OSU Mid-Valley Small Farms Program Updates
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Dalila Rendon examining insects found during Día de Campo, MPFS Youth Farm, Salem

Mid-Valley Small Farm Program Updates

"There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace." 
- Aldo Leopold

The days are getting noticeably shorter and the air noticeably frostier, but we hope that the fall has also brought you that familiar sense of accomplishment as you begin to reflect on the season now coming to a close.

Much of our work this winter includes meeting with our local partners to compare notes and collaborate on projects for the upcoming year. We're looking forward to continued and new partnerships with the MPFS Youth Farm, the Marion and Polk Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the North Santiam Watershed Council, and the Olive Growers of Oregon. If your organization is interested in being an intentional partner with us in 2018, send a quick email to Victoria.

We hope you enjoy November's newsletter.

- the Mid-Valley Small Farms team

Mid-Valley Small Farms Program News
Mid-Valley Small Farms Needs Assessment
As mentioned in our last newsletter, the needs assessment has been launched. We encourage you to contact us for an in-person interview or fill out the online survey. This is your opportunity to let us know what your resource needs are as a farmer. Your responses will help shape our Small Farms programming for the next 3-5 years. More info.
Participate In-Person
Participate Online
Encuesta de Evaluación de los Necesidades de Pequeños Agricultores

La Programa para Pequeños Agricultores del Servicio de Extensión de OSU para la parte Central del Valle de Willamette está planeando una encuesta de pequeños agricultores en Oregon. Sera la primera vez que el Servicio de Extensión de OSU realizará a cabo una encuesta como esta con granjeros latinos. Esperamos contar con su participación y asi iniciar la encuesta a finales de 2017.  Para mayor información comuniquese con Jose Ortega a o 818-605-6396.

Más información
Growing Olives & Producing EVOO in Oregon: A New Specialty Crop

During the upcoming Willamette Valley Ag Expo on Wednesday, Nov 15, Bogdan Caceu, executive director of Olive Growers of Oregon (OGO), is presenting an informational session on growing olives and producing premium olive oil in Oregon.

This will be followed by an introduction to the new OSU olive research project on evaluating olives in Oregon by Neil Bell (OSU Extension Community Horticulturist) and Victoria Binning (OSU Extension Agriculture Program Coordinator).

Followed by a Q&A session with Bogdan Caceu, Neil Bell, and Victoria Binning

No preregistration required.
Nov 15, 3:00-5:00pm at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center.

Women in Agriculture Conference
The OSU Mid-Valley Small Farms team is hosting the Salem location of the 2017 Women in Agriculture Conference. This one-day conference is held simultaneously in 40 locations throughout Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington and will consist of two webcast keynotes, a panel of local women leaders in agriculture, lunch, and local discussions around female leadership in agriculture. It is designed to empower women who are farming, as well as new and aspiring farmers, to achieve goals and manage risk. Registration is open now. More information about the conference overall, please go to

The 2017 keynote speakers are Alexis Taylor, the Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and Anne Schwartz, the owner of Blue Heron Farm in the Skagit Valley in western Washington. We are excited to announce that our local panel will include Helle Ruddenklau, farmer at Ruddenklau Farms near Amity, and also Molly McCargar, farmer at Pearmine Farms in Gervais.

WSU has some limited funds to offer scholarships to college agriculture students or 4-H & FFA members.  Aspiring farmers who need financial help should contact Margaret Viebrock at  
Young Farmers Conference
On December 6th, the Mid-Valley Small Farms team is joining the Marion-Polk Food Share to host a livestream of the Young Farmers Conference. The Young Farmers Conference is organized by Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in order to engage committed change makers and thought leaders: farmers, chefs, scientists, and activists who are committed to a more just and sustainable food system. We will be streaming the keynote in which Mark Bittman and Ricardo Salvador discuss the article "Re-Envisioning Our Broken Food System; A Road Map to a Healthier and More Equitable National Food Policy" co-written with Olivier De Schutter and Michael Pollan (2016). For more info on the keynote, click here.

Join us at the MPFS Youth Farm from 2:30-3:30pm on December 6th!
More Mid-Valley News
Young Calf Health Workshops

OSU Extension Dairy specialist Jenifer Cruickshank is hosting two upcoming young calf health workshops. Each workshop will include classroom and hands-on learning at the OSU Dairy Center.

  • Best Management Practices for Young Calves
    • December 1, 2017, 1-4 pm
  • Interventions for Sick Calves 
    • December 8, 2017, 1-4 pm

Attend one or both workshops, $25 each. Hand-outs and light snack provided.

Instructors: Jenifer Cruickshank, PhD and Joe Klopfenstein, DVM

For more information and to register, click here (pdf) or here (dairy blog).

For questions, contact Jenifer at or 971-600-1222

Beginning Farmer Training Program for People of Color

Mudbone Grown LLC & Oregon Food Bank are proud to offer Oregon’s first beginning farmer training program specifically for people of color. The program is a 10-month paid training opportunity from January-October 2018 in Portland, Oregon. More info here.

