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Virginia Tech gets OSU scientist


Horticulture professor Jim Owen 'will be missed'


By MITCH LIES


Capital Press


Jim Owen, an assistant horticulture professor at Oregon State University, is leaving to take a similar position at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


His departure leaves OSU with four researchers specializing in nursery and greenhouse production, which is Oregon's No. 1 agricultural commodity, according to a 2009 report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.


"It is just a new opportunity with a bit of greater stability," Owen said when asked why he was leaving.


Owen, 37, started at OSU in March of 2006, shortly after he received his doctorate from North Carolina State University. He will leave in July.


His new position includes funding for a research assistant. Owen funds his current assistant's salary with grants.


Owen identified his biggest accomplishment as helping growers improve water and nutrient management.


"He will be missed," said OSU extension agent Robin Rosetta, who works with Owen at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora. "He has initiated and built a strong program that is visible on a national level."


Bill Boggess, executive associate dean of agricultural sciences at OSU, said college administration has identified Owen's position as a priority for refilling.


"That is an area we know we want to invest in," Boggess said.


Owen starts his new position in August.



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