OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

college of agricultural sciences

OSU to host Art About Agriculture reception April 16

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The work of 13 handpicked artists illustrating food and agriculture is in an exhibition now open at Oregon State University.

OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences is sponsoring the 32nd annual Art About Agriculture exhibition, which is on display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through April 28 at LaSells Stewart Center. A reception at which the public can meet the artists is set April 16 from 6-8 p.m. Admission is free.

This year's art explores the availability of food and agricultural products, and concepts relevant to agricultural bounty and community in cities, towns and villages, said curator Shelley Curtis. Artists depict this theme in a range of mediums, including mixed media, oil and wood.

Participating artists are:

Susan Burnes — Rogue River, Ore.

Lisa Caballero — Portland, Ore.

Mark Clarke — Eugene, Ore.

Jon Jay Cruson — Eugene, Ore.

Kim Hamblin — Sheridan, Ore.

Eric Jacobsen — Glenwood, Wash.

Diane Kingzett — Portland, Ore.

David Mensing — Albion, Idaho

Caleb Meyer — Twin Falls, Idaho

Larry Passmore — Corvallis, Ore.

Sarah Tabbert — Fairbanks, Alaska

Noel Thomas — Astoria, Ore.

David Wilson — Missoula, Mont.

For more information, go to http://agsci.oregonstate.edu/art.

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Shelley Curtis, 541-737-2662

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Artist Jon Jay Cruson painted "Roadside Stand to Table #3" for the Art About Agriculture exhibition at Oregon State University. (Photo by Jon Jay Cruson)

OSU finds new compound that could treat autoimmune diseases

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Scientists at Oregon State University have discovered a chemical compound that could be a safer alternative for treating autoimmune diseases.

Although studies in humans are still needed, the finding could bring hope to people suffering from conditions caused by their immune system attacking their bodies. Autoimmune diseases can affect almost any part of the body resulting in diseases such as colitis, multiple sclerosis and psoriasis.

"We mostly treat autoimmune diseases with high-dose corticosteroids or cytotoxic drugs to suppress the immune response, and the side effects can be very difficult to deal with," said lead researcher Nancy Kerkvliet. "But if this chemical works in clinical studies, it could result in a safer alternative to conventional drugs."

Kerkvliet collaborated with OSU professor Siva Kumar Kolluri and other colleagues who tested thousands of chemical compounds and found that one of them, 10-Cl-BBQ, binds to a protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) inside T cells, which are essential white blood cells. They found that the chemical and AhR then pass into the nucleus and change the cells into regulatory T cells (called Tregs), which shut down the immune response.

Kerkvliet said 10-Cl-BBQ is different from other treatments used to suppress the immune system because it acts directly in the T cells to turn them into regulatory T cells. She believes this will result in fewer side effects than currently used drugs. The scientists also discovered two other compounds in the benzimidazoisoquinoline (BBQ) family that induced regulatory T cells.

The researchers tested 10-Cl-BBQ in mice that had graft-versus-host disease, a condition in which the immune system tries to eliminate foreign cells. The disease can occur in humans when they receive stem cell or bone marrow transplants. The scientists found that daily injections of 10-Cl-BBQ completely suppressed the disease.

The compound was rapidly metabolized and excreted and wasn't toxic at the dosage used, thereby making it a potential candidate for drug development, said Kerkvliet, a professor of immunotoxicology in OSU's Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

On a cellular level, the chemical works like the notorious environmental contaminant that's known as TCDD, a type of dioxin. But the chemical doesn't have the harmful side effects, Kerkvliet said. TCDD is perhaps best-known for its presence in the jungle-defoliating Agent Orange herbicide used during the Vietnam War. Kerkvliet has spent most of her career studying how the dioxin suppresses immune responses.

"We spent all these years studying dioxin because people have been concerned about its presence in the environment," she said. "Yet, look what we have now discovered from those basic toxicology studies."

The journal PLOS ONE published the research with the title "Benzimidazoisoquinolines: A New Class of Rapidly Metabolized Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) Ligands that Induce AhR-Dependent Tregs and Prevent Murine Graft-Versus-Host Disease." It is online at http://hdl.handle.net/1957/46244.  

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences funded the research.

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Nancy Kerkvliet, 541-737-4387

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Nancy Kerkvliet
Nancy Kerkvliet, a professor of immunotoxicology at Oregon State University, has discovered a chemical compound that could be a safer alternative to current treatments for autoimmune diseases. (Photo by Stephen Ward.)

