There are new ideas brewing at Oregon State University, where agricultural research is helping grow innovative industries across Oregon. In this issue of Oregon’s Agricultural Progress, we take a look at a few of those industries that make Oregon such an extraordinary place.
For example, did you know that Oregon now has more microbreweries per capita than anywhere in the world, even Germany? Not bad for an industry that’s barely drinking age. And Oregon State has one of only two programs in the country where future brewmasters can earn a degree in fermentation science.
Much older, Oregon’s hazelnut industry grew from a single orchard planted near Springfield in 1905. Benefiting from nearly a century of OSU research and extension, Oregon growers now supply 99 percent of all the hazelnuts grown in the U.S.
In addition, OSU research is helping Oregon growers compete in the fast-growing organic foods market. Oregon is now one of the nation’s leaders in organic dairy production, and the demand for organic products is growing by 20 percent each year.
With a research budget of over $60 million a year, Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Agricultural Experiment Station are fueling new enterprises and training entrepreneurs of the future. Take the Sun Grant initiative, for example. Researchers across the university are working together in search of new sources of clean, renewable energy for Oregon, thanks to an $8 million grant coordinated through the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Agricultural research affects people in all parts of Oregon and in all walks of life. There are OSU researchers monitoring the health of Oregon’s northeastern prairie and others helping physicians in Portland with questions about toxicology. And there’s a team of researchers who have uncovered substances in hops that are powerful enough to fight cancer.
That’s worth a toast … to your health, Oregon!