Laura L. Corder

Laura L. Corder

Interested in activities and workshops for your children ages 5-19 such as emergency preparedness or nutrition?

You may not have heard of Oregon State University Extension Service, but you may have wandered through the barns during Fair or visited Discovery Garden near River Forks Park.

Yes, that’s all OSU Extension, but the 109-year-old entity is so much more. Its mission is to engage people with research-based knowledge and education that strengthen communities and economies, sustain natural resources and promote healthy families and individuals.

Extension has served Douglas County through flu epidemics, economic downturns, world wars and is still strong today. Extension educators, researchers and trained volunteers work alongside partners across the county to provide educational workshops, activities and services that meet the needs of the county’s unique industries, natural resources and families.

Many OSU Extension resources are free, such as one-on-one conversations with experts, Extension publications, Master Food Preserver hotline, Master Gardener Plant Clinic and OSU Extension website. Online classes and youth development clubs and activities are affordable and scholarships are often available to make access easier.

Traditionally, we offer thousands of educational contacts annually at the direction of faculty and 400 active volunteers. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t slowed down activities. Instead, Extension has shifted how its educators and researchers share knowledge, leveraging technology to reach broader audiences.

Horticulture Specialist and OSU Master Gardener volunteers encourage sustainable production through trainings, research, technical support and expert advice for orchardists, wine grape growers and community gardeners.

Highly trained Master Food Preserver volunteers staff a hotline (mid-July through mid-October) and offer the latest science-based resources and classes to the most reliable and safe food preservation information available.

Nutrition education and outreach programs through SNAP-Ed and FoodHero.org reaches children in schools, families and adults with hands-on classes, online resources and community collaborations.

4-H is the largest out-of-school youth program in the country. Through club based programming in over 50 project areas — from animal husbandry to art — and classes at local schools, 4-H reaches more than 1,600 5-19 year-olds in Douglas County.

Forests are essential to Douglas County’s economic and environmental vitality. Extension works with and supports woodland owners, foresters and other natural resource managers through workshops and trainings, including the Master Woodland Manager volunteer training, regional tree school and Women Owning Woodlands Network.

OSU Extension Livestock and Forages expertise emphasizes economically and environmentally efficient production. Applying research and developing educational programs to meet the needs of producers, land managers and government agencies.

OSU Extension Service has changed with the times in the past 100 years and looks forward to evolving with Douglas County residents to support a future filled with optimism, health and resiliency.

We’re here for you! Give OSU Extension a call at 541-672-4461.

Laura L. Corder is the Local Liaison for OSU Extension Service of Douglas County.

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