History of hops and brewing chronicled on new OSU archive

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon is at the epicenter of a thriving craft-brew industry, and Oregon State University is helping shape the movement – from creating new barley varieties, to offering courses for home brewers, to its growing fermentation science program, which has a Pilot Plant Brewhouse where student brewers create new beers.

Now, the university is going a step further as it actively preserves the rich history of hops and craft brewing.

Recognizing the need to document the intertwined story of hop production and the craft brewing movement in Oregon, the Special Collections & Archives Research Center at OSU Libraries & Press established the Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives in summer 2013. This month, the official launch of the online archives will be celebrated in appropriate style with “Tap into History” on March 28 at the McMenamins Mission Theater in Portland.

The archive’s goal is to collect and provide access to records related to hops production and the craft brewing industries in Oregon. The first archive in the United States dedicated to hops and beer, it will bring together a wealth of materials in hardcopy and digital formats enabling people to study and appreciate these movements. The work melds the social and economic aspects of brewing in Oregon with the hard science behind the beer research being done at OSU.

The university already has strong collections related to the history of hops, barley, and fermentation research at OSU, but scholars are gathering resources from beyond the campus as well.

“There are valuable items in historical societies, in the boxes of marketing materials in a brewer’s garage, in the computer records of operations at hop farms, on beer blogs, in social media communities, and in the stories that haven’t been recorded,” said Tiah Edmunson-Morton, archivist for the collection.

“While we are interested in adding new items to build the archive, we also want to be a portal to collections through the state, partnering with people in heritage and history communities, state agencies, hops farmers, craft brewers, home brewers, and the general community to think collectively about how to preserve and provide access to this history.”

The free "Tap into History" event at the Mission Theater, which begins at 7 p.m., includes a panel on brewing history in Oregon. Among the topics:

  • Edmunson-Morton will talk about the project and its impact.
  • Peter Kopp, an agricultural historian, will talk about his use of archival materials and the relevance for researchers.
  • John Foyston, an Oregonian writer since 1987 and noted beer columnist, will talk about his work documenting the Oregon beer scene.
  • Irene Firmat, CEO and co-founder of Full Sail Brewing Company, will talk about her work as a female brewing pioneer.
  • Daniel Sharp, a Ph.D. student in the OSU College of Agriculture's Fermentation Science program, will talk about his research and the program.

The event concludes with screenings from "Hopstories," a collection of short videos showcasing breweries in Oregon, and OPB's Beervana, a documentary about the history of beer and the rise of craft brewing in Oregon. The McMenamins Mission Theater is located at 1624 N.W. Glisan St., Portland.

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/brewingarchives

 

 

 

 

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Tiah Edmunson-Morton, 541-737-7387

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Grafting hop varieties

House committee OKs exemption allowing OSU Experiment Station flexibility to relocate

HERMISTON, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Hermiston Agricultural Research & Extension Center, which is mostly located within the city limits, is one step closer to gaining the flexibility to relocate when necessitated by population growth, following legislation approved this week by the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee.

The OSU research and extension center is subject to an obscure federal rule, known as a “reverter,” which would be triggered if changes of use and/or location of the facility were enacted. This rule would lead to ownership of the land and infrastructure reverting back to the federal government.

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee approved an exclusion to this federal reversionary clause – exempting the OSU facility from the requirement – and forwarded it to the floor of the House for its consideration. Full House consideration has not yet been scheduled.

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., led the push to gain the exemption, with support from community stakeholders, local elected officials, OSU agricultural leaders and OSU President Edward J. Ray.

“The growth of Hermiston and the expanding scope of the center will make it desirable to move the center to a more appropriate location in the future,” said Philip B. Hamm, director of the OSU facility. “The move has had the support of city and regional leaders, as well as the agricultural industry that the center supports. Thanks to the efforts of Rep. Walden and his staff, we are now a step closer to resolving this problem.”

The Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center is one of 12 OSU Agricultural Experiment Stations located throughout the state. It has supported agriculture in the Columbia River basin for more than a century. The region is a highly diversified agricultural region where more than 200 different crops are grown.

With its state-of-the-art laboratories, irrigation technology capabilities, research programs and extension efforts, the center supports crops on nearly 500,000 acres of high-value irrigated land, much of it in Morrow and Umatilla counties. In recent years, the center’s research and outreach helped local growers diversify production and convert 30,000 acres of traditional commodity crops to different, high-value crops – resulting in more than $50 million in annual economic returns.

