The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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The OSU Extension Service Centennial Oral History Collection

August 2007 - June 2009 – 10:00a.m.

Audio: Duane Johnson . March 9, 2008

Location: Johnson residence, Corvallis, Oregon.
Interviewer:  Elizabeth Uhlig

1:48:50 - Abstract | Biography | Download Transcript (PDF)


*Note: Interview recorded to audio only.

Elizabeth Uhlig: This is an oral history interview with Duane Johnson for the Extension Service. Today is March 29, 2008 and we're in Duane's home in Corvallis. My name is Elizabeth Uhlig.

Duane, let's start at the beginning. Do you want to tell us where you were born and when you were born?

Duane Johnson: I was born March 19, 1937 in Wadena, Minnesota and then from that time my father, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, was with the Farm Home Administration and we moved to several places in Minnesota, including Wadena and Fergus Falls. And then World War II came along and he went into the military so we travelled around the country where I lived in Rantoul, Illinois; Wichita Falls, Texas; Gulfport, Mississippi; and then following the war, my father became a county Extension agent in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, and then following a few years there, took a position with the Iowa Farm Bureau in Williamsburg, Iowa. Really, where I was raised during my last grammar school years and into high school.

EU: During the War, you said your father was moving around. What was his work?

DJ: My father was a Bell Helicopter instructor with the Army and so at military bases in Rantoul, Wichita Falls and Biloxi.

EU: Do you remember those moves?

DJ: I remember some of them. I remember as a young person the different climates that we lived in and the experiences we had in those different environments.

EU: Did you have brothers and sisters?

DJ: I had a brother and two sisters. Two of them who have passed away. So I have just a sister left.

EU: So, your father first worked for home supply?

DJ: Farm Home Administration.

EU: Oh, okay.

DJ: Following his graduation from the University of Minnesota.

EU: Oh, okay. But then after the War...

DJ: Then he was a county agent and then took a position with Iowa Farm Bureau as a farm supply company manager in Williamsburg, Iowa, which is in southeastern part of Iowa, near Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.

EU: So for awhile then, he was with the Extension Service.

DJ: Yes. He was with the Extension Service about six years; I think it was at Red Lake Falls.

EU: So the Extension Service has been part of your life.

DJ: It has been part of our life and has had significant influence on me, but also the other members of our family.

EU: How would you describe that influence, on your family?

DJ: Well, I think there's always been a deep respect for the outstanding educators and the programs of the Extension Service and the utilization of the resources in making, one, our life much better. And, you know, if you think back into the late 1930s, and into the '40s, you know, you lived on a very reduced, I would call it a very limited economic resource and so a lot of the skills that my mother created and my father helped to create to myself and my sisters and brother, were really came out of the efforts of the Extension Service. Especially in Minnesota and in Iowa.

EU: During the Depression and then World War II.

DJ: Following the Depression and World War II...

EU: I mean those were difficult times for everyone, but especially on the farms.

DJ: That's correct. Well, we were not on a farm. Never did live on a farm. We always lived in small communities.


EU: Were you involved with the Extension Service as a boy?

DJ: Yes I was. I was a 4-H member. I started as a 4-H member in Minnesota with primarily my activities were centered around the gardening program and then when we went to Iowa I was involved with the gardening, and with rabbits, and with sheep, and with beef, and electricity - lot of different kinds of projects. And 4-H really was my major focus outside of my school activities. And I was very, very active in the 4-H program, especially in Iowa. I had great memories of some very excellent volunteer leaders who worked with us and some of my closest friends back in Iowa were also involved with the 4-H program at that time.

EU: So, you said you lived in the towns but you still kept animals?

DJ: Oh yeah, we lived right on the edge of town. We had some acreage, not a lot of acreage; as I remember it was about four acres, but enough to have that experience.

EU: What stands out, what did you enjoy most about 4-H?

DJ: Well, I think I was always a person that was inquisitive to learn new skills. I think my biggest experiences, the most positive, were always in a leadership area. Leadership in a club and at the county level. In Iowa they had the unique program where youth were the fair board members. I served as the President of the Iowa County Fair Board as a youth member.

EU: This was statewide?

DJ: No, Iowa County. And then I was active on the state council for the 4-H program in Iowa as a high schooler. And I had the absolute wonderful opportunity to participate in National 4-H Club Congress a couple times.

