Texas, and Iowa, Oregon is known as a top producer of several commodities that contribute to the nation's impressive agricultural output.
"There are some things our farmers grow better than anyone else in the world," says Katy Coba, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. "A big part of it is our unique climate and soils. But our producers have developed expertise and know-how over a long period of time. If not for Oregon, some of these commodities just wouldn't be available to the American or international consumer."
According to the US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Oregon has a very high ranking among all states for a number of commodities in terms of production. Oregon is identified as number one in the production of 14 commodities-most of them fall in the categories of grass seed and caneberries. For many more commodities, Oregon is in the top 10 of all states-another reminder of the state's agricultural diversity.
According to NASS, Oregon leads the nation in production of the following:
||53.4 million pounds|
||3.7 million pounds|
||3.4 million pounds|
||60 thousand pounds|
||7.3 million trees|
||399 million pounds|
||291 million pounds|
||14.8 million pounds|
|Crimson clover seed
||2.4 million pounds|
|Red clover seed
||5.7 million pounds|
|Sugarbeets for seed
||5.4 million pounds|
|Potted florist azaleas
||3.06 million pots|
||21.8 million pounds|
The 2010 preliminary statistics also show that Oregon produces all of the nation's hazelnuts, blackberries, black raspberries, boysenberries, and loganberries.
"These are very specialized crops," says Brent Searle, ODA analyst, who echoes the comments of Director Coba. "It's not just the climate and soils that allow production of these commodities, it's the knowledge base of our growers, the technology they employ, and the managerial ability they display in today's global economic climate. That speaks a lot to the quality of producers we have in Oregon."
Oregon is ranked second of all states in the production of the following:
||5.4 million pounds|
||1.8 million pounds|
||11.8 million pounds|
|Onions for storage
||1.2 billion pounds|
|Snap beans for proce
The list of commodities in which Oregon is ranked third in the nation includes some of the state's larger commodities in terms of production value:
||48 million pounds|
||21 million pounds|
|Kentucky bluegrass s
||24 million pounds|
|Austrian winter peas
||30 million pounds|
In addition, nursery stock measured in production value at $732 million is ranked third among all states. Other Oregon commodities are in the top five nationally in terms of production, including wine grapes, cranberries, green peas and sweet corn for processing.
In total, Oregon agriculture has a production value of about $4.1 billion. Led by the nursery industry, there are nine commodities with values exceeding $100 million this past year. Fifteen commodities have production values of more than $50 million. It is clear that even a state like Oregon, where no single agricultural commodity dominates, can make an important contribution to the overall US farm economy.
"Oregon ranks 26th of all states in terms of value of production, but if we were to rank the states on diversity of production, Oregon would be in the top three or four," says Searle. "The types of commodities we produce are ones that consumers want, and place Oregon as an important player in the national market."
Combine the quantity with high quality and it's safe to say that Oregon agriculture is impressive.
|Oregon net farm income looks to rebound after disastrous 2009|
|Reflecting the struggling US economy in general, the bottom line for Oregon's farmers and ranchers last year was dismal. Net farm income dropped 41 percent last year from 2008, making it the lowest mark in seven years.|
A newly released economic snapshot of Oregon agriculture shows net farm income at just under $563 million in 2009. The latest numbers continue the downward trend of net farm income in Oregon since 2004's record high of $1.3 billion. The good news is that early signs indicate 2010 may be noticeably better when the final ledger is published a year from now.
Net farm income is the amount retained by agricultural producers after paying all business-related expenses. It is considered an important indicator of the agricultural economy's overall health. Growers use net farm income to make payments on land purchases, family living expenses, or family health insurance. Statistics provided by the US Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS) show net farm income is a cyclical phenomenon.
After pushing over the one billion dollar mark for the first time in 2003, net farm income in Oregon has dropped back down as farm expenses have increased, lowering a healthy production value. What is unusual about last year's huge drop is that expenses essentially played no role. The drop in value of production was the main cause for the gloomy bottom line, with big declines in prices for both crops and livestock.
The expense side of the balance sheet, which had steadily risen in recent years, actually went down in several categories even though overall, purchased inputs increased slightly by 2 percent. The net farm income for Oregon last year would have been even more bleak had costs been higher.
