Oregon State University’s three statewide public service programs received a boost from the Oregon legislature with $14 million additional funds to support up to 40 new positions and stimulate new research and extension projects across the state.
The new funding package increases the programs’ base budget to $118 million for the biennium. Of that increased funding, $6 million will go to OSU’s Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station; $4.5 million to the OSU Extension Service; and $3.5 million to OSU’s Oregon Forest Research Laboratory.
“Oregonians everywhere in the state will see benefits from these expanded programs with new OSU faculty focused on important issues in their communities,” said Scott Reed, director of the OSU Extension Service and vice-provost for Outreach and Engagement at OSU.
Urban communities: more local programs focused on healthy living and nutrition education; expanded programs to support small-scale farming and community food systems; and increased research and development in fermentation sciences.
Willamette Valley: increased research and extension on honey-bee and pollinator health; integrated pest management and slug control in commercial crops; specialty seed breeding; and timber harvest management.
Coastal communities: increased research and extension in seafood and shellfish safety; near-shore fishery management; increased support for the dairy industry and commercial cheese-making; and new research focused on managing forest lands that are also habitat for marbled murrelet, a threatened seabird that nests in coastal forests.
Eastern Oregon: increased research and extension focused on rangeland ecology to support sage-grouse conservation; juniper harvest and manufacturing; and water and nutrient management in rotation cropping.
Throughout Oregon, there will be increased opportunities for students to participate in research and outreach through experiential learning programs in real-world settings.
“We are deeply grateful for the legislature’s support, which allows us to address more needs in more communities across the state,” said Dan Arp, director of the Agricultural Experiment Station and dean of OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
The statewide programs will begin the hiring process this summer.
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