EU: And where was that?

DJ: That was in Chicago at that time. Representing the state of Iowa. And so, I had just a lot of new experiences that maybe would not have been offered to me through those kinds of experiences.

EU: So, obviously, your parents encouraged you in these...

DJ: Always encouraged, but were also very supportive of the activities that I participated in.

EU: When did you graduate from high school?

DJ: I graduated in 1955 from Williamsburg High School and went on to Iowa State College, at that time. And actually, it was the last class of Iowa State College...

EU: Then it became a university?

DJ: Then it became the university. And the same thing was happening at Oregon State when I came here, Oregon State College and then became Oregon State University.

EU: Is that also a Land Grant?

DJ: Both Land Grant universities, active in a lot of activities within the university. Very active with the Veishea Program which is really a spring celebration with their parades and their dances and activities. I was very active and also was active in Cardinal Key which is similar to Mortar Board and so on, at various universities. Got my degree in General Agriculture but it was farm operations with an emphasis in agronomy and animal science. And I had some absolutely wonderful teachers and professors there, probably the one I stayed the closest with was Duane Acker who became president at Nebraska. Those are memories that you know, were just very wonderful.


EU: Did you support yourself through college?

DJ: My family had very limited income. My parents made sure that we had a college education, but again, I tried to support them following graduation, but I also worked all the time I was in college. And actually it was probably the job that probably led me to Oregon a little bit was I was the night manager of the student union and anytime that there was a conference or activities going on in there, I worked with those people in setups and meeting their particular needs. And that's where I met Frank Ballard and Burton Hutton who were the two people who were instrumental in hiring me following graduation in 1959.

EU: So what were your career goals through college?

DJ: Well, I thought education would be the area that I would focus on. I didn't necessarily start with the idea of a career in Extension but through two summer internships and the activities of the Iowa State 4-H Club and the other activities there, led me to look seriously at a career in Extension. Because of my interest in 4-H and in agriculture it was a natural transition as I got closer to that time to choose a career.

EU: What kind of internships did you have?

DJ: I was a summer intern for three months as an assistant county agent in two of the counties. One case, I had the opportunity to work with an Extension agent and the second year I actually substituted for an agent who was on leave. So it was a growing experience.

EU: Good training, then. So after you graduated; you mentioned Frank Ballard, did he interview you for your position? How did that happen?

DJ: Well, Frank Ballard was kind of a unique individual. Frank had, I did not know it at the time and I learned afterwards, had a unique experience of finding people that he wanted to hire and he hired them. In my particular case, I did not know that during the time that I was the night manager at the student union, the directors and the state 4-H program leaders were meeting there from across the whole country and Frank and Burton Hutton. I got into a conversation with them about the Extension Service in Oregon.

EU: Who was Burton Hutton?

DJ: He was the state 4-H program leader

EU: For...

DJ: For Oregon. And got into the conversation with them about Extension careers and the educational program offered at Oregon and that led to conversation, but I did not know I was being interviewed. Not at all. And during that three-day conference, I found out afterwards, they had talked to Duane Acker, they had talked to the state 4-H program leader, the director of Extension in Iowa, and had actually checked into my academic background and everything. But I had made applications to Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and North Carolina at the time. And I hadn't thought about going West at that time. But what was surprising was the day after the conference from Denver, Colorado, came a telegram offering me the job in Multnomah County, Oregon.


And I have to say, at that particular time, and I think it's probably still true, Oregon was significantly ahead of many of the states, both academically and fiscally for employment. The offer was significantly higher than what were the offers in other states for beginning Extension professionals.

EU: Why do you think that was? Why did Oregon have a good reputation?

DJ: Well, Oregon always has had an outstanding recognition, nationwide for being on the leading edge to being progressive, but having a statewide system of Extension programming. And the people who have led the Extension Service and the 4-H program in Oregon over the years have been recognized nationally as some of the very, very finest individuals. And speaking in the 4-H side, is that 4-H has always been on the leading edge of some aspect of youth development, family development, community development programming efforts. They have been an innovator, they've been a risk taker, but they have also been able to demonstrate responding to the people's needs and having significant impact upon the families, communities and individuals who participated in the program.

EU: So even back there in the '50s it had this reputation. Did you accept immediately, or was it a job offer you had to think about?

