Who’s ever heard of a 111th celebration? Usually, celebrations are held on dates that are more celebratory, like the 100th or 110th. However, COVID-19 has created some interesting titles for celebrations!
SOREC (Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center) was scheduled to have a 110th Celebration in 2021 but it was postponed due to COVID-19. Therefore, this year we had the 111th Celebration of OSU Extension in Jackson County, held on October 17, 2022, in the OSU Extension Auditorium.
The many past and future facets of OSU in Jackson County were celebrated. Two hundred fifty people were invited from the many SOREC programs, along with local political figures, OSU agricultural administrators, and the general public.
The Food Preservers Association of Jackson County prepared a delicious dinner highlighting the Paragon pears that are only grown on the SOREC campus and at one other Rogue Valley location. The fruit was also used as part of the table decor.
Every SOREC program was told to invite eight to twelve members. The room was filled. Members who represented the Jackson County Master Gardener Association included the Board of Directors officers and Working Group chairs associated with the gardens.
Rachel Werling, Coordinator of the Land Stewards Program, presented a slide show highlighting the growth of the Land Steward Program from Jackson County to a nationally recognized program. OSU Viticulturist, Alec Levin, presented a PowerPoint on the SOREC program that is teaching local vineyard owners how to grow wine grapes.
The highlight of the evening was a presentation by SOREC Director, Rich Roseberg, on the vision for SOREC grounds improvement. An upgraded entrance, housing for OSU students studying horticulture, and a three-season teaching pergola are all included in the plan Rich will pass to his successor when he leaves at the end of this year.
At the conclusion of the evening, every attendee was invited to pick up a gift bag on their way out the door. It contained a bottle of wine made with grapes grown on the SOREC property and a wine “sippy cup” with the OSU/SOREC logos. It was indeed a magical evening.