Online applications will be accepted until November 30th, 2017: Apply HERE

Questions about the program?  Contact Mudbone Grown via email at or call 503-875-6951

Past Mid-Valley Events
Día de Campo para Pequeños Agricultores

On September 30th, the OSU Extension Mid-Valley Small Farms team hosted the 2017 Latino Farmer Field Day at the Marion-Polk Food Share farm in Salem, OR. The purpose of the field day was to celebrate and bring together the Spanish-speaking small farmers in Oregon. The event started with a tour of the Marion-Polk Food Share Youth Farm, led by young Spanish-speaking students who work at the farm. Following the tour, the participants enjoyed a warm lunch provided by Sabores Latinos. Two workshops were offered, one on insect pests by Dalila Rendon, and the second on vegetable diseases by Claudia Corvalán Espinoza. The field day attracted 15 participants, some of who traveled from as far as Hood River and Forest Grove. The OSU team used the opportunity to discuss ideas for future workshops that would target the Spanish-speaking farming community. Javier Fernandez-Salvador conducted a planning session for the Spanish track of the 2018 Small Farms Conference. Please contact Javier with any additional input.

Culinary Breeding Network Variety Showcase
The Mid-Willamette Valley Small Farms Program participated in the 2017 Culinary Breeding Network Variety Showcase on October 2, 2017. The event, sponsored by the Culinary Breeding Network, focused on exhibiting new and unique varieties of grains, fruits and vegetables, all the while providing networking opportunities for members of the agricultural and food based communities. 
Read more.
Student Researcher & Scholarship Recipient
We'd like to congratulate our student researcher, Eliza Smith, on receiving a scholarship from the Oregon Blueberry Commission.

"Eliza Smith, a 2013 graduate of Blanchet Catholic School in Salem who is majoring in bioresource research at Oregon State University, became interested in the blueberry industry as a career path when she started working for OSU Extension agent Javier Fernandez-Salvador in December of 2015. She now is an independent consultant for USDA Organic and GlobalGAP certifications, working primarily with blueberry farmers in the Willamette Valley, and working for Extension as part of the mid-Willamette Valley Small Farms Program."

See more here.
Table Grape Field Day
Photo: Javier Fernandez-Salvador presents on disease and weed management for organic table grape production.
In September, NWREC hosted the annual Table Grape Field Day for growers and industry professionals. The field day included presentations on the following topics: table grape physiology and management, results of table grape cultivar research at NWREC, disease and weed management for organic table grapes, and a presentation about the 50+ year table grape breeding program in Arkansas. The day concluded with a tour of the table grape field trials at NWREC and an evaluation of harvested fruit.
Upcoming Events

Nov 16 - Westside Pasture Calendar Training, Rickreall

Nov 18 - Women in Agriculture Conference, Salem

Nov 18 - Agriculture & Commercial Pesticide and Empty Container Collection Event, Mt. Angel

Dec 1 - Best Management Practices for Young Calves, Corvallis

Dec 5 - Managing Your Woodland Property - Determine Your Next Steps, Salem

Dec 6 - Young Farmers Conference, Salem

Dec 8 - Intervention Methods for Sick Calves, Corvallis

Dec 14 - Orchard Management Series: Pruning Fruit Trees, Lebanon

Jan 10Scarcity Amid Abundance: Understanding Trade-offs in the Food-Energy-Water Nexus in the Willamette River Basin, Dallas

Jan 11 - Orchard Management Series: Site Selection and Pest Management, Tangent

Jan 25 - Orchard Management Series: Nutrient Management, Tangent

Feb 3 - Marion & Polk Food Summit, Salem

OSU Extension is Hiring!

Chrissy Lucas has moved into new position to focus on Groundwater Education and the statewide Small Farms program. Congrats Chrissy! Now there is an Educational Program Assistant1 position open that will be based in Corvallis. It's a part-time job that would support the small farm program in Benton and Linn Counties. More details available at:

This Newsletter is for You

In order to make this newsletter useful, we'd like to know what you are interested in receiving. To that end, please fill out this quick survey so that we can tailor our mailings appropriately!

Let Us Know!
Spread the Love

Would you like to share upcoming events in future newsletters? Please contact Victoria Binning
Are you a farmer looking for land or a job? A landowner looking for someone to farm? Check out Friends of Family Farmer's Oregon Farm Link

NMPAN is a network and info hub for people and organizations who want small meat processors to thrive. They offer tools and information for small processors and the farmers, marketers, and meat buyers who depend on them. Learn more about NMPAN and NMPAN people.

Who are you folks, anyway?

Great question. Check out our short bios below and if your interest is piqued, don't be shy! We'd love to chat about what we do and what we can do together.

Javier Fernandez-Salvador is an Assistant Professor of Practice at Oregon State University. More info.

Heather Stoven is the Community Horticulturalist and Small Farms Extension Agent for Yamhill County. More info.

Erica Chernoh is a sustainable agriculture specialist. More info.

Victoria Binning is the Agriculture Program Coordinator for Marion County Extension Service. More info.

Eliza Smith is a student at Oregon State University, majoring in Bioresource Research with a focus in plant growth and development, and minoring in Spanish. More info.

Erin Wever is a student at Oregon State University, majoring in the fields of Environmental Economics and Policy and Environmental Sciences. More info.

Jose Ortega is majoring in Agricultural Science with an emphasis in Ag Education. More info.

OSU Extension Faculty and Staff
Javier Fernandez-Salvador, Assistant Professor of Practice 

Heather Stoven, Community Horticulturalist and Small Farms Extension Agent
Erica Chernoh, Horticulture Instructor

Victoria Binning, Agriculture Program Coordinator

Eliza Smith, Student Project Assistant
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Copyright © 2017 OSU Mid-Valley Small Farms, All rights reserved.

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