“While the station has no immediate plans to move in the near future, the removal of this reversionary clause will allow OSU to sell the property when development in Hermiston reaches the center’s border,” Hamm said. “It will allow the center to purchase new land, erect laboratories, and install irrigation infrastructure to continue supporting agriculture with new research based on information – as it has for the past 104 years.”

H.R. 3366 provides for “the release of the property interests retained by the United States in certain land conveyed in 1954 by the United States, acting through the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, to the State of Oregon for the establishment of the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center of Oregon State University in Hermiston, Oregon.”

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Philip Hamm, 541-567-6337; philip.b.hamm@oregonstate.edu

Oregon State ranks seventh worldwide in agriculture and forestry

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has been recognized as a world-class center in agriculture and forestry, ranking seventh in a new international survey of more than 200 schools.

For the second year, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings has compiled a list of top agriculture and forestry institutions. The service considered nearly 3,000 universities in 30 subject areas in its overall review.

In 2013, OSU's agriculture and forestry programs placed eighth in the world.

“Our rising world ranking is a testament to the continued great work of our faculty and researchers,” said Dan Arp, dean of OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences.

“We’re excited about another top global ranking that recognizes the breadth and depth of our research and teaching, and our great partnership with the College of Agricultural Sciences,” said Thomas Maness, dean of OSU’s College of Forestry. “It’s very satisfying to see the excellence of our faculty and students recognized internationally.”

Considered one of the most influential and respected firms surveying higher education, QS World University Rankings uses a variety of metrics to score universities in teaching and research, including academic and employer reputation surveys, the number of articles published in academic journals and the amount of citations generated by publications.

As the state's Land Grant University, Oregon State and its agricultural and forestry programs have been a vital component of the school's mission since its founding in 1870. The College of Agricultural Sciences is Oregon's principal source of knowledge and research in agricultural and food systems, environmental quality, natural resources, life sciences and rural economies.

In recent years, OSU's agricultural programs have also received national top-tier rankings from the Chronicle of Higher Education for research, with wildlife science and conservation biology ranking first, fisheries science second, botany and plant pathology and forest resources at fifth, and agricultural and resource economics seventh.

OSU's College of Forestry has also been recognized as the top university program of its kind in North America by the Journal of Forestry.

The College of Forestry is Oregon’s principal forest-related research institution, strengthening understanding of forested ecosystems, helping forest-based businesses compete globally, and informing public policy that balances environmental protection and economic development. 

Media Contact: 
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Dan Arp, 541-737-1297;

Tom Maness, 541-737-1585;

Bill Boggess, 541-737-2331

Ann Mary Quarandillo, 541-737-3140

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OSU College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Dan Arp

Dan Arp, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, talks with an OSU student on a research farm. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

OSU College of Forestry

OSU Extension Forestry Educator Tim Delano teaches high school students about forestry in the Hopkins Demonstration Forest near Oregon City, Oregon. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

Agricultural Research Foundation funds new OSU research

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Agricultural Research Foundation of Oregon has announced grants totaling $420,314 for projects in agriculture, chemistry, horticulture, and veterinary medicine at Oregon State University.

The 34 research projects funded this year represent a wide range of disciplines, from restoring sustainable environments to fighting disease in food crops, according to Kelvin Koong, the executive director of the Agricultural Research Foundation.

"We support research as broad as possible that enhances productivity and efficiency in agriculture, natural resources and the environment," said Koong. "Research is not restricted to any one college or discipline, as industries use new technology, knowledge and equipment to boost production."

Among the projects selected for the foundation’s funds:

  • The potential for hazelnut livestock feed to improve meat quality, shelf-life and nutrition;
  • Enhancing the nutritional value of oil seeds in poultry diets;
  • Elimination of Vibrio toxins from oysters;
  • Feeding selenium-fertilized hay to pregnant cows to improve calf performance;
  • Activating the immune system of potatoes to control disease;
  • The development of value-added food products from barley.

OSU researchers began using the funds on Feb. 1.

In more than 80 years distributing grants, the Agricultural Research Foundation has given more than $16 million to OSU scientists – in addition to channeling $157 million in donor gifts to the university's researchers.

The foundation is a private, non-profit corporation and an affiliate of OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences. The board of directors is made up of representatives of numerous segments of Oregon's agriculture industry. Grants awarded during 2014-16 are dedicated to its founding members: William Schoenfeld, Ralph Besse, Judge Guy Boyington and R.L. Clark.

