CORVALLIS, Ore. – Agricultural economist Willie Riggs has been named as the new director of Oregon State University’s Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center.
Riggs returns to Klamath County and OSU from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Service. As director of the center, Riggs will focus on emerging issues in the Klamath Basin related to economic growth and sustainability and address the growing diversity of economic issues developing in the region.
"This new position combines the leadership of OSU Extension and the Agricultural Experiment Station in the Klamath Basin and will complement programs that support both research and education in the county and the region," said Teresa Hogue, associate director of OSU Extension.
Riggs began his professional career in Klamath County as a regional economics agent for OSU Extension during the early 1990s and later as an Extension agent at the Lake County office.
"Water, wildfire and urban interface, community growth, youth and adults at risk, energy prices, changes in public policy, heritage and tradition; these are issues that impact the citizens of Klamath County and communities across the West," Riggs said. "These issues present challenges and opportunities that we, as researchers and educators, can help our neighbors and our communities address."
Riggs will replace Ron Hathaway, who is retiring as director of OSU's Klamath Basin center. Hathaway began his career in 1972 as a livestock and dairy production agent with the Klamath County office of the OSU Extension Service. In 1985, he assumed the role of the staff chair in the same office, and in 2005, he took over as superintendent of OSU's Klamath research station.
Over the years Hathaway has worked closely with the beef industry to help solve problems relating to cattle nutrition and reproduction efficiency and the involvement of stakeholders in natural resource issues.