BOARDMAN — The SAGE Center, which has been in existence for less than a decade, has lots to boast about these days.

Developed by the Port of Morrow, the SAGE Center — Sustainable AGriculture & Energy — gives visitors a unique opportunity to learn about technology utilized throughout the region. It features interactive displays, including a corn planting simulator, a processing sculpture that shows how potatoes go from farm to table, and a virtual hot air balloon ride, which is being updated, that showcases all of Morrow County. It also houses a theater and museum store.

And the word is getting out about the facility. Each year since 2018, the SAGE Center has been included in Oregon Business magazine’s top 100 fan-favorite destinations in Oregon — No. 28 in 2020, 86th in 2019 and 53rd in 2018. Torrie Griggs, the center’s manager, said she’s hoping to break into the top 20 when the 2021 rankings are announced in December.

“This is a wonderful achievement for the SAGE Center. It means our guests continue to enjoy their experience,” she said. “It is a great opportunity to gain valuable exposure across the state of Oregon and beyond.”

After a 13-month closure because of the global pandemic, the SAGE Center is fully open to the public again — all visitors and staff are required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. Griggs looks forward to resuming activities and hosting special events. The annual Christmas Light Show was the only event held in 2020.

The next major event is the Morrow County Harvest Festival, which is Saturday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Held exclusively outdoors, it will feature a variety of vendors offering regionally produced agricultural goods and handmade artisan crafts, live music, mule-drawn wagon rides and a Kid’s Corner.

While at the SAGE Center, don’t forget to shop in the museum store. It showcases many local products and creations, including unique handmade wreaths that are themed for the current season, Griggs said.

Browne House Coffee, based in Heppner, offers a full line of locally roasted coffee, whole bean and ground. Visitors can get a taste of products from Stanfield-based Pat-n-Tam’s Beef. And, Griggs said, don’t forget about the Tillamook brand.

“We have a great selection of ice cream to meet everyone’s personal favorite,” she said.

And that’s not all — the port recently announced that expansion plans are underway. A 12,500-square-foot Cultural Alliance and Training Center will give additional venue space for events and conferences.

“(It) will provide a beneficial community-based development center to assist our regional education and industry partners with programs and events that support continuing education, workforce initiatives and youth programs,” POM Executive Director Ryan Neal said in an Aug. 19 press release.

The SAGE Center’s hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. It’s at 101 Olson Road, Boardman. For more information, call 541-481-7243, search Facebook or visit

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