Event offers hay rides, info on latest agricultural trends at North Willamette Research and Extension Center

This year's Community Open House at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) is scheduled from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, July 31. Everyone is welcome to this free event at 15210 Miley Road, Aurora.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Participants enjoy a hay ride during last year's Community Open House at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center.NWREC is Oregon State University's only experimental farm supporting the research needs of farmers in the Willamette Valley. NWREC Director Mike Bondi said the open house is the time of year when the center welcomes the community to showcase the latest technology in farming and food production.

This year, open-house visitors will have a chance to see Oregon's biggest new agricultural crop, industrial hemp, introduced to the public on June 13 as part of OSU's new Global Hemp Innovation Center.

"Research and outreach faculty and staff from NWREC will be on hand with displays and demonstrations explaining their work with hazelnuts, berry crops, vegetable production, Christmas trees, nursery and greenhouse production, pest management and small-scale farming," Bondi said. "Additional information stations will cover landscape pollinators, hemp research and GMOs in today's food supply."

A special feature each year is the hay wagon farm tours that depart every 45 minutes beginning at 4:15 p.m. Members of the public again will be offered the opportunity to try their hand at tractor driving and get their photo taken with OSU's Benny Beaver mascot at the open house.

OSU Master Gardeners will be present to answer home landscape and gardening questions and to organize special youth activities.

"OSU Family Food Educators will share tips and ideas for proper food preservation and canning methods — plus tasty treats to sample," Bondi said. "And, you won't want to miss the berry tasting and comparing the latest varieties being developed at NWREC for consumers."

For more information, visit

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.