DJ: I didn't have to think about it a long time. At that time I was dating a young lady at Iowa Methodist School of Nursing who ended up being my wife...

EU: What was her name?

DJ: And she had still another year and I was going to be away. I had to visit with my family and they weren't real happy of me going off the end of the earth to the West. The West ended in Denver [laughter] but it looked like the right match for me and so after graduation, I drove west to Portland. I'd never been to Oregon. I drove into Portland, I did a little bit of looking over the community and then I came to Corvallis where I went through an orientation and did all of the things you needed to do in preparation for coming to the county. My supervisor at that particular time was Gene Lear, and Gene had a significant influence in me in that role and he later became the Director of Extension in Oregon and then was the national leader for Extension later on in his career.

EU: What was your job title?

DJ: My title was County Extension Agent with 4-H and Agriculture responsibilities. Most of it was with the 4-H program but I also did the livestock work in an urban-based county. We had a rural area of the county which was in the Skyline, Sauvies Island area and then in the Corbett, Troutdale area, still very rural and in Orient community was rural. But the Portland area has always been the major metropolitan area in the state of Oregon. And a lot of our programming was built around the urban setting and the offerings in the 4-H program actually were very, very diverse being separate from, not being really centered just on the agricultural-based programs or home economics programs which the people think of as traditional. But a lot of engineering, we did a lot of creative programming in areas of expressive arts, creative arts, we introduced a lot of new programs to reach young people in the performing arts. So a lot of science based programming early on to reach the young people in that urban setting and to provide them an avenue to participate in the 4-H program.

EU: So with talked about dancing and artistic, these types of programs- there was a Multnomah County Fair?

DJ: Yeah, the Multnomah County Fair was at Gresham at that time. During my career and following my career in the county for awhile and then the county sold that land and moved the county fair to what used to be the Pacific International Livestock Exposition - the expo out in north Portland on Marine Drive. And that became the county fair and for many, many years until actually Multnomah County dropped support in the 1980s, the late '80s, of the county fair and it was moved then to Oak Park. And that's where they still hold the county fair even though the Extension Service doesn't have a formal office in Multnomah County at this time.


EU: So what year did you start working for the Extension Service?

DJ: I started in 1959. I was in Multnomah County until 1970. Actually, in the fall of '69-70 I went back to school at Colorado State University, so I was on a one-year sabbatical and while I was on sabbatical, or at the end of my sabbatical, I had finished my Master's degree and Burton Hutton called me and asked if I would consider coming on the specialist staff at Oregon State University.

EU: What did you study in graduate school?

DJ: Adult education with emphasis in Extension programming and business administration.

EU: Why did you go to Colorado for that?

DJ: They had a very excellent staff that were teaching there. They had a background and understanding of Extension. They had an emphasis within Extension; Denzel Clegg was the head of the department and he had come with a great reputation so that's why I chose....I wanted to study under him...he and Jim Kincaid. Jim Kincaid was the other professor.

EU: Then obviously, you said you got married and your wife came out?

DJ: Yeah, in 1960.

EU: In 1960. What's her name?

DJ: Mary.

EU: So you got married here, or?

DJ: No, we were married in Iowa and our honeymoon was coming from Iowa through the southwest to Oregon.

EU: Could you talk a little bit more about some of the programs you were involved with in Multnomah County. I'm interested because of this urban and rural, I don't want to say divide, but there are specific, different programs.

DJ: Well, there were. The Portland School District actually funded the program for the City of Portland and the school district. Dr. Ed Shannon who grew up in the education system in Oklahoma came to Portland to lead the 4-H program and his offices and his staff were in the school district and they used school facilities. So that was a separate program in the city of Portland.

In Multnomah County, the funding for local support was from the county commissioners and it involved all of the areas around the City of Portland that were still in Multnomah County which was Skyline, Sauvies Island, and then to the east and to the southeast part of the county.

So we had during that time - and I want to step back a minute here, I would say that I had the great fortune of following Clay Miller. Clay Miller had been a county agent with the 4-H program in Multnomah County for 30 years when I had come. I think you'll find that a lot of the original people in the Extension Service made a lifetime career, which is not necessarily true today, working within Extension. And so I had the opportunity to come into a program that was well founded, well respected, and the opportunity to not only take that base but also to work together to built maybe a different type and expanding type of a program.

