In this week’s issue:

eXtension Connect Extension Podcast-Episode 3

On Episode 3, we had the chance to sit down and talk with Victor Villegas, Oregon State University Extension Service, who recently supported a potato research field day held virtually! We also discuss different approaches to using Zoom for engaging events, and some helpful tips and tricks for those looking to move their field days to a virtual format.

Key messages to share with public, stakeholders

Need a quick refresher or tips on what to share with the public and stakeholders about Extension’s operations and impact in communities during the COVID-19 pandemic? Following are key points you can incorporate in your messages, whether written or in conversation:

  • We’re here for you.
  • Safety and health of our employees, volunteers, learners and communities is our top priority.
  • We continue to serve our communities through remote work and virtual programming while gradually resuming onsite and in-person activities.
  • Resumption of our onsite work and in-person activities follows state law and guidance, university policies and OSU Extension’s resumption plan, and is responsive to local conditions.
  • When sharing stories of your activities, focus on the “why” and the impact.
    • See our COVID-19 communication toolkit, which includes sample templates and language, as well as a great example from Linn County.
    • Consider framing in terms of Extension’s impact areas:
      • Healthy communities and economies
      • Resilient and productive forestry and natural ecosystems
      • Sustainable agriculture, food systems, and gardening
      • Thriving youth, individuals and families
    • Contact Ann Murphy, marketing manager, with questions or for help using or customizing these tools for your local needs.

These, and a number of other useful tools and guidelines, are available on our OSU Extension COVID-19 Resources webpage.

Welcome New Employees

Kelsey Knight, Assistant Internship Coordinator, Extension Administration

Carrie Juchau, Education Program Assistant 2, Josephine County

Wendy Fekkers, Fiscal Coordinator, 4-H

Renee Menkens, We CAN Research Coordinator, Coos County

Kyle Mondron, Faculty Research Assistant, Botany & Plant Pathology

Thomas Stokely, Assistant Professor, Forestry—Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, and Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

Extension Teaching Network

You’re invited to the Extension Teaching Network monthly meet up. Join Cassie Bouska, Gordon Jones, and Mary Halbleib on Zoom August 13 at noon. 

Bring your lunch and join the discussion to get insights and support to make your Extension programs more effective and engaging. We are excited to share our ideas and hear yours as we delve into solving challenges and pursuing new opportunities for impactful outreach.

Options for clear face coverings

For those who work with people with hearing impairments or more sensitive children/youth, it might be beneficial to have a clear mask so they can see your face (for reading lips and seeing your emotions). You’ve probably seen people wearing face shields (with and without masks), but a few other options are available that might serve your purposes in a more practical and protective way.

  • For those who have the skill, or know someone with the skill, there are videos and patterns on line that show you how to sew your own cloth face mask with a clear insert.
  • For those who have no sewing skills, there is Clear Mask (this is not an endorsement of the product). After looking at other options, Oregon Outdoor School ordered a few to test. According to Rita Bauer, the Clear Mask is good about not fogging, but it’s hot (aren’t all masks?), and stiff (no vertical flexibility).  It moves quite a bit if you’re talking, requiring fairly frequent repositioning. While this is perhaps the only option for a mass-produced clear mask at present, there are others being developed with newer materials that are both transparent and filtering, but likely not until next year at the earliest.

Extension News Stories

Producing news stories is the No. 1 priority for the news team during the COVID-19 crisis, as we help you share how Extension is still actively serving communities. This story was published in the last week:

Pandemic leads to unprecedented burst of questions to Ask an Expert tool

We encourage active sharing of these stories across Extension’s social media accounts and inclusion in appropriate newsletters. We will include recently published stories in Extension ConnEXTion each week. Feel free to browse the Extension website news section, as well, for stories that are relevant to your communities.

Do you have a story that you want to share? Contact Chris Branam, EESC’s news and public issues education leader,

Additions to OSU Extension Catalog

EC 1307, Growing Strawberries in Your Home Garden

Bernadine Strik, Emily Dixon, Amy Jo Detweiler, Erica Chernoh, Nicole Sanchez

Revised. The strawberry patch in your home garden can produce ripe fruit for your family all through the growing season. Grow strawberries in containers, in hills or in raised beds. Grow strawberries that produce a big crop in June — or choose a variety that bears ripe berries all summer long. Ensure success by choosing the right type of strawberry and choosing a variety adapted to your garden. Here’s how to plant strawberries, fertilize them and solve the common problems that plague many gardeners.

EM 9273-S, La guía de buenas prácticas para el sacrificio al aire libre de aves de corral

Rebecca Thistlethwaite, Lauren Gwin

New. Los productores de aves de corral en Oregón que cumplen con ciertas condiciones pueden sacrificar sus pollos, pavos y otras aves de corral al aire libre. Sin embargo, deben cumplir con los requisitos para la sanitización, el monitoreo y el mantenimiento de registros, entre otros. Estos recursos podrán ayudar a los productores de aves de corral a operar de una manera segura, sanitaria y respetuosa del medio ambiente.

Professional Development Resources

Please check out the upcoming statewide professional development sessions, plenty of interesting sessions, past, present and future here.

Wednesday, August 5 @ 11:00 am: Envision Extension

Weekly, statewide Extension meeting lead by Lindsey Shirley.

