Retiring scientist honored

Leading pear expert steps down after 25 years of service

One of Hood River’s leading scientists is stepping down from 25 years of service to the Northwest pear industry — and the guest list for his retirement celebrations is expected to be long.

An open house to honor the work of Dr. Paul Chen will be held from 2-4:30 p.m. on March 20 at the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center. That same evening, a dinner and roast is scheduled at the Hood River Inn and community members interested in attending are requested to reserve seating by March 14. The cost for the evening tribute will be $20 per person and includes a choice of dinner entrees, Snapper Almondine, Beef Stroganoff or Pasta Primavera. The no-host bar will open at 6 p.m., followed by the meal at 7 p.m. and lighthearted toasts at 8 p.m.

Chen, a full Oregon State University professor, arrived in Hood River in August of 1978 and has been working closely with the agriculture community to find non-chemical ways to increase the shelf life of winter pears in cold storage process and fine tune their ripening to attract more customers during the marketing season. He has documented this work in numerous research papers to share his findings with his peers, students, and foreign dignitaries. For more information on the events, or to make reservations, call Sally Duckwall at 386-2030 or send a check payable to the MCAREC in care of Duckwall to 3005 Experiment Station Drive, Hood River, OR 97031.

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