The 2009 net farm income figures for Oregon's neighbors also show sizable drops. Washington fell 43 percent and Idaho decreased 49 percent over the previous year. California fared much better, only dropping 11 percent in last year's net farm income. The national average fell 28 percent in 2009, after increasing in 2008.
It will be late summer of 2011 before this year's balance sheet is finalized. But with more than half of 2010 already completed, the early forecast portends an improved net farm income as exports rebound and the economy slowly stabilizes.
|The 2010 Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Awards Ceremony|
Face to face with history
|Santoro family celebrates their century farm award.|
By Madeline MacGregor
Remember Y2K? The day when everyone's computer was supposed to crash and burn and lose all "valuable" data? The architects of that much-hyped disaster obviously never met an Oregon farmer whose family can be traced back to the Oregon Trail and beyond. Preserving historical details for most of the families inducted into the Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Program (OCF&R) involves much more than tapping data onto a computer keyboard.
Most of the state's recognized century and sesquicentennial farms have well preserved hard data: diaries and personal narratives that illustrate weather patterns, crop rotations, and encounters with indigenous peoples. Each of the award winning families must craft a cohesive document that binds together original deeds, old photographs, family trees, and proof that as many as five generations have farmed the same land for 100-years or more.
Although completing an OCF&R application can be tedious, it is nothing compared to the energy and commitment these same families have shown in working to keep the farm "family owned and operated" for over a century. Such ingenuity and stick-to-itiveness make it easier to deal with mechanical problems, computer glitches, or even malfunctioning microphones, such as the one that interrupted this year's awards ceremony. There aren't many things that can stop a century farmer in his or her tracks-and the small inconvenience of the sputtering microphone was a speck on the horizon. The awardees were there to celebrate, and celebrate they did.
This year, 19 families successfully completed the process and were recognized at the State Fair during the OCF&R Program ceremony.
2010 Century Farms and Ranch awardees
- Brentano Farm, Yamhill County: George and Mary Vincent founded their farm near McMinnville in 1910 and continued to operate a dairy until the 1950s. The second generation of Brentanos, Joe and Susie, started a hog operation. As the years passed, Susie also raised beef, sheep, hay, grain, and grass seed. In the mid 1980s, the farm converted to an all grass seed operation that continues today.
- Charpilloz Farm, Marion County: In 1882, Albert and Sophie Leah Charpilloz immigrated to the US from Switzerland. Their farm near Silverton was purchased in 1909 and encompassed more than 300-acres. Early crop and livestock production included wheat, oats, hay, grass seed, dairy cows, sheep, and both draft and thoroughbred horses. Family history confirms that Sophie was the primary farmer while Albert was a known violinist and watchmaker. In the 1940s, a prized Charpilloz thoroughbred held three Portland Meadows track records. Currently, grass seed, oats, and wheat are grown on the farm. Paint and quarter horses are also raised, and the farm is home to both fourth and fifth generations of the Charpilloz family.
- Cruickshank Farms, Yamhill County: James and Lizzie Cruickshank emigrated from Scotland and purchased a farm south of McMinnville in 1908. They named their farm Oakdale because of the large stands of oak trees on the property. The couple raised Cotswold sheep, Shire horses, and the grains and hay required to feed them. The family's second generation added Guernsey dairy cattle, registered Suffolk and Columbia Southdown sheep, and filberts to the farm's production list. Currently, both third and fourth generation Cruickshanks are involved in running the more than 500-acre farm producing hazelnuts, grass seed, clover, wheat, and a straw baling operation.
- Edwards Ranch, Gilliam County: In 1907, Claude and Bertha Edwards, and two young sons filed for a 160-acre homestead in Sunshine Canyon. Despite water shortages, the ranch managed to produce 128 sacks of wheat in the first year, and by 1910, increased their production to 445 sacks. The first well was drilled in 1916 and deepened in 1934. Wheat production was performed with three eight-horse teams and hired help. When the family purchased their first motorized combine in the 1920s, they were astonished by the amount of labor and money saved. Today, Claude's son Jasper raises cattle on the ranch that has grown to 4,200 acres. Over 1,000-acres are enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.
