Agricultural research requires a lot of hands, and minds. That was evident last summer, when a Japanese dock set loose by the tsunami arrived on an Oregon beach with a load of potentially harmful invasive species. OSU researchers from the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station were at the site within hours, working fast to collect and identify the hitchhikers pictured on our cover.
With branch experiment stations across the state, OSU researchers are close to the action, whenever and wherever the unexpected happens. In this issue of Oregon’s Agricultural Progress, we explore how unexpected discoveries come from many people thinking about a problem from many angles. Ranchers, land managers, and conservationists in eastern Oregon are discovering how to improve rangeland for the benefit of wildlife and cattle. Barley breeders, growers, brewers, and food scientists are testing new varieties of the world’s oldest grain. And, a network of Facebook friends has become an instant, international corps of taxonomic discovery.
Oregon’s Agricultural Experiment Station is where discoveries happen. It is where decision-makers turn for the information they need to make critical public policy. And it is where teachers come to discover how agricultural research can inspire the next generation of thinkers, doers, and discoverers.