2015 Annual Dinner Recap

The Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District hosted over 150 guests at the 63rd Annual Dinner Meeting held on October 28 at the McMinnville Community Center. Over $1800 was raised from the silent auction and we would like to thank the businesses and organizations that donated items to the auction. These funds benefit the Stan R. Christensen Fund, established to memorialize Stan and promote conservation education and outreach. Matthew Mattioda, Miller Timber Services, Inc., was the guest speaker and he shared the fascinating new technology being used in the forestry industry to maintain healthy forests.  And the Rogue Gourmet Catering Co. provided a delicious buffet dinner to the guests.

The winners of the 2015 Conservation Awards were announced:

  • Hyla Woods, Peter and Pam Hayes,  received the Conservation Landowner Award
  • Theresa Crain and Neyssa Hays received the Conservation Educators Award and
  • Chehalem Park and Recreation District received the Urban Conservationist Award

Click to see photos of the award winners, a list of the generous auction donors and volunteers and photos of the evening!

Drought Preparedness Class Packs the Room

The Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service organized a Drought Preparedness Workshop on November 3rd.  Irrigators from Yamhill, Marion and Polk counties gathered at the Chemeketa campus in McMinnville to hear about more effective methods for irrigation and how to use water more efficiently. Troy Peters, Washington State University Extension Irrigation Specialist, came down from Prosser, WA to speak about the science of irrigation and best practices for scheduling. He highlighted their Irrigation Scheduler Mobile which ties in real time weather data, crop coefficients and other variables to assist irrigators in making better scheduling decisions. Chad Higgins, the head of the Nexus of Energy, Water and Agriculture Laboratory at OSU, shared research he is conducting, field testing variable rate irrigation on center pivots.  Specifically, he is looking at how precise this technology can be and what challenges might exist in creating a precise irrigation prescription for fields. You can read more about this research here.

Jon Unger, Water Resource Department, Travis Godeaux, Natural Resources Conservation Service,  and Ulrike Mengelberg, Energy Trust, all discussed incentives, grants, and cost opportunities that exist for irrigation efficiency upgrades, water conservation and increasing water storage capacity.

The Yamhill SWCD and OSU would like to THANK the participants and speakers along with a special THANK YOU to sponsors, Crop Production Services and Ernst Irrigation.

What Can I Do With My Small Farm?

Are you considering starting a small farm business or have you recently purchased property with interest in homesteading? This workshop is sponsored by OSU Extension and will help entrepreneurs considering a small farm business to think through the physical, economic and personal factors of developing their business.  A great opportunity for networking and learning some of the basics of building your small farm business. 

More Info Here!



November 126:00-8:30

Yamhill County Extension Office, Public Works Auditorium

2050 NE Lafayette Ave. McMinnville

Cost: $20/person or $30/couple

Please register by calling the OSU extension office, 503-434-7517.  

McMinnville 4th Graders Enjoyed their Field Trip to Miller Woods

McMinnville 4th Graders Enjoyed their Field Trip to Miller Woods, where students received “hands on” education in the beautiful outdoor setting.

We want to thank Tom Brewster, a volunteer at Miller Woods, for creating the bird box kits for the students to assemble and take home. This is always a popular station and volunteer Jeanie Taylor shared some of the comments the kids made to her:

"I'm going to take this home and tell my mom I made it myself!"

"I forgot we were in school, I was just thinking about building the bird house."

"Can I put my stuff here? I have something in my shoe."

(Jeanie)) "That's no fun."

"No, but THIS was really fun, the bird box building!"

"Yeah, I was going to say looking at birds was my favorite activity, but I think building the boxes was the best. "

This station requires adult assistance to assemble the bird boxes and we want to THANK the following dedicated volunteers for giving up their time to help Tom at the Bird Box station: Brian Kotch; Connie Hutchison; Dave Riedman; Brad Smith; Dave Parker; Gloria Lutz; Jennie Sue Dunn-Dixon; Jeanie Taylor and Tom Lenon.  We couldn’t have done this without your helping hands!

Check out more pictures from the trip!


Woodland Ponds Workshop

You are invited to attend a Woodlands Pond Workshop at the Miller Woods Conference Room on Monday, October 19th from 9:00am to Noon. Steve Bowers, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Specialist and author of the Woodland Ponds book, will be the Instructor. This workshop will cover the practical aspects of starting and maintaining a pond on your property. Cost is $10 and includes a copy of the Woodland Ponds book. See the attached flyer for details and to rsvp.

Volunteers Help Rebuild Bridge at Miller Woods

Volunteers gathered at Miller Woods on September 14, 2015 to lend a helping hand to rebuild a bridge on one of the trails.  James Riedman, Miller Woods property manager, was very grateful for the help and sends a big thank you to Paul Spencer, Brad Smith, Jim Culbert, Dave Riedman and Dave Parker. Our volunteers are key partners at Miller Woods and we appreciate ALL the time and hard work they dedicate to keeping this property beautiful and environmentally pristine.

Miller Woods Will Be Opening Soon! Message from Larry Ojua

The Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District (District) has completed its forest management project at Miller Woods, and is making final preparations for opening Miller Woods on Wednesday, September 2nd.   District staff members have been working closely with several dedicated volunteers to clear trails and prepare Miller Woods so it is safe and ready to accommodate hikers, runners, students, and other property visitors.

What Work Was Completed at Miller Woods?

The forest management project is part of the District’s long-range plan to create a mature and diverse forest at Miller Woods.  The District contracted with Miller Timber Services of Philomath, Oregon, to remove lower quality trees and thin the overstocked tree stands to create proper spacing that will promote healthy tree growth.  The work was completed using harvesting equipment and techniques that minimize soil compaction and disturbance to the forest floor, and protect wildlife habitat and water resources.

Thank You Linfield Students for Volunteering at Miller Woods

Eighteen Linfield students spent this morning up at Miller Woods clearing the trails and helping prepare the property for the re-opening at the end of the month. Linfield’s Serve Day sends students out to volunteer throughout McMinnville and we appreciate them choosing Miller Woods as one their choices. If you have a group that would enjoy volunteering at Miller Woods, we would love to have them. Send us an email to or call 503-472-6403 and let’s set something up!  


OSU Extension 2015 Small Farm School Enrollment Now Open

Small Farm School is a full day event with hands-on and classroom workshops for beginning farmers and small acreage rural landowners. The event will held on Saturday, September 12 from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm at Clackamas Community College.

 Registration Fees are $75/person before September 1 and $85/person September 1 – 7.

Visit the Small Farm School Website to Register and see workshop course descriptions.

Presented by OSU Extension in cooperation with Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District and Clackamas Community College