In 1919, a horticultural products processing program, the first of its kind in the nation, was begun at Oregon Agricultural College by Ernest H. Wiegand. The modern maraschino cherry was developed by the program in the 1920s. The program was established as a department, Food Products Industries, in 1937. A seafoods lab in Astoria was established in 1940. The department was renamed several times; in 1962 it became the Department of Food Science and Technology. Research efforts have involved nearly every food product produced in Oregon including tree and cane fruits, nuts, vegetables, and meat, dairy and seafood products.
Department chairs have included Wiegand, 1937-1952; Earl M. Litwiller, 1952-1953; Harold W. Schultz, 1953-1973; Paul E. Kifer, 1973-1984; Richard A. Scanlan, 1984-1985 (acting); and Daniel Farkas, 1991-2000.
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