In this week’s issue:

Marijuana policy reminder

Regarding the issue about marijuana questions and policy, faculty, staff, and volunteers should continue to refer to OSU policies regarding marijuana.

All media inquiries should continue be referred to Jay Noller, who is OSU’s point of contact with questions about marijuana and/or industrial hemp production in Oregon.

Although Extension isn’t allowed to directly answer questions about marijuana, we can discuss it indirectly. For instance, if a grower asks what the best pesticide is, we can tell them of pesticides used on similar crops or refer them to the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

ODA, Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) regulate other aspects of the marijuana industry. It is OK to refer appropriate questions to these agencies as applicable.

Here are some questions we cannot answer but rather refer them to ODA or OLCC:

  • Propagation
  • How to plant and care for marijuana plants (seed, growing medium, start a nursery, weed control, germination rates, fertilizer rates, harvesting, yield)
  • Testing soils for growing marijuana
  • Hemp/marijuana growing regulations
  • Nutrient requirements, cultivars, plant physiology
  • Compounds found in marijuana
  • Size, space, slope aspect, water requirements
  • Donating gifts/funds to support research
  • Collaboration with other scientists and/or marijuana growers on projects that are not related to marijuana?
  • Analytical labs to test for residues
  • Developing edible products
  • Testing edible product for water activity, pH or microbes
  • Testing THC-free product for water activity for adding to cannabis later
  • Working on hemp or cannabidiol(s) (CBDs)
  • IPM plan for marijuana pests (e.g., monitoring, plant spacing, indicator susceptible plants, and pruning for aeration).

Also, remember that we can’t accept gifts or money from known growers of marijuana even for projects that are not related to marijuana.

In Memorium

Ray McNeilan, OSU Professor of Horticulture and head of the Extension Master Gardener Program from 1978 to 1996, has passed away. It is impossible to overstate the impact that Ray has had on Oregon’s Master Gardener Program, and on home gardeners across Oregon. He has taught generations of Master Gardeners, was a gracious colleague to fellow horticulturists, and author of several books and countless Extension fact sheets. Upon his retirement, he continued to volunteer his time and expertise to the Master Gardener Program and to the Oregon Master Gardener Association. In honor of his contributions, the Oregon Master Gardener Association funds a scholarship for an OSU Horticulture student, in Dr. McNeilan’s name. His smile was huge, as was his heart. Together with his wife Jan (who was also an OSU Extension Professional, and the Coordinator of OSU’s Master Gardener Program from 2003 to 2007), the McNeilans helped to establish the Statewide Master Gardener Endowment Fund at OSU, which has been integral to keeping the program strong, to this day. A giant in the world of horticulture, he was humble, generous, and always had a huge smile. His legacy will live on in the generations of Master Gardeners he has trained, the students who study horticulture at OSU via the Ray McNeilan scholarship, and the many colleagues he has supported and encouraged.

A celebration of life is planned for a later date, to be announced.

Election reminder

With the approach of the November elections, the information below provides guidance for public employees in their official capacity relating to election and political matters.

Public employees may not engage in certain political activity while on the job during working hours, under ORS 260.432. The statute prohibits public employees from promoting or opposing the adoption of a ballot measure, or a candidate for public office, while on the job during working hours. It also prohibits any person from requiring or attempting to require other public employees to give money, service or anything of value to promote or oppose a ballot measure or a candidate.

The statute does not mean that you give up your individual rights to engage in political activity as a result of your public employment. However, it is important to be clear when you are speaking in your private capacity. The Secretary of State notes that the use of a working title tends to indicate that an employee is acting in the employee’s official capacity. It would be prudent for you to avoid using your OSU title if you promote or oppose candidates or ballot measures. If there is any question about the capacity in which you are speaking or acting, it would also be prudent for you to expressly state that you are speaking and acting in your private capacity and not as an OSU employee.

The Oregon Secretary of State has published valuable guidance on this law, titled “Restrictions on Political Campaigning by Public Employees, ORS 260.432.”  The guidance can be found at:

The penalties for non-compliance with this statute are potentially severe. The Secretary of State may impose a civil penalty of up to $1000 for each violation, and the district attorney or a taxpayer may seek recovery of any improper expenditure of public funds in connection with promotion or opposition of a candidate or ballot measure.