For more information about the Competitive Grants Program, contact Koong at 541-737-4066.

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Kelvin Koong, 541-737-4066

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Oysters

OSU researchers in Astoria make raw oysters safer to eat by removing toxins from the shellfish, a project supported by a grant from the Agricultural Research Foundation. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

OSU website tracks Oregon's economic, social and environmental health

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The gap between the richest and poorest Oregonians has widened over the past 20 years. On a brighter note, the rates of population and job growth have outpaced the national average.

These tidbits and other data are part of a new website created in part by the Oregon State University Extension Service. The Tracking Oregon's Progress website follows 88 indicators that describe economic, social and environmental progress in each of Oregon's 36 counties from 1990 to 2011.

The Oregon Community Foundation, the OSU Extension Service, OSU's Rural Studies Program, OSU's Valley Libraries and the Institute for Natural Resources worked on the project.

People can visit the website at http://bit.ly/1bSCBY6 to download a report. They can also compare conditions and trends throughout the state by creating custom reports. For example, users can view a report and chart that shows that Multnomah County's unemployment rate among Latinos was 10.2 percent between 2007 and 2011 compared with 8.5 percent in rural Oregon in the same years.

The data, which come from the U.S. Census Bureau and a variety of government agencies, are helpful for state legislators, county officials, philanthropists, nonprofit professioaals, state agency professionals, educators and businesses, said Bruce Weber, the director of OSU's Rural Studies Program and lead author of the report.

"If you're in a position to make changes that can improve the economy, society or environment, this gives you some idea of where changes need to be made," said Weber, a professor of applied economics in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences.

"It is valuable for the state to have data to look at trends over time across a wide variety of indicators, from environment to education to crime," said Sonia Worcel, research director for the Oregon Community Foundation.

Statewide highlights from the report include the following:

  • For several decades, the numbers of residents and jobs in Oregon have grown faster than the national average. Oregon's share of the nation's population increased from 1.15 percent in 1990 to 1.24 percent in 2011. Its share of the nation's jobs grew from 1.18 percent in 1990 to 1.25 percent in 2011. 
  • Per capita income in Oregon, or total income divided by population, has been dropping relative to the nation since 1990.
  • The unemployment rate in Oregon has risen since 1990, especially for Oregonians of color.  
  • Overall high school graduation rates increased in Oregon between 2010 and 2012, but there are large differences in high school graduation rates across racial and ethnic groups.
  • Oregon adults and teens have been living more healthily and Oregonians have been living longer, but there have been continuing increases in young teen drug use and disparities between racial and ethnic groups in teen pregnancy and low birth-weight babies.   

The site points to some interesting county-level highlights, according to Lena Etuk, a social demographer with the OSU Extension Service and OSU's College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

Gilliam County, for example, has the lowest income inequality between its richest and poorest residents, while Benton County has the highest.

Hood River County stands out as a county with one of the state's highest Latino populations at 30 percent and the highest high school graduation rate of that ethnic group at 76 percent.

Wallowa, Sherman, Wasco, Gilliam, Deschutes, and Columbia counties have the highest rates of prenatal care usage, at 80 percent or more. Morrow and Malheur counties have the lowest rates of prenatal care usage. Less than 60 percent of pregnant women in those two counties are seeing doctors before their babies are born.

Media Contact: 
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Bruce Weber, 541-737-1432;

Lena Etuk, 541-737-6121;

Sonia Worcel, 503-227-6846

OSU creates cider course for entrepreneurs as industry grows

CORVALLIS, Ore. – As demand for hard cider grows, Oregon State University is offering a new workshop to help entrepreneurs start their own cider startup companies.

"I see this as a second coming for craft cider," said Aaron Brodniak, who will teach the workshop. “We've had a huge amount of interest in craft beer and we're starting to see growth in cider. There's a great need for education in the cider industry just as it is needed for beer.”

Brodniak, who is a brewery business consultant and former head brewer for Pyramid Brewery, said the local food movement has intensified interest in hard cider. And the numbers of new cideries illustrate the industry's growth. The Northwest Cider Association lists 39 cider makers in Oregon and Washington as members. Additionally, Portland hosts Cider Summit PDX, which draws more than 100 artisanal ciders from 29 vendors, according to its website.

