The Oregon State University Global Hemp Innovation Center has hired Govinda Shrestha as the statewide hemp Extension specialist starting June 1.

Shrestha, a doctoral scholar, is headquartered at the OSU Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center in Central Point, where he provides extension and outreach during the peak outdoor growing season statewide. He works closely with the Global Hemp Innovation Center and has a leadership role in the hemp working group.

“We are excited to have Dr. Shrestha working with us,” said Jay Noller, professor emeritus and founding director of the center, the largest in the country. “Govinda brings an immense amount of energy and experience that will be a force-multiplier for hemp producers in southwest Oregon as well as the entire state. His acumen in entomology, as applied to hemp, will further ensure Oregon hemp growers are fitted with the latest and best information to maintain their role as a leader in this crop.”

Shrestha has a master’s degree in agrobiology and a doctorate in agroecology, both from Aarhus University in Denmark.

Shrestha comes to OSU with extensive Extension experience in the U.S., Europe, and Nepal. Before taking on this strategic role as a hemp specialist, he worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the OSU Hermiston Agricultural Research & Extension Center. Previously he worked for Montana State University as a postdoctoral research associate at the Western Triangle Ag Research Center, where he specialized in Integrated Pest Management of potato crop pests. As a child, Shrestha grew up on a hemp farm in Nepal. 

“I am enthusiastic for this opportunity to bring my pest management and crop production expertise to develop successful hemp Extension programs with the goal of enhancing production and economic viability of hemp production in Oregon,” Shrestha said. “This position provides me a unique opportunity to work and collaborate to address the current Oregon hemp industry's needs and challenges.”

Shrestha’s position is supported by funds from the Global Hemp Innovation Center and the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences.

~ Kym Pokorny