We had, as I remember, we had in Multnomah County outside the City of Portland, about 2500 members in the county and in the City of Portland they had another 2000 members; so there was a significant population. What I'm leading to here is Portland was one of the very first urban 4-H programs in the country. Actually, its roots were back in the teens and some of the early work in the City of Portland was the victory gardens and the health programs in the school, the nutrition programs in the school, delivered in the school; and actually the volunteers were teachers. And I think there's a history that shows that for Oregon, Portland, Oregon was the very first urban 4-H program in the country. And that was in the teens.


EU: Could you talk a little bit about the victory gardens. Was that strictly during the war? World War II or World War I?

DJ: The victory gardens started in World War I, continued and were expanded through World War II and led to many of the efforts that emergence out of that became community gardens. Family managed...and were taken on by other people but the concept was built with that kind of a program effort.

So, some of the things that happened during the time I was in that ten years, we had a very, very strong program in Washington County led by Joe Cox who became district director and become Director of Extension and by Harold Black who had his whole career in Clackamas County. And between the four of us and our counter parts, we each had an additional female agents in each of the counties who also worked with us. We started working in a collaborative way to utilize the expertise of all eight of us to deliver programs over the four programs areas. And eventually brought in Columbia County to some degree, especially with Bob Stevely working there in the horse program and then the livestock programs.

And what it involved, we had a lot of cooperative programs. We introduced a junior leadership development camp that was cooperative, we had a spring lamb and marketing show that was for youth and adults that allowed to introduce the marketing of animals through a cooperative type of an effort and that was led by John Leffel who was the county Extension agent at the time, Livestock person, in Washington County.

We shared in the training, in other words, one of us would take the leadership for organizing the training for leaders in all four area programs in a particular subject matter area whether it was volunteer leadership development or whether it was in subject matter. And then we also shared in many new programs that we introduced like interstate exchange programs and to better utilize resources to give new experiences but also utilize resources to strengthen the programs in all of the counties.

I think also that if we came with the ideas that with some very outstanding volunteer leaders that are in our urban settings, the things that I can remember are we introduced at the time with a leader from Fairview, Oregon who developed the very first creative arts project in the state. And then that emerged to a tole painting program, and that then led to an art painting program for young people to develop their skills, because these were not being offered in any other setting.

We also introduced a geology program cooperative with the Department of Geology and with some of the faculty at Oregon State University. We worked with Joe Capizzi, and this was really more statewide but it became very popular, was entomology program in the state, or in the county, or in the area.

We introduced square dancing which is still very popular with a lot of young people, as well as adults. So those were the kinds of innovative types of programming, introducing subject matter based but built more on not only the skills but the knowledge introducing leadership and community service.

I had the opportunity also to have a leader in the Rockwood area who had a blind son. And then we started working with young people who were blind and that led into some musical activities. We had at least two bands that emerged out of our program of people who had sight disabilities. And so it was the opportunity to reach to audiences that hadn't been reached with other programs. Now, that's not to take away from, we had a very strong economics program, we had a very strong livestock program, and those have continued to be major benchmarks and cornerstones of the Extension 4-H program nationwide and in Oregon. But I think that the introduction of doing community service, the junior leadership and teen leadership programs and public speaking, demonstrations led to presentations were all major foundations of that urban audience. And today, with new people coming in with lots better skills than I in the area of computers, the whole area of sciences and the computer sciences, and so on, have been programs that have really expanded, not only in urban areas but also throughout the state.

EU: Let's take a break here.


Elizabeth Uhlig: This is part 2 of the oral history with Duane Johnson.

Duane, before we broke, you were talking about the various programs that were in Multnomah County and that you helped start. Where did the ideas for these programs come from?

Duane Johnson: I would say that the very large percentage of the ideas for strengthening programs and introducing new programs came from the volunteer leaders and the parents and in some cases from other school administrators and other youth development leaders who saying there's a real need for some of these. So in the metropolitan area we used volunteer leader and youth leader committees to put together those concepts and in most of the cases we used outside expertise in the professional field or we used volunteers who had those skills to help develop curriculum and design a group of experiences that could go to meet the particular interest and the needs for those people.