OSU's new Craft Cidery Startup Workshop is a mix of online and onsite instruction. The online part will be offered from April 28 to May 9. The onsite portion will take place in Portland from May 12-16. Students will study the basics of business plans, market feasibility, equipment, local and national regulations, distribution and marketing. Students will learn how to connect with orchards to buy apples best suited for cider. OSU's Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) unit developed the course with help from Snowdrift Cider. Registration information is at http://bit.ly/1l2fOOG.

On the beer front, OSU's PACE unit will continue to offer the following courses for craft brewers this spring and summer. They debuted last year, except for the Craft Brewery Startup Workshop II, which is new.

  • The Craft Brewery Startup Workshop I at http://bit.ly/1fHDC5X is an onsite workshop at the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend from Sept. 8-12. Serious entrepreneurs hoping to start a craft brewery or brewpub will learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship from OSU instructors and Ninkasi Brewing Co. owners and leaders.
  • The Craft Brewery Startup Workshop II at http://bit.ly/1fpvchU is April 21-May 9 online and May 10-13 at Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland. Craft brewery entrepreneurs who are within a year of opening a brewery will work with consultants to develop a business plan.
  • The Brewing Analytics Course Series at http://bit.ly/1kH1jxd begins May 1 online for six weeks and then continues at OSU's on-campus brewery in Corvallis from June 16-20. It will teach professional and hobbyist brewers the fundamentals of basic microbiology and its role in the brewing process. Concepts are first taught online, then in-person using high-end fermentation equipment.
  • Beer Proficiency Testing and Sensory Analysis at http://bit.ly/1fpvzJg is an in-person workshop July 15-18 at OSU's Food Innovation Center in Portland. It teaches students about malting, aroma standards, yeast, descriptive analysis and the brewing process.

"Since our unit is focused on workforce development, we've seen a growing need for training in entrepreneurship, specifically in the context of beer and cider businesses," said Chris LaBelle, the unit's director. "We want to produce entry-level and intermediate-level courses on entrepreneurship, providing students with more information about real startup costs and requirements. We also want to provide students access to successful industry leaders."

For more information and to register for any of the classes, visit https://pace.oregonstate.edu, call 541-737-4197 or email learn@oregonstate.edu.

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Chris LaBelle, 541-737-2807

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Group tasting

Sensory testing in Oregon State University's brewery gives students a foundation in beer flavor characteristics. (Photo courtesy of OSU.)

OSU study: Osteoporosis drug may treat breast and liver cancers

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A drug used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in post-menopausal women may also be able to treat some breast and liver cancers, according to a new study from Oregon State University.

Although clinical trials on patients are still needed, in lab tests researchers found that the drug raloxifene, which is marketed under the brand name Evista by Eli Lilly and Co., killed human breast cancer cells that are "triple-negative” as well as liver cancer cells.

Triple-negative breast cancers represent about 15-20 percent of all breast cancers in the United States and are more common in younger and African-American women, according to a factsheet from the Susan G. Komen organization. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are the preferred treatments because triple-negative breast cancers don't respond to typical medications like tamoxifen or trastuzumab. That's because their cells lack receptors for estrogen, progesterone and a protein known as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2.

Receptors, which are proteins in or on cells, are like a lock. Hormones act like keys to these receptors to unlock different cellular functions. For example, estrogen causes uncontrolled proliferation of breast cancer cells by binding to a receptor. It's known that raloxifene blocks estrogen from binding to its receptor and thus keeps breast cancer cells from multiplying.

But what OSU researchers discovered is that raloxifene also binds with a protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and kills cancer cells that do not have receptors for estrogen, said Ed O’Donnell, a postdoctoral scholar at OSU who conducted the research.

O’Donnell also analyzed survival data on women who had breast cancers that didn't require hormones to fuel the proliferation of the tumor cells. He found an increased survival rate in the women whose breast cancers had higher levels of the AhR protein.

"Our findings are exciting for two reasons," said OSU cancer researcher Siva Kolluri, who led the research, which was published in the journal Cell Death and Disease. "No. 1, our research revealed that we can target a specific protein, the AhR, to potentially develop new drugs for liver cancer and a subset of stubborn breast cancers. That's a major goal of our lab. No. 2, we discovered that raloxifene, a known drug, could potentially be repurposed to treat two distinct types of cancers."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved raloxifene for use in bone loss prevention in post-menopausal women in 1997. In 1999, it was approved for treating postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. In 2007, the agency approved the use of raloxifene for reducing the risk of invasive breast cancer in post-menopausal women with osteoporosis and in post-menopausal women at high risk for invasive breast cancer, which spreads outside the lobules or milk ducts into surrounding breast tissue.

