Oregon State University announced in a news release the hiring of Cody Copp as an associate professor of practice with the OSU Extension Service. Based at the Milton-Freewater extension office, he will serve Umatilla County with a specific focus on fruit trees and wine grapes.
Copp earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and a master’s degree in horticulture from OSU, conducting wine grape research with Alexander Levin at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center near Medford. His research there focused on evaluating the efficacy of cultural practices to mitigate the impacts of grapevine red blotch virus on Pinot Noir physiology and fruit quality.
After completing his master’s degree, Copp worked with Patty Skinkis on the main OSU campus in Corvallis, supporting viticulture research in the Willamette Valley. He joined the OSU Extension staff in February.
According to the release, growers in the Milton-Freewater area experience some of the most extreme climatic conditions among Oregon wine regions, including high winds, severe winter freezes, low precipitation and scorching summer temperatures. His immediate goals are to evaluate the state of viral disease in the area and develop virus and insect scouting workshops.
“Grape growers in the Walla Walla Valley are working to develop an identity that transcends their respective state industries,” Copp said in the release. “I hope to connect with growers across the border, support strong grower networks, and organize more region-specific research and education.”
—by Jonelle Mejica