The Experiment

Here at Oregon State University Extension Service, our mission is to connect Oregonians with research-based knowledge and education to strengthen communities and economies, sustain natural resources, and promote healthy families and individuals. That’s what we’ve been doing for 100 years.

But we don’t want to just tell people we can help solve their problems; we want to know we can. So we thought we’d make ourselves into guinea pigs and try to show, through first-hand accounts, how our information is helpful to the nitty-gritty of daily life. This blog is an experiment. We’re putting Extension resources to the test, and sharing the experiences — whether they be successes or failures.

The authors (so far) include:

Rachel, a happy but not-exactly-homemaker, writer and lover of sunshine. She grew up in the dry air of central Oregon, but now lives in Corvallis. Contact her at rachel.beck @

April Beckwith, a garden writer supreme and friend to spiders.

Jennifer, an editor by day, TV junkie by night, and coffee lover anytime who grew up in Iowa with strong connections to Extension and 4-H. She hopes OSU Extension can help her adjust to and thrive in her new home in Oregon.

Stella, a single mom living and working in Corvallis, Oregon. She loves working with language – on the page or on the stage – and is trying hard to grow up faster than her daughter, so she can keep a step ahead.

The Zetetic, an inquiring individual who heads Extension communications at Oregon State and owns a small farm in the Willamette Valley with her family.

What’s with the name?

Smith-Lever is a congressional act ratified in 1914 to move science-based information and research out of the nation’s colleges and universities and into the kitchens, farms, businesses and daily lives of the United State’s populace.

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