Raloxifene again hit the news in January when the federal government announced that most health insurance plans will be required to offer the prescription medicine at no cost to women who have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

The OSU research article is called "The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Mediates Raloxifene-induced Apoptosis in Estrogen Receptor Negative Hepatoma and Breast Cancer Cells." It is online at http://hdl.handle.net/1957/45321. OSU researcher William Bisson was a co-author on the paper.

The research was funded by the American Cancer Society, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.

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Source: 

Siva Kolluri, 541-737-1799

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Siva Kolluri

Siva Kolluri, a cancer researcher at Oregon State University, uses assays in "well plates" to identify chemical compounds that could kill cancer cells. His lab has found that raloxifene, a drug used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, may also be able to treat some breast and liver cancers. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

Ed O'Donnell

Ed O’Donnell reaches for a vial from a shelf in a lab at Oregon State University. O'Donnell, a postdoctoral scholar, conducted research that led to the discovery that raloxifene, a drug used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, may also be able to treat some breast and liver cancers. (Photo by Tiffany Woods.)

Hundreds of woodland owners expected at OSU's 'Tree Schools'

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Organizers with the Oregon State University Extension Service expect more than 800 woodland owners to attend its three Tree Schools around the state this spring as the forestry sector emerges from a challenging recession.

Woodland owners, arborists, forestry advocates and students will network and gain new skills at Tree School Clackamas on March 22 in Oregon City. Tree School Umpqua will take place March 27 in Roseburg and Tree School East will return to Baker City on April 26.

"Word has gotten out – it’s one of the few opportunities of its kind in the region, and forestry is big in Clackamas County," said Extension forester Glenn Ahrens, who coordinates the event in Oregon City.

Ahrens sent the Tree School Clackamas course catalog to 13,500 private family forest landowners in six counties in the northern Willamette Valley. Those landowners collectively manage more than 400,000 acres of forestland, he said.

The Tree Schools come as the economic outlook has improved for forest products since the industry's low point in 2007, said Michael Bondi, who founded Tree School Clackamas and now directs OSU's North Willamette Research and Extension Center. During 2007 and 2008, attendance hovered around 545. But as the economy slowly turned around, partly thanks to a boost in export markets, more woodland owners returned to the event, he said.

In 2011, harvest volume across all ownerships was 3.65 billion board feet, just 16 percent below pre-recession harvest levels, according to the 2012 Forest Report commissioned by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) at http://theforestreport.org.. More than 75 percent of this harvest came from private land, according to OFRI's report.

Nearly 60 volunteers and 64 instructors will help organize 70 workshops for Tree School Clackamas, which will be held March 22 at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City. Workshops will include weed management, beekeeping, mushroom cultivation, a truffle dog demonstration and chainsaw safety. Registration for Tree School Clackamas closes Feb. 21. A schedule is at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/clackamas/forestry. You can register online or call the OSU Extension office at 503-655-8631. Registration costs $45 for Clackamas County residents and $60 for others. Youth ages 13-18 pay $25.

For Tree School East, the OSU Extension Service will offer 24 classes taught by 40-50 instructors. It will take place at Baker High School in Baker City. Classes will include management of weeds, diseases and insects; chainsaw operation; wolves in northeast Oregon; pioneer skills such as flint knapping and Dutch oven cooking; Oregon Trail history; and solar energy. Registration opened Feb. 3 and you can register by calling the Extension office at 541-523-6418 and requesting a booklet. Registration costs $50 for adults and $20 for high school students.

Tree School Umpqua will feature 24 classes taught by 20 instructors at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. Workshops will include restoring forests for fire resiliency; beekeeping; identifying native Oregon shrubs; commercial truffle production; enhancing wildlife habitat; and using Google Earth to map woodlands. The event averages about 100 attendees each year. Register by calling the OSU Extension office at 541-672-4461 or visiting the website at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/douglas/treeschool. Registration costs $50 for an individual or $90 per couple.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Glenn Ahrens, 503-722-6718;

Bob Parker, 541-523-6418;

Steve Bowers, 541-672-4461

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TS_0146

Participants learn how to safely operate equipment at the Oregon State University Extension Service's annual Tree School in Oregon City. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)