- Fiala Farms, Clackamas County: Originally from the Czech Republic, Jerry and Lucy Fiala founded their farm in 1906. Early crops included wheat, hay, cabbage, peaches, tomatoes, potatoes, and broccoli. A dairy was established and milk and cream were sold to a local creamery. The farm varied its production to suit changing consumer demand. Jerry Fiala was also known as a metal artist and his work can still be seen on buildings in Portland. Fiala descendants Wes, Doug, and Richard Fiala live on the farm and produce hay, berries, and a variety of other fruits and vegetables. The family maintains a roadside farm stand where customers have purchased fresh produce since the early 1900s.
- Harnisch Farms Inc., Linn County: Charles Harnisch was born in Saxony Germany and was the original owner of the family farm. He and his wife provided for a large family and farmed grains, potatoes, corn, and plums. They also raised hogs and milk cows. As the years passed, the family diversified-and produced grass seed, wheat, and distilled peppermint. Today the family raises filberts and blueberries, and pastures horses. Four generations of Harnisches occupy the farm.
- Hentze Farm, Lane County: Johan and Arnie Hentze immigrated to the US from the Faroe Islands. After a circuitous route through Denmark and Chicago, they arrived in Junction City in 1902. They raised a small number of hogs, cows, and chickens and also cultivated wheat and barley, plums, and potatoes. The second generation planted walnut and cherry orchards, and cultivated logan and boysenberries. Local students were hired to help with harvests-a practice still used today. In 1947, the Hentze's dairy produced 600 pounds of milk per day. The dairy cows were sold in 1967. Currently, the farm produces berries, cherries, and fresh vegetables, as well as diversified livestock including chickens, geese, turkeys, sheep, and cows.
- Herb Family Farm, Washington County: Charles Herb, a Union Civil War veteran-was wounded and held prisoner. Following the war, he and his wife Theresa moved to their new farm in 1882 with their young son. The couple raised cattle, grains, and hay. Their son Charles Jr. continued the grain and hay operation, while the third generation added strawberries, corn, and beets for the commodity markets. Today the farm produces clover, corn, wheat, sugar beet seeds, table beets, and grass seed.
- Hollingsworth Farm, Marion County: Originally from Ontario Canada, John Hollingsworth arrived in the Detroit area around 1893 and established a sawmill. In 1906 John and his wife Myrtle founded their farm. They maintained fruit trees and kept goats, a cow, two horses, and a mule. Early farm production included logs, strawberries, and grass seed. Over the years, 100-acres of trees have been managed as a forest. The family initiated a forest management plan, which includes thinning and replanting with red cedar. In the late 1990s grass seed production was replaced with Christmas trees, which are now the farm's primary business.
- Milne/Leighty Farm, Marion County: Maria and James Milne and their three children moved from South Dakota to the Salem area in 1901. In 1904, they purchased the family farm near Silverton. In the early days, the family harvested wheat, grain, and corn, and raised horses, pigs, goats, sheep, cattle, and chickens. As with many farms, crops evolved to meet the changing market. During the 1950s, the family kept dairy cows and sold milk to the Mt. Angel Creamery. Currently the 131-acre farm rotates mustard, sunflowers, green beans, corn, wheat, and pumpkin crops. Notably, co-owner Sharon Leighty is the OCF&R Program coordinator.
- Neiger-Cherry Farm, Polk County: In 1909, Henry Neiger, Sr., a native of Switzerland, purchased his farm in the Lincoln district. He moved his cows and equipment from Portland by steamboat. Henry was a dairy farmer and cheese maker, and he and wife Anna raised hay, grain, and silage for their cows. They also kept a field of hops in the river bottom. The Neiger dairy produced Swiss cheese, milk, and cream. A flock of sheep was added in 1927. When the dairy herd was sold in 1973, sweet corn, alfalfa, and grain were grown. Today, two generations of the family live on the farm and raise grass-hay and sheep.
