Who We Are

Melissa Fery, Associate Professor (Practice)

Melissa FeryMelissa serves as a part-time small farms extension agent for the southern Willamette Valley, including Benton, Lane and Linn counties.  Her special interests include small-scale livestock and pasture production, nutrient management and soil quality.  Melissa attended Oregon State University where she earned a B.S. in Crop Science and M.S. in Soil Science.  Since 1998, she has been working with Oregon’s agriculture industry, including working for the Oregon Dairy Farmer’s Association and the Oregon Department of Agriculture, before beginning her career with OSU Extension Service in 2005. Melissa's interest for local agriculture began at an early age growing up in rural Lane County. She lives on a small farm near Creswell, with her husband, children and border collies.

Amy Garrett, Assistant Professor (Practice)

Amy GarrettAmy currently works part-time with OSU Extension Small Farms Program, serving Benton, Linn and Polk counties. She is devoted to learning and teaching others about ways to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of our food production systems. Amy has over 15 years of experience in the horticulture industry ranging from landscape design, installation and maintenance to organic farming. She got her B.S. in horticulture from Purdue University in and moved to Oregon in January 2007 to begin working towards her M.S in horticulture, studying ‘nitrogen management with cover crops in organic broccoli production systems’.  Upon completion, she moved to Lummi Island, Washington to manage a diverse three-acre farm providing farm fresh produce, meat and eggs for the chef at the Willows Inn and the Lummi Island Farmer’s Market.  Her special interests are in organic crop production, season extension, permaculture design, and dry farming. Drought mitigation tools and strategies for growing with little or no irrigation  have become a focus in her work over the past several years. The Dry Farming Project she is leading will be expanding  over the next couple of years to include several Dry Farming Demonstration sites in Oregon, a ‘Growing Resilience: Water Management Workshop Series’, and Participatory Dry Farming Research with interested growers throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Chrissy Lucas, Education Program Assistant 2

Chrissy works part time for the Small Farms program in the Southern Willamette Valley and is the well water education coordinator for the Southern Willamette Valley Groundwater Management Area.  As the first point of contact for many rural landowners she specializes in information for chickens, groundwater and livestock . Chrissy also supports the statewide Small Farms Program; managing the statewide website, assisting with the Oregon Small Farms Conference, and design/layout for the quarterly Oregon Small Farm News electronic newsletter.  Prior to coming to the Benton County Extension office in the Fall of 2005, she worked on the OSU campus since 2003.  Chrissy’s educational background is in Animal Science, Chemistry, and Agriculture Education. She currently lives in Corvallis, where you can find her volunteering for her son's sports organizations or watching him play.