SMALL BUSINESS HAPPENINGS: OSU course offered for first time in Eastern Oregon

By Observer staff March 12, 2014 07:45 am

OSU course offered for first time in Eastern Oregon 

For the first time, beginning farmers in Northeast Oregon will have access to the Successful Small Farm Management Course developed by Oregon State University. 

The four-part series is designed for farmers in their first five years of farming, people seriously considering starting a farm business and people considering major changes to their farm. 

The course will provide farmers with the tools and knowledge to manage the biological and financial risks of farming. 

The course includes both classroom and field sessions taught by a mix of OSU faculty, experienced Northeast Oregon farmers and other professionals. Topics include strategic planning, farm finances, marketing, liability and production. Participants gain the skills to assess their farm enterprise and develop a whole farm plan. The Field Day will include tours of three farms, featuring production of annual crops such as mixed vegetables and potatoes, perennial crops such as berries and pasture-based livestock production. 

The course will take place from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. April 3, April 10 and April 24 at the OSU Extension Office, 10507 N. McAlister Road in Island City. The series will also include a Saturday Field Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 19. 

Preregistration is required and is limited to 20 participants. The cost of the series is $150 per person or $250 for co-owners attending at the same time. The cost also includes three dinners and one lunch. Scholarships may be available. 

To register, go online at or call 541-975-2411. Registration deadline is March 28.

Idaho Power to accept new Oregon solar applications

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Power will accept new online applications for the Oregon Solar Photovoltaic Pilot Program beginning April 1. This is the continuation of a pilot program created by the Oregon Legislature mandating the development of pilot programs by electric utilities operating in the state.

Idaho Power will take online applications — beginning at 7 a.m. April 1 — on a first-come, first-served basis until the remaining allotment of installed solar capacity has been reserved. Additional information, including an interconnection application, energy sales agreement and process details, can be found on the Idaho Power website,

Idaho Power customers with service in Oregon are eligible. Systems must be between 5 and 10 kilowatts and must be sized based on the customer’s annual use.

For more information, email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call the Idaho Power Pilot Program hotline at 208-388-5933.

Dutch Bros. Coffee helps raise food for food banks

The La Grande and Hermiston communities, along with Dutch Bros. Coffee shops in both communities, banded together to raise 719 pounds of nonperishable food for local food banks Valentine’s Day.

“It’s amazing when people get together in a concentrated effort,” said Dutch Bros. Coffee co-founder Travis Boersma. “The impact that we can have in raising over 233,000 pounds of food is extraordinary.”

Company wide, customers helped gather 233,401 pounds of food for local food banks.

The La Grande location supported the Calvary Chapel of La Grande, while the Hermiston location supported the Agape House Food Bank.