Play with your carrots

This website encourages you to play with your food.


Ring in the New Year with a resounding chorus of carrot chimes! Play a little as you contemplate changing your diet for the better, exercising more, and meeting all those personal goals you set out for yourself. It’s easy. Just swipe your mouse across the carrots. And if you have little ones in the house? Let them play with their carrots, too!


Check out other interactive food-related activities such as the melon meditation, grape galaxy, Brussel sprout ballet, or the pomegranate pinata.


Tell us which ones are your favorites.

Calvin & Hobbes quote

The faculty and staff of the Division of University Outreach and Engagement make the lives of others better every day of the year. It may be difficult in the moment to see your impact, but as we look back, “everything is different,” as the wise cartoon characters Calvin and Hobbes suggest.

Each of you is celebrated for the energy you give and the work you are doing as 2015 comes to a close and all the possibilities of 2016 open before us.

“Making a difference starts with one step, with one foot, then the next.” Hope Galaxie

Happy New Year!

Share greetings with your colleagues and community partners.

Fish Taco

Throughout the North Coast and South West Extension Service Regions, the adult and childhood obesity incidence is greater than the Oregon average. In fact, few Americans consume the minimum recommended amount of whole grains, vegetables or fruits.

“Tastes great and so easy!! Will make it again and again,” said one fan of the fish taco recipe on, a website jointly funded by OSU Extension Service and USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Fish Tacos is one of 286 recipes posted on the Food Hero website. The vetted, healthy recipes can be sorted by number of ingredients, meal preparation time, cooking method, kid approved (yes, they actually survey kids to see if they like the food!) and more. Cooking tips and tools, including how to balance calories and shop on a budget, are also offered on the site.

“Food Hero is a research-based social marketing campaign aimed at parents who use the Internet and have kids under the age of 18 living in their homes,” stated Lauren Tobey, OSU nutrition specialist. The goal is simple: show parents and their kids how easy it is to eat more fruits and vegetables, whether fresh, frozen or canned.

A partnership with Grocery Outlet put flyers featuring two potato-based Food Hero recipes — Chicken, Potato and Pepper Bake and Superhero Shepherd’s Pie — and a coupon for a free 10lb. bag of russet potatoes (with a $10 minimum purchase) in Oregon newspapers in December. Another flyer/coupon will run in January.

The OSU Extension Service North Coast Region (Columbia, Clatsop, Tillamook and Lincoln counties) and South West Region (Lane, Douglas, Coos and Curry counties) teamed up to submit coordinating proposals for two full awards of $25,000 each (totaling $50,000) through the Moore Family Center Healthy Communities Outreach Project grant. Led by Jenny Rudolph, Lead Principal Investigator, the proposal was based on a strong partnership with the state SNAP-Ed team along with county-based Family Community Health (FCH) and 4-H faculty, and many local partners.

In March 2015, the campaign team partnered with OSU Interactive Communications to produce a series of short videos. The videos feature local families making healthy, whole-grain recipes together. The videos, which can be seen on, are designed to empower low income families to prepare healthy meals together, demonstrate easy, fun ways for kids to help in the kitchen, promote the use of low-cost whole grains in family meals, and to increase awareness of the website as a resource for healthy recipes and tips.

A 30-second commercial was also produced in English and in Spanish. The English version was distributed in a media buy campaign along the North Coast and South West regions, appearing June 12 through August 6 as a preview ad at theaters in Astoria, Lincoln City, Newport, Seaside, Springfield, North Bend, and Roseburg, including the opening weekend of Jurassic World. Audience estimates totaled 537,000.

In Southern Oregon, local Coordinated Care organizations (CCO) are very supportive of the OSU SNAP-Ed programs. “They have similar community health goals to  reduce obesity, improve nutrition choices among children and adults, and increase food security,” said Cheryl Kirk, community health instructor at Josephine County Extension Service.  “When I showed the Food Hero video segments to my partner at  All Care CCO, she was excited about the possibility to run the 30-second spot in local theaters.  So I basically connected the dots with OSU media, Sally Bowman, program manager for Family and Community Health/SNAP-Ed, and the CCO. We were all excited that this could happen during the busy holiday movie season and the release of the new Star Wars movie.” Theater ads will run December 18 through January 8 in Medford, Grants Pass and White City. The campaign coincides with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. An estimated audience of 105,000 will view the video commercial.

An online media buy featured the video commercial, which linked back to the Food Hero website. The online campaign was targeted to the North Coast and South West Regions June 12 through August 10 creating an estimated 524,000 impressions.

Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) is distributing the videos to their county offices for caseworkers to use in DHS lobbies. And all county SNAP-Ed units across the state are encouraged to use the videos at local events.

The video project team received the 2015 OSU Extension Association Oscar Hagg Communications Award in recognition of superior and distinguished achievement in effectively utilizing creative communications techniques.

According to Sally Bowman, the Oregon Department of Education is scaling and crediting Food Hero recipes for meal programs in schools and childcare settings. At least 100 credited recipes meeting Federal guidelines for school meals will be available to school kitchens.