- Santoro Farm, Washington County: After emigration from Italy in 1896, Bruno and his wife Annunciata moved to Oregon and purchased the family farm near Hillsboro in 1910. They raised cows, chickens, pigs, raspberries, strawberries, loganberries, and hay. In 1935, a filbert orchard was added, an additional 15-acres were purchased, and a peach orchard and berries were planted. At one time the family kept as many as 400 chickens and sold eggs and cheese on a route in Portland. From 1945 to 1977 the dairy herd grew to 85 cows, and the berries were removed. In 1977, the dairy herd was sold. Currently, the family raises beef cattle and hay and grain for fodder. They also raise chickens and sell the eggs.
- Sidwell-Gutoski Farm, Lane County: Young Clyde Sidwell and his brother arrived in the Coburg area around 1900 and worked in a sawmill. Clyde and his wife Pearl founded the family farm in 1910. They produced wood, potatoes, beans, and mint and dill oil. Clyde was known as an early grower and distiller of peppermint oil in Oregon. In 1958, the distillery was sold and the property was placed in the Federal Soil Bank. However, Sidwell grew barley and sold the crop to a neighbor. Today the family raises wheat and hazelnuts on 143 acres.
- Silbernagel Farm, Marion County: Originally from Minnesota, Joseph Silbernagel's family moved to Oregon in 1884 when he was about 10 years old. In 1907, Joseph, his wife, and three young daughters established the family farm near Stayton. The property had a cabin near a natural spring, and a resident bull that would stroll out of the cabin to greet them. Their early crops and livestock included milk cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, goats, horses, geese, grain, hay and corn. Eggs were sold to the local grocery store, and the grain was placed in shocks in the field to dry for livestock feed. In the 1940s milk was sold to the Mt. Angel creamery. Currently hay, grain, and grass seed are grown, and cows, sheep and horses are raised.
- Smutz Century Farm, Union County: I.D. Smutz and his wife Dora were the founders of the family farm near La Grande. Original crops and livestock included hay, grain, cattle, horses, chickens and hogs. A lively cattle business continued through the years, and barley, wheat, hay, and horses are still raised. Three generations of the Smutz family live on the 733-acre farm today. The original home is occupied by third generation family members and two original barns are still in use.
- Werth Farms, Polk County: Frederick Werth and his wife emigrated from East Prussia in the late 1880s, and in 1909, purchased a farm near Valley Junction. The claim was divided and assigned to their 10 children. Early livestock included horses, sheep and cattle. Crops included cereal grain, hay, and timber. A portion of the farm is now leased to other Werth family relatives for grass seed and hay production. Marginal crop and pasture land has since been reforested for harvesting timber and is certified under the American Tree Farm System. Two families still live on the farm, within view of the original family homestead.
2010 OCF&R Sesquicentennial award winners
Although 100-years of continuous ownership requires a stamina most of us can only imagine, consider 150-years of farming crops in fickle weather or running cattle over inhospitable terrain.
The following three families join 22 others, in Oregon's Sesquicentennial "Hall of Agricultural Fame:"
- Byron Scott Farm, Linn County: Newly married, Commodore and Rosanna moved to Oregon in 1850 from Missouri and purchased their 650-acre farm in 1853. The couple raised 12 children. Early farm production included oats, wheat, and cheat, as well as horses and cows. The multigenerational farm currently produces ryegrass, sheep, pigs, cows, and feeder cattle. The applicant, Maryanne Wirth, is the great-granddaughter of the Knightons. The family is dedicated to preserving the historical value of the homestead and its connection to the Tangent area and Willamette Valley farming community.
- Chamber Family Farm, Linn County: This 640-acre farm started in 1849 when Matthew Chambers married adjoining Donation Land Claim owner Mary Knox. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the barn has been restored to its original configuration from the 1860s-70s, when draft horses were kept. The Albany farm's early days centered on subsistence agriculture-providing support for draft animals, beef, hogs, and fowl. The first crops included hay, oats and wheat, and vegetables for the family. With changing times and economy, the family maintained a dairy cattle operation that produced high milk-fat for a creamery in Albany. Annual ryegrass is now the current main source of income. Additional acreage supports feeder steers that use the historic, restored barn for shelter.