If you have any questions about this matter, please feel free to contact the Oregon State University Office of Human Resources at:

Below are some resources to help you professionally and effectively communicate with legislators. Information available on OSU Government Relations State Advocacy site:

150 Events in full swing

The OSU150 Land Grant Festival, from Oct. 1 to 17 at Oregon State’s Corvallis campus, is under way with two dozen free events including art exhibits, the wave lab, and a lecture about the future of energy. Of special interest is The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics on October 23.You can pick and choose what portions of the symposium you want to attend. However, please, do not delay as registrations are coming in briskly.

This free, daylong Futures Focus Symposium at the LaSells Stewart Center is expected to attract more than 1,000 attendees to consider the potential benefits, risks, ethics and uncertainties of the emerging technologies of artificial intelligence and robotics. Invited national and OSU experts will share their insights into the potential for AI and robotics to transform agriculture, health care, natural resource management, transportation, arts and entertainment, as well as consider possible impacts on jobs, the economy, our communities, laws and privacy.

Extension Web Update

This week’s web upgrade blog reveals a “New Look to Topic Pages Coming Soon”. Get a sneak peek at the new visual designs that will roll out this month. Topic pages on the Extension website will be curated by topic committees made up of representatives from the various content teams that contribute content to the topic. These topic stewards will feature fresh and relevant content to meet changing seasons and audience’s interests.

Diversity Highlights

Please contact with any questions or comments or if you have suggestions for events or news stories to include in Diversity Highlights.

Events & Resources

Rogue Valley Pride 2018 “Rising with Pride!”: Ashland hosts space for diversity and inclusiveness in the 2018 Parade! We will create a colorful atmosphere of fun, and more importantly, celebrate our LGBTQ+ community in Southern Oregon! This year’s theme is “Rising with Pride.” October 13 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm in Ashland, for more info visit the event page.

Persistent Health Disparities: The Laurel Case Lecture and Visiting Professorship presents Denise Rodgers, M.D., vice chancellor of Interprofessional Programs and director of Urban Health and Wellness Institute, Rutgers University. October 17 from 11:30 to 1:30 in Portland, for more info visit the event page.

Hispanic Heritage Day at the Oregon State Capitol: To conclude National Hispanic Heritage Month the Oregon State Capitol Foundation is proud to sponsor this event through the Capitol History Gateway Program. Enjoy music, dancing, art and exhibits during this free, family-friendly event that is open to the public. October 20 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in Salem, for more info visit the event page.

3rd Annual DV in Indigenous, Black & Communities of Color Event: Featuring keynote speaker Vanessa Timmons, and culturally specific workshops, this multifaceted event will center the conversation around DV in Indigenous, Black, and communities of color. October 24 from 4:00 pm and 9:00 pm in Portland, if you want more info visit the event page.

In the News

We Have Work To Do

We Have Work To Do is a university-wide campaign that will be led by the Office of Institutional Diversity during the 2018-19 academic year.

After colleges promised to increase it, hiring of black faculty declined

At Oregon State University, where the 2016 federal figures analyzed by Hechinger recorded 1 percent of tenure-track instructors as being black, school leaders are working with the nonprofit Southern Regional Education Board to find black professors from southern universities, said Charlene Alexander, the university’s vice president and chief diversity officer.

Unmaking “Hispanic”: Teaching the Creation of Hispanic Identity

“Hispanic” heritage includes a diverse range of cultures, nationalities, histories and identities. This TT teaching and learning specialist offers recommendations for teaching students the complex histories behind Hispanic Heritage Month.

What are you reading?

Please share an interesting book, blog, or article you’ve read lately. What’s one insight you gleaned?

Extension in the news

Minnesota Residents Call Police On Rowdy Drunk Birds
Oregon State University’s Extension Service notes that by October, the birds that have consumed the fruit “may be tipsy, inadvertent victims of alcohol consumption.”

Tucking in hazelnut orchards for the winter
Capital Press
“Fall of 2016 it started raining and never really stopped — a big wake-up call,” Oregon State University Orchard Crops Specialist Nik Wiman said. “The mud clogs up the harvesters and you end up with really dirty loads with cleaning fees that can exceed the nuts’ value. Moisture increases kernel defects, and moldy kernels are a big problem in the industry.”

Pendleton’s dry spell lingers
East Oregonian
Don Wysocki, a soil scientist for Oregon State University Extension Service, said wheat farmers have been forced to move back their planting dates while they wait for rains to arrive.