In this week’s issue:

Ask an Expert 2.0

As a reminder, eXtension has retired the current Ask an Expert system and replaced it with a new system (called “Ask Extension”) as of Feb. 1. Our OSU Extension website widget now directs all incoming questions to the new system. All experts need to claim their accounts in the new system to be able to accept questions.

What do I need to do?

We’ve added two more drop-in Q&A sessions, where we can screen share and walk you through the process, and answer questions.

Thursday, Feb. 11, 10 a.m. Add to calendar Join via Zoom

Thursday, Feb. 18, 1 p.m. Add to calendar Join via Zoom

If you have any questions contact Kym Pokorny (; Lucas Turpin ( or Sandy Reichhuber (

Welcome New Employees

Marti Deyo, 4-H, 4-H Program Coordinator, Malheur County

Maria-Ximena Williams, FCH, SNAP Program Coordinator, Umatilla County

Abigail Tomasek, Crop & Soil Science, Assistant Professor

Lahaina Phillip, FCH Education Program Assistant 2, Clackamas County

First Monday Update

The very important topic of Save a life: helping farmers and ranchers cope with stress in tough times was addressed this month. If you missed it here is the URL for the February blog.

OSU Extension Service brand alignment review

OSU Extension is embarking on a brand alignment review. This review of current marketing tools will help Extension Communications and University Marketing gain an accurate understanding of where we are in the adoption of the OSU brand and Extension sub-brand so that we can enhance support and resources for brand adoption. Please review the instructions for what should be submitted by the February 19, 2021, deadline.

In conversations with several regions, some things popped up that need clarification:

  • Email signatures can be shared individually, or a few examples can be gathered in a Word document at the county level and uploaded by the office manager.
  • Not everyone will have an example for each category. That is okay.
  • We want a collective view of the outward-facing marketing materials being created at the county and the program level. If there are multiple people supporting a program in a county, we don’t need examples from each person; collaborate on which examples to upload.
  • If someone is supporting more than one county and the document or URL are the same across the counties, only one example needs to be shared.
  • If a flyer, for example, is translated into another language, but the design of the piece doesn’t change, share just one example; however, if the piece reflects cultural differences, then you might want to submit both examples.
  • Assuming our most recent work reflects our best understanding of the brand, we would like to see your most recent work.

If you have questions about the process or types of materials we are asking you to share, please contact Ann Marie Murphy, marketing manager for OSU Extension.

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:

Tuesday, February 9 @ 2:00 pm: Copyright essentials for Extension employees
In this session, learn about:
• Copyright essentials and resources
• Tips on finding and using images
• New functionality on the OSU Extension website to help ensure compliance

Thursday, February 11 @ 10:00 am: Ask an Expert Training Session

Thursday, February 11 @ 12:00 pm: Extension Teaching Network (monthly meeting)

Thursday, February 18 @ 10:00 am: How content authors can improve digital accessibility

Thursday, February 18 @ 1:00 pm: Ask an Expert Training Session

OSU Extension vaccination outreach and education updates

Refer to Anita Azarenko’s Feb. 9 email to OSU Extension employees for additional details. Watch this space in the coming weeks for additional reminders and updates.

Everyone in Extension can—and should—play a role in sharing credible information, being aware of current local happenings related to the vaccines, and promoting continued personal and public health measures. Extension professionals are uniquely positioned, as trusted partners in our communities, to do this in collaboration with our local public health and other partners.

Everyone is encouraged to:

  • Be aware of and share current, local information related to vaccine eligibility and access and/or direct people to the state’s resources, such as the new “Get Vaccinated Oregon” tool to check eligibility and sign up to receive updates.
  • As appropriate, extend information to your audiences and networks about vaccine eligibility, access and safety/efficacy. A growing collection of sharable resources and toolkits, many in multiple languages, is available on our COVID-19 internal resources page. Public-facing information is also curated on the OSU Extension website COVID-19 page (and displayed in other places throughout our site).
  • Stay informed of vaccine-related information that’s relevant to the OSU community. Read official OSU emails and see the vaccination FAQs on the university’s COVID-19 safety and success website.

A workgroup with leadership from our Family and Community Health Extension educators is working collaboratively to curate these resources, assess and respond to education and access needs and gaps in our communities, and evaluate the impacts of our collective outreach and education efforts. Please contact Roberta Riportella with questions and suggestions.