- Buzz Mitchell Farms, Linn County: The Mitchell farm was a part of an early Oregon pioneer's (Uncle Jack Settle) 640-acre Donation Land Claim. Suttle Lake in Central Oregon is named after Jack Settle, although his name was misspelled. His farm was located two miles north of Lebanon. Early farm production included sheep and other livestock, plus grain and row crops. The row crops and grain were hand harvested at the time. Currently the 95-acre farm focuses on machine-harvested row crops of squash, beans, corn, and wheat. Additional crops include peas, grass seed, and sugar beet seed. The original barn and family home are still in use today.
|Energy from agricultural residue|
By Stephanie Page
|Ag residues, potential feedstocks for farm energy projects.|
There are several pathways to create bioenergy and biofuels from agricultural residue and biomass crops such as switchgrass. These technologies include anaerobic digestion, cellulosic ethanol, gasification, torrefaction, and pyrolysis. Some processes produce biofuels and bioenergy at the commercial scale, while others are still in the research and development stage. Development of agriculturally-based, large-scale biomass facilites in Oregon is challenging, especially given current economic conditions, decreased regional energy demand, low or volatile energy prices, and uncertainty of several state and federal incentives. However, researchers, project developers, and other partners continue to help advance the potential of these projects through biomass inventories, improved production and harvesting methods and equipment, and more efficient processing.
Residue removal, biomass crop production, and soil quality
Many growers already use an age-old pathway to harvest energy from agricultural residue by leaving some or all of it on the soil. Certain bioenergy technologies also allow growers to return residue to the soil after it has been processed for bioenergy. With the recent high cost of nitrogen, residue's nutrient value and effects on soil water-holding capacity and other soil quality benefits may provide higher returns to a grower than other bioenergy uses.
Washington State University and USDA-ARS researchers in Pullman have evaluated wheat straw for its nutrient and soil tilth building value. "Our research has shown that growers need to carefully compare the costs and benefits of removing straw with leaving it onsite," says Chad Kruger with the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Researchers at the USDA-ARS in Pendleton are evaluating the influence of a rapid transition to bioenergy crop production on soil carbon and nitrogen cycles, microbial activity, soil carbon sequestration, and other short-term soil processes. "Understanding how crop production affects soil properties and processes will help farmers make adjustments for growing bioenergy crops, and shape national energy policies with regard to maximizing production while protecting the natural resource base," explains project leader Dan Long.
In 2007, research plots were established at Pendleton on soils that are naturally low in levels of organic matter and nutrients. Researchers use solid set sprinklers to create three moisture regimes and provide three levels of net primary productivity for switchgrass, winter wheat, spring mustard, and a polyculture of four perennial grasses. In addition, plots for each of the four crops are subdivided into sub-plots of residue-removed and residue-retained. To date, highest productivity has been with spring mustard followed by winter wheat, switchgrass, and polyculture. Preliminary results indicate that residue removed or retained does not influence biomass yield. In 2010, work will determine the degree of carbon accumulation in the soil using the four-year (2007-2010) database of soil measurements.
Residue and bioenergy crop conversion technologies
Direct combustion and anaerobic digesters are some of the most mature technologies available to growers preferring to remove residue from fields or exploring dedicated bioenergy crops. Biomass boilers and furnaces are commercially available at a variety of scales to generate heat or combined heat and power. Currently, almost all boiler and furnace facilities use forest biomass as their primary fuel, but a few projects are in development to use materials such as biomass crops, wheat straw, and hazelnut shells. Projects must be able to meet air quality requirements, which can still present a challenge when adding agricultural residues at biomass power plants. Depending on the type of residue, silica content and ash/slag formation is also a challenge.
Anaerobic digesters typically use agricultural residue or energy crops as part of a co-digestion feedstock blend. Anaerobic digestion harvests biogas from by-products such as manure, pre-food waste, and post-consumer food waste/municipal waste. Testing conducted by EC Oregon and Woods End Laboratories as part of a Lane County feasibility study evaluated the biogas production value of annual ryegrass straw and found it to be 502 cubic meters per tonne, compared with 22 cubic meters per tonne for manure, 492 cubic meters per tonne for glycerin, and 535 cubic meters per tonne for fats, oils and greases, which have some of the best biogas generation potential. Annual ryegrass straw cannot be digested on its own - it must be part of a well-balanced co-digestion feedstock blend, which presents opportunities for managing waste from multiple industries and sources.
