August 19, 2022
A research farm near Portland, Ore., will be the site of the next Ag Innovations Conference, which features West Coast researchers and agricultural industry representatives who share the latest advances in technology and technique.
Started in 2014, the periodic conference seeks to introduce growers to innovations. The fifth event will be held Sept. 22-23 at Oregon State University’s North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora. It’s the first such conference to be held in the Pacific Northwest.
With conservation as a theme, the conference will highlight such advances as dry-farming vegetable crops, electric weed control in tree nuts and tabletop strawberry production, plus a field tour of the research farm and an optional harvest dinner Sept. 23.
The North Willamette REC is one of 14 OSU experiment stations serving about 220 different agricultural commodities in the state, including nursery plantings, hay and beef cattle.
“It’s really an amazing place for food and agriculture,” Staci Simonich, dean of OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, told reporters during a recent media fellowship at the university.
Making food accessible
Surendra Dara, a former University of California Cooperative Extension farm adviser in San Luis Obispo who became director of NWREC in January, said a key component of sustainable food production is to “make it accessible.
“We need to focus on what plants need, not just focus on one or two pieces,” said Dara, who will give opening remarks on the importance of applied research, developing practical solutions, building collaborations for effective outreach.
The innovation conferences bring together speakers from universities, research organizations and the ag input industry. The conferences have followed different themes – general agriculture (2014), microbial control (2017), biologicals (2019) and comprehensive crop care (2020). All the previous conferences were held in California.
This year, the conference will coincide with the 11th annual Harvest Dinner at the North Willamette REC on Sept. 23. The dinner, which features OSU leaders and elected officials, will recognize contributions made to local economies, the promotion of healthy communities and environmental stewardship.
Cost is $125 for the conference and $75 for the dinner. For more information and to register, click here.
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