Steve Renquist

Associate Professor of Horticulture
OSU Extension Horticulture Agent
Douglas County Oregon
21 years of service to Oregon State University
Sept. 15, 2000 – Dec. 31, 2021

Steve’s extension programs focused on production systems, insect pests, and plant diseases of berry, tree fruit, hazelnut, wine grape, vegetable, and nursery crops. He was a regular speaker at pesticide recertification classes each year in several counties.

He also served as the Master Gardener program coordinator in Douglas County and gave presentations to Master Gardeners in many other counties. He trained over 600 Master Gardener volunteers during his twenty years. Steve taught an average of 30 classes a year on horticultural topic to the producers and people of Douglas County.

Steve guided the Master Gardeners of Douglas County to build a 10 acre Horticultural Learning Center that includes a 3 acre Demonstration Garden that is the finest teaching garden in Western Oregon. The center also includes 5 greenhouses for plant propagation and a Victory Garden to produce food crops for donation to UCAN to feed the hungry.

Steve’s service to the wine grape industry in Douglas County included being on the board of directors for 15 years and helping to develop the Umpqua Valley Wine grape growers marketing plan for many years. During his time in Douglas County the wine grape industry grew from around 400 acres of vineyards to over 3,000 acres. He organized an annual educational grape day in the county for 12 years.

Steve developed an extensive pest monitoring system in Douglas County that advises growers of all berry and tree fruit crops of invasive insect pest populations that could damage their crops.

Steve wrote grants to set up the first Agri-Met weather station for Douglas County to help growers get more accurate and timely weather data for pest models and critical temperature monitoring.

Steve would also like to thank the people of Douglas County for their support of OSU Extension and friendship


  • OSU Excellence in Extension Education, College of Ag. Sciences, Oregon State University, 2013
  • NACAA Distinguished Service Award, Excellence in Extension Education, 2015


Steve will enjoy traveling and visiting many of the countries he lived in with his wife Cida in the years before OSU. Steve finds great enjoyment in teaching and will continue to work with Master Gardeners. He and his wife will also be active in volunteer over-seas crop advisory services and church outreach.


Neil Bell

Professor of Practice
Community Horticulturist, OSU Extension Service, Marion/Polk Counties
May 24th, 2000 to June 30th, 2021

Neil coordinated the community horticulture programs in Polk County and Marion County starting in May of 2000. An important part of this was oversight of the Master Gardener programs in each county, including assisting with organization and delivery of the MG classes in the winter term each year. He developed classes on pruning of ornamental plants, pesticide safety, drought-tolerant landscaping and plant problem diagnosis. Besides offering these in his two counties he was happy to travel throughout the state to assist curriculum delivery in other counties. The curriculum on problem diagnosis was eventually expanded with the assistance of Dr. Jay Pscheidt into an online class and offered annually since 2012 to credit and non-credit students in Ecampus and PACE.

Together with Heather Stoven, Neil also organized and directed evaluations of landscape plants for un-irrigated conditions at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center as part of Northwest Plant Evaluations. Six different evaluations have been completed or are in progress and three of these have so far been published as refereed papers, with another in preparation. In addition, they have collaborated on a new evaluation of about 110 olive cultivars, planted at NWREC in July 2021. He continues to work one day per week on these plant evaluation projects.

Retirement will involve exploring more of Oregon with his wife, Bernadine Strik and daughters Shannon and Nicole, including wilderness areas, old-growth and wildflower hikes. It’s also an opportunity to spend more time in their garden and getting long-delayed projects completed.