Agricultural residues and other feedstocks have also been successfully converted to cellulosic ethanol through both enzyme-based and thermochemical processes. Cellulosic ethanol remains more expensive than conventional corn-based ethanol, mainly because of feedstock transport, pre-treatment, and in the case of biological conversion, enzyme costs. Economic conditions and lower than expected fossil fuel prices have delayed the anticipated timeline for large-scale cellulosic ethanol production. However, several demonstration-scale facilities are in operation or under construction in the U.S., including a pilot-scale plant operated by POET that produces ethanol from corn cobs. POET is currently building a commercial-scale plant in Iowa that is scheduled to come online in 2012. In Boardman, ZeaChem is building a demonstration-scale facility that will use hybrid poplar as the main feedstock. Corvallis-based Trillium FiberFuels continues research and development into producing cellulosic ethanol from grass and wheat straw.
Gasification is the heating of biomass or other material under low oxygen conditions, creating syngas, a combination of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane. This process was conducted successfully at some large-scale waste management operations in the United States with mixed organic and inorganic feedstocks. The resulting syngas can be converted to electricity and heat, as well as cellulosic ethanol.
Gary Banowetz with USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Corvallis has been working with growers in Washington state to test a small-scale gasifier that will convert agricultural residue into electricity. The unit was constructed on a Kentucky bluegrass seed-producing farm where it is being tested under real-world conditions. So far, the gasifier has successfully produced syngas from Kentucky bluegrass seed cleaning residues. The researchers are hoping to convert the syngas into electricity for on-farm use in the seed cleaning operation.
Torrefaction is another process using high heat and low oxygen conditions to convert biomass into a product similar to coal. HM3 Energy is an Oregon company headquartered in Gresham that has been converting woody biomass to torrefied fuel at a pilot facility, and has conducted test burns of its torrefied biomass, demonstrating it can replace coal in power plants. At this time, forest residue is the company's main focus, although they plan to evaluate agricultural residue in the future.
Pyrolysis involves heating biomass material to very high temperatures, then rapidly cooling the material. This process creates a bio-oil as well as a char product that many believe has valuable soil amendment properties. Demonstration-scale, mobile pyrolysis units have been tested at a variety of locations. The mobile units are attractive because of their potential to reduce the volume of material that must be transported from bulky, less-dense biomass to a high-density bio-oil. Dr. Marcus Kleber at OSU is investigating the potential for controlling the pyrolysis environment in order to make chars with specific characteristics. Early work suggests that creation of "designer" chars is indeed possible.
In addition to viable conversion technologies, biomass inventories are critical to the success of bioenergy projects. To make the investment in a bioenergy project, developers, whether for farm-scale or utility-scale projects, must know they will have an adequate biomass supply over the life of the project. Various researchers are completing biomass inventories in Washington and Oregon. Washington State University completed a county-by-county assessment of biomass resources in Washington in 2005, with another round of assessment forthcoming. In 2008, a team of USDA ARS researchers led by Gary Banowetz estimated straw biomass feedstock resources in the Pacific Northwest. In 1999, Oak Ridge National Laboratory completed a state-by-state level assessment of forest and agricultural residues.
At present, a Western Regional Sun Grant funded project is underway to investigate biomass yields using actual harvest data from the Boardman, Oregon area. This information will be coupled with enterprise budgets for existing crops and new research information on possible dedicated energy crops or relay crops (crops that can be planted after an existing crop is harvested) to derive a more accurate picture of possible biomass production capability in that area.
Continued research, combined with stable and viable energy prices, incentives, and good information on feedstock supply, will help advance distributed biomass to energy projects in Oregon at a variety of cost competitive scales and forms.
|Accurate scales important during current "gold rush" |
As the price of gold hovers at $1,200 an ounce and the US dollar continues to weaken, the economic downturn is prompting many Americans to find ways to bring in extra cash. Many Oregonians have considered selling their gold jewelry and collectibles to pawn shops or gold-purchasing companies that travel from state to state. The Oregon Department of Agriculture wants to make sure that gold transactions are fair to the consumer.
|Josh Nelson performs on-site inspection as cameraman watches|
"The price for scrap gold is determined by a couple of factors-the purity of the gold or its karat content, and the weight of the item," says Jason Barber, administrator of ODA's Measurement Standards Division. "That's where we get involved. These companies that purchase gold from consumers are using scales to weigh the gold items. We need to make sure they are using legal-for-trade scales that have been licensed and examined by our field inspectors."
