A Cooperative System of Sustainable Ranching
Sustainable ranching means taking care of scarce water supplies and fragile desert grasses. Parched streams, erosion and invasive plants pose threats to ranchers’ livelihoods and a productive ecosystem. For more than 30 years, Oregon State rangeland scientists have been working with Central Oregon ranchers to test the effects of removing juniper and managing grass and cattle. The results have contributed to a successful beef co-op — Country Natural Beef —that has become an industry leader in sustainable ranching. The co-op’s founding Hatfield and McCormack families have opened their ranches as living laboratories for faculty and student researchers. Their work has given ranchers a holistic understanding of the watershed, helping them improve their grazing strategies, maintain a healthy ecosystem and deliver high-quality, hormone-free beef to Whole Foods and other grocery stores and restaurants throughout the western United States.
Scooting into a Successful Business
Jarred Baker didn’t wait until he graduated from OSU-Cascades to put his business degree to work. an avid skateboarder, he saw increasing numbers of scooters at Bend skateboarding parks and recognized a market opportunity. In a venture management course in September 2011, jarred developed a business plan for War Scooters, an online retailer of scooters, parts and accessories, in just three weeks. Soon, he rang up his first sales, and by Christmas, he was up until midnight packing orders while also completing his last term of school. War Scooters has since quadrupled its growth projections, and while he’s finished his degree, jared retains his connections to OSU-Cascades. He considers his professors integral to helping make the business successful and still calls them when issues arise. They immediately want to help.
A Bright Energy Future
Renewable energy is a fast-growing segment of the Central Oregon economy, and OSU-Cascades is responding to the industry’s growth with a new degree program in Energy Engineering Management (EEM). It, too, is growing fast: from four students in 2010 to 24 in 2012. The curriculum includes fundamental mechanical and industrial engineering courses, along with courses in business and energy-related management, giving graduates a unique set of skills that put them in high demand with renewable and traditional energy companies as well as with companies looking to improve their energy efficiency. advanced Energy, which manufactures photovoltaic inverters for utility and commercial applications, has its solar energy headquarters in Bend. according to Tucker Ruberti, director of product planning and applications engineering and a guest lecturer at OSU-Cascades, the EEM program helps develop the innovators and problem solvers his company and others in the area need.
Energizing a New Field
BendBroadband, Central Oregon’s leading business and residential fiber, high-speed Internet, digital phone and TV service provider, illustrates the growing regional and national need for energy systems engineers. Such skills were essential in the design, construction and operation of the internationally acclaimed BendBroadband Vault, the company’s new Tier 3 LEED Gold Certified colocation data center, whose extensive energy-efficient features include 624 solar panels generating 152kW of power and an air- to-air heat exchange that takes advantage of the cool high desert climate. So to meet this need in the future, CEO amy Tykeson and her father, company founder Don Tykeson, gave $250,000 through the Tykeson Family Charitable Trust to establish the Tykeson Endowed Faculty Scholar in Energy Engineering Management at OSU-Cascades. The first endowed position was awarded last year to assistant professor Robin Feuerbacher, who leads the EEM program. He plans to use endowment funds to support student initiatives such as energy efficiency clubs, team competitions, senior projects and research.
Sharing Good Fortune
A Bend resident since 1970 and president of Cayuga Properties, allan Bruckner has given back to his community primarily though his 30-year membership in the Greater Bend Rotary Club, as a Bend city commissioner from 1988 to 1991 and then as mayor from 1992 to 1993. Wishing to share more of the good fortune Bend has provided him, Bruckner and his wife ann made an even bigger impact last year with an $800,000 gift that will help OSU-Cascades’ evolution into a comprehensive university for Central Oregon. Their generous support sealed the purchase of a building that will house OSU-Cascades graduate and research programs, including its expanding master’s degree programs. Bruckner firmly believes this financial investment will yield returns beyond any other he has ever made.