Steve Castagnoli

Associate Professor of Horticulture
Director, Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center
29 years of service to Oregon State University
July 1, 1992 – Dec. 31, 2021

Steve served as the Extension horticulturist in Hood River County from Aug. 2000 to April 2017. Much of his work there focused on integrated pest management and pesticide safety and management for fruit growers in the Hood River Valley. He was an early participant in the Hood River pesticide stewardship partnership, leading an outreach program for area fruit growers focused on orchard spraying practices to reduce pesticide contamination of area streams. He worked with WSU and WSDA colleagues to introduce an intensive, hands-on training for Spanish-speaking pesticide handlers in the mid-Columbia area. He led demonstration projects implementing integrated area-wide management of codling moth and a program with area pest control advisors on monitoring natural enemies for biological control of pear psylla.  In 2013, Steve and collaborators from WSU and UC Extension developed a train-the-trainer program for Extension and industry professionals on airblast sprayer technology and practices. That project resulted in a national spray application work group focused on educational programs for orchard and vineyard spraying that is still active today.  Steve also worked on evaluating the performance of pear rootstocks and pear fruit cultivars. A trial he developed in Hood River supported the joint release of ‘Gem’, a fire blight resistant pear developed by the USDA in West Virginia.

Prior to his position in Hood River County, Steve was a faculty research assistant in the OSU Department of Horticulture in Corvallis.  Starting in 1992, he worked in the stress physiology program led by Dr. Leslie Fuchigami, and from 1995 to 2000 he worked in the viticulture program led by Carmo Vasconcelos. 

Since November of 2016, Steve has served as the director of the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hood River.

Retirement Plans
Steve plans to pursue his long-standing interests in natural history, skiing, hiking, and catching up on home and garden projects.  

Ed Peachey

Associate Professor of Practice, Horticulture
Weed and Pest Management, Vegetable Crops

30 years of service to Oregon State University
April 1, 1991 – Mar. 31, 2022

Ed has served as a Weed Scientist in the Horticulture Department since 1992. He got his start in weed science in 1985, thanks to Arnold Appleby and Larry Burrill, when they hired him to record herbicide effects on plants with time lapse photography. That hooked him on weed science. After three years in an extension program for resource poor farmers in Bangladesh, Ed returned to OSU in 1991 and went to work under the direction of Ray William and Garvin Crabtree developing integrated practices to combat weeds and pests in horticultural crops, mostly vegetables, but also in fruits, hazelnuts, Christmas trees, and nursery crops.  He completed his PhD under the direction of Dr. Carol Mallory Smith in 2005 while assessing the fate of summer annual weed seeds in response to tillage practices over 7 years. His most recent assignment (since 2014) has been working with vegetable producers (fresh market, processed, and seed) to reduce the costs of managing pests in very competitive industries. He has served as editor of the PNW Weed Management Handbook since 2008. Two memorable projects during his tenure, both USDA funded projects, were assessing influence of agricultural management practices on pesticide loss from agricultural fields (with Rupp and Selker of BRE), and evaluating the effect of tillage and cover crops practices on soil arthropods (mainly carabid beetles) and weed seed survival in vegetable cropping systems (Moldenke, Mallory-Smith, William).

Most Gratifying Publications:

  • Managing Weeds in Conventional and Organic Snap Beans (2019);
  • Weed and Vegetation Management Strategies in Christmas Trees with Tim Miller and Chal Landgren (2014, PNW 625);
  • Diuron in Surface Runoff and Tile Drainage from Two Grass-Seed Fields (Rupp and Selker, J. Env. Qual. 2006);
  • Effect of Spring Tillage Sequence on Summer Annual Weeds in Row Crops (7 yr study with Mallory Smith and William, Weed Tech, 2006).
  • Effect of cover crops and tillage system on symphylans and Pergamasus quisquiliarum (Berry and Moldenke, J. Soil Ecology, 2002);

Awards and Honors: Oregon Society of Weed Science Distinguished Service Award 1999; Western Society of Weed Science Professional Staff Award 2006; Western Society of Weed Science Fellow 2017

Retirement Plans: Community volunteering, continued restoration of two historic houses, catch up on deferred gardening and house projects, lots of travel, and spending time with granddaughter Maya.