Legal scales in Oregon and 43 other states have gone through the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) and its testing procedures for commercial weighing and measuring devices. Before a scale can be placed into service for commerce in Oregon, it has to be NTEP approved. That paves the way for ODA to affix its own seal of approval on the device after its accuracy and compliance with regulations is determined. It's up to the scale manufacturer to pursue and receive the NTEP approval.
Unfortunately, not all scales being used by gold buyers are approved and the accuracy may be in doubt. Consumers hoping to get a fair price for their gold item might be at the mercy of a scale that underweighs, giving them less money than they are owed. A handful of fly-by-night companies buying gold are scam operators.
"What we hear from other states is that many of the scales are not legal-for-trade," says Barber. "Also, the consumer is supposed to be able to see the scale's indicator and the weighing operation. A lot of times the scale is turned around and the consumer is taking the buyer's word for how much it weighs."
Certainly, not all gold buyers are operating scams. But the likelihood of getting short-changed is greatly reduced when the scales have been examined and approved by inspectors.
In March, ODA inspector Ken Nelson checked out a company that had advertised in a local newspaper it was coming to Klamath Falls to purchase jewelry and collectibles from the public. Nelson found four digital scales being used in the final transaction that were not approved and ordered them out of service. That effectively halted sales until the company could bring in an NTEP-approved scale, which was delivered by the next day. The new scale was examined for accuracy and compliance, and approved. The company was back in business and has since traveled to other Oregon cities for additional business.
"A lot of these companies will advertise in the local paper, radio, or even television station-roll into town-and set up shop in a hotel lobby or the county fairground," says Barber. "They may stay for a weekend or even a week. We have 18 inspectors across the state that are now constantly monitoring these companies and are on the lookout for advertisements announcing these gold buying events. We will go to the site, make sure the scale is approved, and make sure the devices are licensed with us."
This summer, ODA sent letters to pawn shops to inform them about the need for licensing and approved equipment. Those letters are being followed up with onsite inspections. ODA will continue to respond and check for compliance regarding the random gold buying operations that advertise locally and set up shop for a limited duration.
ODA's Measurement Standards Division routinely examines approximately 54,000 commercially-used weighing and measuring devices to make sure they are accurate. The scales that are examined in Oregon range from those found at the local grocery's meat counter to cattle scales, vehicle scales, and railroad scales. All of them need to be inspected to help prevent fraud, and to ensure that commercial transactions are fair and accurate.
Consumers can help themselves during transactions that involve gold. ODA offers the following tips:
ODA's concern over gold buyers does not reflect on all companies.
- Know what you are taking to the buyer, particularly the karat weight. (For example: 10KT, 14KT, etc.)
- Know what you are willing to sell your gold for before you go. Evaluate your emotional attachment to the gold item. Is it worth more than the price offered?
- Check with your local Better Business Bureau or local government on the legitimacy of the business and that it has the appropriate business licenses.
- Look at the scale and make sure it has an approval sticker from the Measurement Standards Division of the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
- Have the buyer weigh and test items in plain sight. Don't take anyone's word for what the gold weighs. It is required that the scale indicator or readout and the weighing operation is in plain view of the consumer.
- Get quotes from several buyers, if possible.
"Unfortunately, alongside legitimate gold buyers who pay a fair price and screen out stolen property are people who use bait-and-switch tactics, grossly underpay, or won't pay at all," says Barber. "Consumers should take an interest in all transactions, including gold sales and purchases. ODA will certainly maintain its interest."
The Measurement Standards Division has not received many complaints yet about gold transactions and Barber does not consider it a major issue in Oregon at this time. But with gold prices skyrocketing and the number of companies springing up to buy the precious metal, some consumers may be desperate for quick cash and can easily fall victim to fraud or unintentional underpayment.
|Growers to face closure of Columbia River locks|
|This coming December, the US Army Corps of Engineers will close two locks in the Columbia River for three months for maintenance. The scheduled closure will have a major impact on agricultural transportation in the region. Locks at The Dalles and John Day dams will be closed from December 2010 until approximately March 18, 2011. No river traffic will be able to pass during that time.|
All other navigation locks on the Columbia River are currently scheduled for the standard two-week winter closure for routine maintenance.
