When I was a kid, I loved riding our horse Pepper. It was a sad day when she broke into the shed where her feed was stored and ate herself to death. These days, Oregon's horses have a serious health problem, but it's not self inflicted.
In Clipper and Doc, you'll read about a potentially deadly horse disease transmitted by birds and possums. Joe Mark's article explains how OSU veterinary researchers are responding.
Something I didn't love when I was growing up were the seemingly endless miles behind our family's old lawn mower. So in a way it's hard for me to appreciate the most sophisticated grass seed production the world has ever known. Just the same, in Splendor in the Mass you'll have a chance to read about that Oregon industry. A decade ago it was a source of considerable public debate. Now it seems to be on a roll.
In this issue, we also look at topics that are still controversial.
In the 1970s, wildlife professor Bob Jarvis supervised a study of the impact of wild geese on seven ryegrass plots planted on a refuge. The birds' grazing had no effect in six plots and actually increased seed yield in one.
But recently the number of geese in Oregon has been skyrocketing and farmers are concerned. Theresa Novak's article, A Goose on the Loose? looks at a project that's developing new techniques of measuring how geese affect crops. One reason the topic is controversial is that some of the geese that overwinter in the state are endangered.
Elsewhere, writer/photographer Bob Rost examines an emerging philosophy and method of growing and marketing pears and apples. Consumer concerns and preferences are driving the experimentation.
Also, in this issue we look at one of the state's most far-reaching controversies ever. Recently I spent a morning browsing through faded pictures at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland. It was a powerful reminder of how intertwined people and salmon have been in Oregon.
Will the fish go the way of dinosaurs, or co-exist here with our children's children's children? In the article Fishing for Answers you'll find examples of what OSU is doing to help with the statewide restoration effort.
As always, there's an online version of this magazine on the Web at extension.oregonstate.edu.