If you’re tired of the same old recipes, or want to start eating a healthier diet on a budget, you will find many new recipes — from Almond Rice Pudding to Zucchini Zowie — to try throughout the new year.


Share a favorite recipe loaded with fruits, vegetables or whole grains in the comment section below.




For the Fish

2 pounds cod fillets

3 Tablespoons lime juice (about two limes)

1 tomato, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

3 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon oil

1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon salt


For the Slaw

2 cups shredded red cabbage

1⁄2 cup green onions, chopped

3⁄4 cup nonfat sour cream

3⁄4 cup salsa


2 cups shredded red cabbage

1⁄2 cup green onions, chopped

3⁄4 cup nonfat sour cream

3⁄4 cup salsa


8 corn tortillas (6-inch), warmed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place fish in baking dish.
  3. Mix lime juice, tomato, onion, cilantro, oil, peppers, and salt and spoon on top of fillets.
  4. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep fish moist.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes.
  6. Mix cabbage and onion; mix sour cream and salsa and add to cabbage mixture.
  7. Divide cooked fish among tortillas. Add 1/4 cup of slaw to each. Fold over and enjoy!
  8. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.


  • Freeze extra lime juice to use later.
  • One reader added some canned chilies to the baked fish and a little ranch dressing to the slaw. The substituted green cabbage because it was on sale.

See nutrition information at:

Sources:, Oregon Whole Grain Heroes Video Campaign 2015 Impact Statement, Sally Bowman, Cheryl Kirk and Jenny Rudolph



millennialsThe boomers are aging, the millennials are the next big economic and social power group, and now there is the founder generation (at least according to MTV and Red Peak Youth who surveyed post-millennials to find a name for this new generation).


The Division of University Outreach and Engagement serves every generation in many different ways. Consequently, we need to understand the needs of each generation, how they learn and the best ways to engage them.


Of course, there is a danger in making wide, sweeping generalizations about any generation. Individuals are much more nuanced. Yet, seeking insights into the mindset of the approximately 79 million millennials, which are generally viewed as ages 18 to 34, is necessary to the Division’s work.


Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, according to the Pew Research Center. We want their kids involved in 4-H programs and we need them to lead those clubs. The generation is the prime audience for OSU enrollment in on-campus or online learning programs. Also according to the Pew Research Center, in the past five years more than half of newly arrived immigrant workers are millennials. Oh, and we need them in our workforce. There’s no question that the millennial generation will influence our work.


Jeff Hino, Learning Technology Leader in Extension & Experiment Station Communications (EESC), shared this presentation on Engaging Millennials to Outreach and Engagement’s ECAN Advisory Board. (ECAN is the acronym for the Extension Citizen Advisory Network, a network of geographically diverse volunteers who advocate locally and on a statewide basis on behalf of Extension. They also are the voice of our communities and, as such, offer counsel to Scott Reed, vice provost of the Division and director of Extension.)


Jeff searched for meaningful insights that are likely to impact the outreach and engagement work of the Division. Click through the presentation to learn about all of his insights, but here are a few highlights:


  • Millennials are the first generation that never knew a time there wasn’t an Internet
  • Millennials prefer online engagement
  • Millennials are more individualistic – perhaps even rebellious – and independent than past generations
  • Millennials are a passionate and connected generation
  • Millennials need immediacy, depth, the fun factor, personal reward, and they want to be heard
  • Millennials want to create or co-create their knowledge


millennials 2Jeff even tells us what the implications are for the Division, suggesting we need to:


  • Be tech savvy
  • Go where they are (which is online)
  • Get them involved in learning
  • Use a variety of education media
  • And whatever we do, it can’t be boring, or they will go elsewhere


Excelling in these areas is no small task, yet engaging millennials is vital to the success of the university’s outreach and engagement work. The Division needs to partner with the millennial generation to create healthy people, a healthy plant and a healthy economy.


How should our outreach and engagement efforts embrace the millennial generation? Post a comment.

The term Social demography was coined by Kingsley Davis in 1963. Beginning in the 1960s, “training in social demography became formalized into academia,”1 and then in 1975, the first conference on social demography was held.

Rare in the world of Extension, the Division of Outreach and Engagement has a dedicated social demographer – Lena Etuk – who offers insights to Extension’s 10 regions and beyond using the Communities Reporter Tool (CRT). CRT presents 200 indicators and data from more than 30 sources by city, county, and census tract, from 1990 to today.

The field of social demography uses demographic data and methods to describe, explain, and predict social phenomena. It also measures the effect of social forces on population distribution. Profiles of Extension’s 10 regions are available to help identify service gaps and also where counties excel.

Link to strategic planning process
Link to regional profiles

For more detail about how the profiles can help focus programming in each of the regions, watch this video:

Discover more about the Division of Outreach and Engagement and what your colleagues are doing to engage Oregon communities in the service of OSU’s land-grant mission: