When you think of Oregon State University (OSU) the last thing that probably comes to mind is a farm that spans dozens of acres in the middle of Aurora, Oregon.
But that’s where you’ll find one of the OSU’s extension sites, North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC).
It’s also where Culinary Artistry students nearing the end of their 2nd term caught a glimpse and learned about crops NWREC boasts, and how studies performed at the site affect agriculture production in the years to come.
During the length of the field trip students were introduced to dozens of different species of crops including strawberries, blueberries, kiwis, lettuces, tomatoes, and quinoa.
The quinoa area is where the field trip was kicked off.
Scientists, farmers and students are among the personnel on the property. They keep the show, or in this case, the farm, running.
After observing the quinoa portion of the farm, students were introduced to the site’s IR-4 Pesticide Registration Research Program.
Oregon’s only research program that collects residue from controlled crops then uses that data along with new chemistry to make sure certain residues are okay and don’t cause health issues.
The IR-4 program is among many of the reasons people from all over the world visit NWREC.
The property will peak anyone's curiosity even if they're foreign to farming. From controlled beehives for berry pollination to top of the line tractors in the field, to recorded sounds mimicking birds of prey to act as a shield for crops, NWREC is an agriculture playground.
And if you don't sign up for a tour, you can still see the center multiple times a year when the team holds "field day". An opportunity for farmers, chefs, plant breeders, and the public to meet and discuss what variety of fruits and vegetables lie in the farm nestled in Aurora's valley.