Friday, August 7 @ 10:30 am: Analytics and feedback website dashboards: Understanding our online audiences

Presenters: Michele Scheib (Content Strategist), Amerie Lommen (Web Developer), Wendy Hein (Associate Professor of Practice, 4-H Clackamas County), Jessica Green (Sr. Research Asst., Ag Extension web content teams point person) Shifting to remote delivery has been a time investment and how can you know if putting resources on the Extension website helped? We’ll show you how to see your analytics and feedback dashboard by piece of content, author, or group. Find out if your resources are being viewed, how people are finding them, and who the online visitors are and what they think. Come see how your analytics and feedback dashboards help you report your successes, make decisions and know if you need to shift your content strategy.

Please share your feedback to help us plan for future sessions. Is there a topic you’d like an “advanced” or follow-up version of? Would an open Q&A or office hours/help-type session on any previous topic be useful? Do you want to offer a statewide professional development session? Contact Victor Villegas to share feedback and coordinate.

Navigator Digital Strategy Update

Learn how the right online tool can help you perform what we call “Broad Listening” all across popular social media outlets, helping you manage your own social media communications. Read more in this week’s blog.

Diversity Highlights

Please contact with any questions, and if you have suggestions for Diversity Highlights content.

Statewide Events & Resources

Diversity, equity and inclusion workshop: Oregon State University – Cascades will host a three-day diversity, equity and inclusion workshop for business leaders and community members interested in furthering their knowledge of social equality. OSU-Cascades business instructor Erika McCalpine will lead the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Intensive workshop. It will be offered via Zoom from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 17-19. Registration for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Intensive is $300 per person and each three-day session is limited to 40 participants. Registration closes on Aug. 14 for the Aug. 17-19 session. To register, visit For information, contact

“Right to Clean Air” Environmental Justice Webinar: Join us for an online panel including diverse perspectives on toxic air pollution issues facing the state of Oregon. Wednesday, Aug. 5, at noon. Free and open to everyone. Co-sponsored by the Spring Creek Project. Learn more and register here. A Zoom meeting link will be emailed to you after you register.

Tier Two workshops, New Tier One dates, remote delivery of Social Justice Education workshops is happening now: See the schedule and register for Zoom workshops through fall 2020 here. See three brand new Tier Two collaborations created for our community today. The SJEI is an excellent foundational professional development program for all faculty, staff and graduate students. Join your colleagues to begin or expand your equity and inclusion journey. Interested in this work for your unit? Contact SJEI director Jane Waite for further information:

DEI In the News

Research Finds Black, Latinx Students Still Excluded From Selective Public Institutions (Diverse Edu) As communities and institutions seek solutions to the nation’s racial inequities in the aftermath of protests surrounding George Floyd’s death in police custody, the Education Trust recently cited “continued and systematic exclusion of Black and Latinx students from the most selective public colleges and universities in the country” in an incisive report published on its website.

33 Books for Summer 2020 (Colorlines) Organzied into categories like, Memoirs, Activism and Graphic Novels, this article presents 33 books to help people of all ages escape into fantasy, brush up on history and discuss systemic racism this summer.

Extension in the News

Grant County Fair adapts amid coronavirus

The Blue Mountain Eagle

Bonni Booth, 4-H/SNAP-Ed Program coordinator for Grant County Oregon State University Extension Office, said they are following Oregon Health Authority guidelines for 4-H and FFA activities, which were updated July 17.

Five recent publications from OSU

Herald and News

A column by Nicole Sanchez.

Online Lee Allen Memorial auction starts Wednesday

Corvallis Gazette-Times

“We have about 194 4-H members participating,” said Carolyn Ashton, 4-H youth development faculty leader with the Oregon State University Extension Service. “Livestock was down a little bit, but not much.”

Blueberry boom: Worldwide growth creates challenges for NW producers

Capital Press

Bernadine Strik, a professor in OSU’s Department of Horticulture and extension berry crops specialist, has spent more than 30 years fine-tuning production systems at the station.

Make your own display of prize winning fair-worthy canned food

The Bulletin

An expert in canning, drying, pickling and freezing food, Nellie Oehler coordinates Oregon State Extension Service’s Master Food Preserver Program, which she created 40 years ago.

Oregon’s Oldest House Is Being Restored near Canby

Canby Now

Several forestry experts with the Oregon State University Extension Service serve on Forest Forever’s board or are involved with the educational programs at Hopkins.

Oregon State Professor and Viticulture Extension Specialist Confirmed as ASEV President for 2020-2021

Wine Industry Network

Patty Skinkis, Oregon State University’s viticulture Extension specialist and professor, has been confirmed as 2020-2021 president of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) as of July 1.

Getting 1,000 masks for La Grande schools

The Observer

Oregon State University Extension Service Family and Community Health Program is leading the effort to provide cloth masks for the upcoming school year with Robin Maille, an assistant professor of practice in the program, coordinating the project.

‘Master Gardeners’ allowed back into Brentwood-Darlington garden

Pamplin Media Group

Since their return, the garden has seen 194 volunteer hours contributed over 10 work days; and so far, 22 gardeners out of a maintenance crew of 26 have worked to bring the garden back into mid-March condition.

Make 2 Show 4-H Summer Series Workshops This Month


The Oregon State University Extension Service of Douglas County 4-H Positive Youth Development program is offering a five-week series of expressive art workshops for youth ages 9-19 throughout this month.

Bidders rally around 4-H/FFA youth

Herald and News

The 84th Annual 4H/FFA Rotary Livestock Auction netted a record $855,000 in sales — and counting — on Sunday in its first ever virtual auction.

Cancelled horse show gallops to virtual success

Canby Herald

The Clackamas County Extension Service 4-H horse program delivered that creativity by organizing a virtual horse show to replace the six-day event held in Canby every July.

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