Growers upriver who rely on barge traffic to transport agricultural goods to the Port of Portland or beyond will have to switch to truck and rail during the closure. While many ag groups are aware of the scheduled closure and have already made alternative plans, the Corps and ODA want to make sure the industry is aware of the upcoming maintenance.
More information on the Columbia River lock system closure is available at
|2010 Oregon Specialty Crop Grants tentatively awarded|
|The Oregon Department of Agriculture has awarded $1.75 million in federal funds to 24 projects that seek to enhance the competitiveness of Oregon's specialty crops. Funding has been allocated for projects dealing with such issues as food safety, marketing, promotion, carbon reduction, school gardens, and certification. The federal funds are part of the US Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill. Specialty crops are defined as commonly recognized fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. Oregon ranks fifth in the nation in production of specialty crops.|
"These funds are very critical to a state like Oregon, where a vast majority of our agriculture is based on specialty crops," says ODA Director Katy Coba. "This program enables us to reach the diversity of specialty crop growers in the state and allows our industries to ultimately be more competitive in the marketplace."
ODA and an industry advisory group selected the projects following an application process that began earlier this year.
A major focus area in the grant process was assisting beginning farmers and socially disadvantaged groups. ODA and the advisory group found that most of those in the targeted area currently lack the organizational capacity necessary to apply for and administer grants. As a result, very few eligible projects were received from beginning farmer or socially disadvantaged groups. In order to address these priority areas, ODA has designed internal projects to assist these populations. Projects include an integrated Farm to School and School Garden Program to be piloted in both rural and urban school districts, a focus on cultivating "agripreneurs" to address some of the primary barriers to entry for new farmers, and a series of events titled "My Oregon Farm Days" to facilitate relationships between specialty crop producers and distributors.
A full list of the projects and their descriptions can be found online at http://oregon.gov/ODA/ADMD/docs/pdf/project_summary_FY2010.pdf
The commitment to help specialty crop production nationwide will continue next year, when another allocation of $55 million will be made to each state under the block grant program.
Support Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom!
Fall Harvest Dinner and Auction
Saturday, October 16
Linn Co. Fair & Expo Center, Albany
Download registration form: http://aitc.oregonstate.edu/whats/pdf/FHDInside_10.pdf
- Social hour and silent auction-5:00 p.m.
- Dinner-6:30 p.m.
- Oral auction-7:45 p.m.
Oregon Invasive Species Council
- Oregon Invasive Species Council will host a statewide invasive species summit on Thursday, November 18, 2010, starting at 8:30 am, at the Chemeketa Eola Viticulture Center on Doaks Ferry Road in Salem, Oregon.
- Oregon Invasive Species Meeting, November 19, 2010, 8:30 a.m.
Oregon Department of Forestry Tillamook Room on State Street in Salem.
Oregon State Board of Agriculture meeting
The Board of Agriculture is slated to meet in Portland, at the new Port of Portland's PDX corporate headquarters. This location is tentative and subject to change; please contact the board assistant at 503-986-4758 for confirmation.
- November 30, 2010: Board subcommittee meetings
- December 1, 2010: Board subcommittee meetings and full board meeting convenes
- December 2, 2010: Continuation of full board meeting
Oregon State University offers low-cost energy audits
Producers looking for energy saving opportunities on their farms can now schedule a low-cost assessment with Oregon State University's Energy Efficiency Center. The Center successfully received a grant from USDA-Rural and Community Development, allowing the Center to provide up to 90 assessments on agricultural operations and rural small businesses throughout Oregon at $370 per assessment, one-quarter of the typical cost.
OSU's Energy Efficiency Center has identified several energy saving strategies for agricultural producers, including irrigation systems, insulating greenhouses, and lighting improvements, along with other savings opportunities.
Save a tree
Get the AQ online. Register at http://listsmart.osl.state.or.us/mailman/listinfo/aq