It's a time-honored cliche, but it's as true as it is trite. Life is full of surprises. Just ask those OSU Beaver football fans. Two years ago they were suffering through the program's 28th straight losing season. This year, gasp, the Beavers are Fiesta Bowl champs and they finished the regular season with 10 wins and 1 loss. And how about that presidential election? Most Americans probably expected a close race, but who thought the struggle would last weeks after election day, include Florida vote counters examining chads, and Supreme Court justices finally ending the affair on what was pretty close to a split decision? I didn't see that one coming.
Life is full of surprises for Agricultural Experiment Station researchers, too. As scientists, they look forward to unexpected outcomes. After all, that's what scientific discovery is all about. I hope you'll find a few interesting surprises in the feature articles included in this issue of Oregon's Agricultural Progress. In Paving Paradise, Theresa Novak looks at the continuing battle in Oregon to protect farmland from development. She reports on studies of how effective land-use laws are at reining in development on prime agricultural land.
John Schmitz's article Thinking Globally, Acting Locally focuses on the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hood River and the work center staff are doing to introduce new concepts of fruit production management.
Rain of Terror is about OSU's barley stripe rust team and their efforts to combat a high-flying plant disease. Tom Gentle will introduce you to Natural Born Killer, the microscopic Seaside nematode that researchers hope can be useful in controlling insect pests that bedevil Oregon's multimillion dollar nursery industry.
In Job Shadows, Carol Savonen describes an internship program in the OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and how it benefits students.