In this week’s issue:

What 2020 Taught Us

January’s First Monday Update kicked off 2021 with Anita asking what 2020 taught us that we can use in 2021. Thank you to Cindy Brown, Sherman County, who recorded and shared what she learned, and thank you to those that commented on the blog. Gifts of appreciation will be heading your way.

Ask an Expert Transition

As a reminder, eXtension is retiring the current Ask an Expert system and replacing it with a new system (called “Ask Extension”) Feb. 1. All experts need to claim their accounts in the new system during January 2021 to be able to accept questions.

We switched our website widget to direct questions to the new system on Monday, January 25, 2021. The old system will remain available until Feb. 1 for experts to respond to any pending public questions.

What do I need to do?

Professional Development Resources

Please check out the upcoming statewide professional development sessions, plenty of interesting sessions, past, present and future here.
Sessions for the next two weeks are:

Thursday, January 28 @ 9:00 am: Best practices for county and program page design

Thursday, January 28 @ 1:00 pm: Ask an Expert Training Session

Friday, February 5 @ 10:30 am: Ask Anita: A bi-monthly connection opportunity

New Additions to OSU Extension Catalog

EM 9305, Vegetable Degree-Day Models An Introduction for Farmers and Gardeners

Nick D. Andrews, Leonard Coop, Heather Stoven, Heidi Noordijk, Aaron Heinrich

New. Degree-days measure the amount of heat accumulated over time. Researchers have used years of this data to develop models that help farmers and gardeners predict harvest dates and other important events in select crops and weeds. Learn how to use an online tool known as Croptime to put these models to work for you.

Extension News Stories

Producing news stories is the No. 1 priority for the news team, as we help you share how Extension is actively serving communities.

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,

Navigator Digital Strategy Update

How can you reach more people when it’s urgent?

Digital strategy can play a role when an emerging issue strikes, such as the September 2020 wildfires. Extension Communications and ECTU worked with faculty across Extension program areas to post announcements, curate content, publish news stories and amplify information in social media.

“I worked with the Virtual Extension team to create infographics for Facebook. The post on ‘When fire nears you…’ had a reach of over 60,000! I could not have done that one on my own!” says Carrie Berger, Fire Program Manager.

Daily web visitors during the peak wildfires more than doubled. During September 62,000 people viewed Brooke Edmunds featured questions on ash in gardens. People were also taking time to read new and existing web articles on fire and smoke, spending about 5 minutes per page.

Watch this 14-minute webinar on collaborating on communications during critical times.

Diversity Highlights

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

Statewide Events & Resources

OSU CLA Changemakers webcast series: There are Oregon State alumni passionately advancing justice and equity in every field. Join the OSU Changemakers webcast series for inspiring conversations with Beavers, hosted monthly by CLA Professor Susan Shaw. Part two of the series kicks off Jan. 27, and features alumni cultivating youth literacy, empowering Oregon’s farmworkers and creating pathways to economic prosperity. Learn more and register at

Social Justice Education Initiative workshops are happening now, including NEW Tier Two workshops: The SJEI is a foundational professional development program for all faculty, staff and graduate students. Join your colleagues to begin, or expand, your equity and inclusion journey. See the schedule and register for remote Tier One Platform workshops here. See the schedule and register for remote Tier Two Next Level workshops here. Interested in this work for your unit? Contact SJEI director Jane Waite for further information:

Umatilla County residents discuss racism in MLK day panel (
The virtual panel was hosted on Monday, Jan. 18, via Zoom by the Hermiston Cultural Awareness Coalition and moderated by Angela Pursel of KOHU/The Q radio. As they discussed what steps the community can take toward fulfilling King’s vision, many panel members said conversations about topics, such as privilege and institutional racism, can be difficult, but such conversations are how people learn and change.

DEI In the News

Census Changes For MENA Groups, LGBTQ People are first step to supporting ‘Invisible’ Groups (NPR)
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are expected to revive policy proposals that could change how LGBTQ people and people with roots in the Middle East or North Africa can identify themselves for the next U.S. census.

New Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government
Issued on January 20, 2021. “Equal opportunity is the bedrock of American democracy, and our diversity is one of our country’s greatest strengths.  But for too many, the American Dream remains out of reach.”

With Ban lifted, Transgender People Get a Long-Sought Chance to Enlist (NY Times)
The recent update creates opportunities for people whose dreams of serving in the military had been sidetracked.

Extension in the News

Marijuana ban near youth centers ruled unlawfully vague
Capital Press
Last summer, the state’s Land Use Board of Appeals ordered the county to approve two applications to commercially grow marijuana, which had been rejected because they’re within 1,000 feet of properties that offer horseback riding classes, 4-H agricultural activities and other amenities for children.

C.O. ‘Buttes to Basins’ forest resiliency project receives $3.3 million in federal funds
The project will engage both private landowners and local partners, including Lake County Umbrella Watershed Council, Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State University Extension, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Lake County Resources Initiative, and Lake County Cooperative Weed Management Area.

Extension’s experimental cider orchard
Morning Ag Clips
The orchard, established at Oregon State University’s North Willamette Research and Extension Center – 23 miles south of downtown Portland – is the brainchild of Nik Wiman, OSU Extension orchard crops specialist.

Steve Renquist of the Oregon State University Extension Service talks about gardening and its increased popularity, and also about how they are  providing services differently during this time of COVID-19

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