New Addition to OSU Extension Catalog

EM 9307, Herbicide-Contaminated Compost and Soil Mix: What You Should Know – and What You Can Do About It
Weston Miller, Kaci Buhl
New. Compost and soil mix products sometimes contain herbicide residue. This residue can damage certain vegetable, fruit and flower crops. The residue likely comes from contaminated hay, grass clippings or manure. Watch for stunted growth and distorted, curled leaves. Here are the steps to follow if you applied purchased compost or planting mix and notice these symptoms.

EM 9309, Measuring the Economic Impact of Pests and Pest Management on Oregon Peppermint
Katie Murray, Isaac Sandlin, Paul C. Jepson, Darrin L. Walenta, Peter Ellsworth
New. This summary demonstrates the yield and economic impacts of pests and pest management practices on the 2018 crop of Oregon peppermint. Researchers, Extension workers and crop consultants will benefit from this graphical look at real-world data on the impacts of pests on a key Northwest crop.

Extension News Stories

Producing news and impact stories is the No. 1 priority for the news team, as we help you share how Extension is actively serving communities. These stories were published in the last week:

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 and Our Impact site as well, for stories that are relevant to your communities.

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

Navigator Digital Strategy Update

Learn from these good webpage examples!

During this legislative season, our website often will get shared with elected officials and other stakeholders. Is your county page ready for prime time? This recent best practices webinar included tips to help show your county’s and program’s impact and all that Extension offers.

Jefferson county is an example shared that works well. Also, a look at good design on 4-H Clackamas and Umatilla Master Gardeners program pages among others.

Help people find what they are looking for and make it easier to scan. As shown in this best practices webinar, one way you can do this through clear headings and engaging language on the page. Also, it shows how to include testimonials from your volunteers or others who experience our programs.

Quality photos also make a difference, so learn where you can find good photos (and where you shouldn’t) in our next webinar: Tues, Feb. 9, 2 pm Copyright essentials for Extension employees.

Diversity Highlights

Please contact with any questions, or to submit Diversity Highlights content.

Statewide Events & Resources

Black Heritage Month Conversation Series | Mental Health and Wellness: Staying close with the supportive OSU community has lifelong benefits for Beavers. Build connections as you dive into mental health and wellness on Feb. 11 with the Black Alumni & Friends Network. Kick off OSU Black Heritage Month celebrations and move toward a happier and healthier life at 

Public Health Insider | Making Outdoors Accessible for Everyone: As we strive to recover community health, a unique partnership between Oregon State and AARP aims to make outdoor recreation accessible for people of all ages and abilities. Join presenters Erwin Tan from AARP, Lee Davis with the OSU Outdoor Recreation Economy Initiative and Joshua Norris with the OSU Adventure Leadership Institute to learn more about the interdisciplinary effort. Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. Register.

Black Minds Matter Webinar: Addressing Disproportionate School Suspension of Black Children and Youth
In recent years, there has been increasing attention and educational policy efforts designed to address the disproportionate suspensions of Black children and youth. Using data from California public schools, the presenters will highlight persistent disparities in the application of exclusionary discipline. A reactor panel will then provide insights on how schools and educational leaders support ongoing efforts for change. Feb. 17, 1:00 p.m.

Visualization tool: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Access and Eligibility information
A new visualization produced by the U.S. Census Bureau with support from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, the USDA’s Economic Research Service, and data from multiple state partners shows estimates of SNAP eligibility and access rates at the state and county levels for 16 states for select years. The visualization, which uses American Community Survey (ACS) and state administrative records data, aims to increase understanding of access to SNAP and inform future outreach.

DEI In the News

It’s a Desert Out There (The Source)
According to a 2019 Oregon State University study, families with children under the age of 3 in every county in Oregon live in a child care desert. Less than a quarter of Oregon’s children 5 and under have access to a regulated child care—12% of infants and toddlers and 29% of preschool-age children.

Prof. Christopher Stout: The political importance of talking about race (Corvallis Advocate)
Dr. Christopher Stout, an associate professor of political science at Oregon State University, has written two books related to this topic, with his pioneering research about how race intersects with politics on the campaign trail.

Extension in the News

How Native Plants Might Change The Trajectories Of Fires
The Jefferson Exchange
The events of Almeda Drive and other urban fires raise questions about local vegetation and how it burns. Chris Adlam at Oregon State University Extension has been studying the questions and reporting on his findings.

Pandemic drives increase in direct to consumer sales
Woodburn Independent
A column by Scott Duggan.

Stories Of Southern Oregon: The Value Of Knowing Bugs
The Jefferson Exchange
There are plenty of critters that will eat us out of house and home and pass diseases to boot. Richard Hilton knows them well from his work as an agricultural entomologist for the Oregon State University Extension Service.

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