Meet the Team

The Olea Project Team is a collaborative group within OSU Extension. We are a diversified group of faculty, extension coordinators, researchers, and students. We share a passion for this unique growing region and its thriving small farm community!



Neil Bell was a community Horticulturist for OSU Extension Service from 2000 to 2021 and coordinated the OSU Master Gardener programs in Marion and Polk Counties during that time. Together with Heather Stoven of Yamhill County Extension, he oversees landscape plant evaluations on drought-tolerant shrubs and they are currently conducting a 3-year evaluation of shrubs for groundcover in un-irrigated landscapes at the OSU North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora OR. He is still employed 1 day per week to assist with a new evaluation of 118 olive cultivars in the Willamette Valley, planted in 2021. 






Heather Stoven is the Community Horticulturalist and Small Farms Extension Agent for Yamhill County.  Her position is housed in McMinnville and she oversees the Master Gardener program, community horticulture, and small farms. Her strengths include pest management, plant problem diagnosis, greenhouse growing, and nursery crops. 







Hayley White is the Agriculture Outreach Coordinator for Marion and Polk Counties under the Small Farms program. She is the outreach lead for the Olea Project and collaborates with Neil and Heather on the current Cold-Hardiness Trial. Her specialties include agriculture education, community partnerships, and event programming. Hayley coordinated the 2021 Oregon Olive School held at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center and looks forward to providing more programming to Oregon olive growers.