Having mentioned that, too, while in the county in order to continue to reach people we introduced what we called at the time, the "district leader's concept." This was a middle management role that adults working with other adults. As you could believe in a metropolitan area, as is true in all counties, a county agent does not know who to reach all of the people. People respond to people to become involved because of who they know and were they are located. And so we were able to establish quite an extensive, what we called at that time, district leaders, now called community leaders in the county to reach and organize groups of young people and adults to work together. And that concept since the early '60s has continued to be a basis of program expansion throughout the state.

That lead to what Harold Black, Joe Cox and I and Ed Shannon really felt was a primary emphasis of what we should be doing. And that is training volunteers to be effective youth developers. Not just transfer of knowledge and organize young people for activities, but to build a training program to help them build their skills in working with youth and families. And so we put a very high emphasis on new leader volunteers, having volunteer leader training that was sequential, learning something new the next year, it just wasn't a repeat of the same kind - to build the skills of our volunteer base.

EU: So these volunteers, then, were the ones that actually worked with the students or the young people?

DJ: Yes, that is true. We delivered the program though volunteers. Now, that doesn't mean that the county agents at that time didn't have that interaction with the young people but we were primarily involved with young people through the developmental experiences that were being provided through the Extension Service and the 4-H program.


EU: You mentioned some of the programs - reaching out for people with disabilities. And that came through a parent?

DJ: Usually, seeing those needs came from parents who saw the benefit of their young people being involved in a group that developed not only their skills and knowledge but they also helped them develop their social skills and their interactive skills and their positive self-worth of being able to accomplish something. And trying to move young people that were in the disability - our first focus was in the areas of young people who had sight and hearing disabilities and then went further into those with physical disabilities and feeling good about themselves and being able to maximize their skills to what their level is. And we had some wonderful volunteers who worked with those programs that demonstrated the ability to have the kind of patience and the ability to teach in that environment.

EU: I think one other area of programs that you worked in was with science?

DJ: In the sciences and science areas - introduced with the help of Cal Monroe who was on the state 4-H staff and Joe Capizzi who was an entomologist, we worked extensively with the introduction and expansion of an entomology program in science. We worked with the Department of Geology and had some wonderful leaders out of the Department of Geology to build and create a Geology program, both which were very science based.

Not to the extent of science being introduced through computer sciences as it is today. We didn't have that. We didn't even think about computers except when we did our graduate work [laughter] in those days. But we found there was a tremendous interest and inquisitiveness among young people in the sciences in those days and tried to take an advantage of that. And that led to some things with electrical programming and even though in the more mechanical arts, the woodworking program. We really had some basis of science when you started looking at working with different kinds of woods to accomplish certain kinds of finished products.

EU: Did you do some early work with computers, then? In county fair management?

DJ: I did. One of the things that I found early on in my career is that management of the county fair was a very time consuming and extensively involving of a lot of resources. And so, in about 1964 we started to introduce using the old FORTRAN system for the management of awards, placings and management of the fair activities. And we worked with the Oregon State University Computer Science Department at that time to build pretty simple type of program to do the tabulations and the printouts of those records, to print their premium checks, to do a lot of the things that used to be done manually by both volunteers and office staff.

And so, that then led to utilization of scanning; we used a scanning system which was really perfected for enrollment; enrolling young people and having a statewide base of volunteers and youth in our database. And so, I would say, I guess I feel very pleased with the progress that was done.

And then another result that came from that is that there used to be a separate fair for the City of Portland and for Multnomah County and we brought those two together as one fair in sharing the same facilities and were able to manage that. And this electronic management allowed that to be an easy adjustment. You know, losing identity was tough for some people, but we used to call it the Multnomah County/City of Portland Fair and so it was a combined effort. We did some things separately and some things together.


EU: Being in an urban setting, did you reach out to different ethnic groups?

DJ: We did. The African American and the Asian populations were the two that were most prominent at that particular time that I was in the county. And we had a strong horticulture program in particular with our Asian population. But we also introduced in 1960 the 4-H Guide Dog Program and a lot of our leadership with the 4-H Guide Dog Program came out of the Asian community at that particular time.

And the Black community; we were able to reach in there with a lot of the arts, the vocal arts and the performing arts areas and we were somewhat effective with the home economics education programs with the African American audience. Much of the - I'm trying to think, I'm going to say that I think our first two county agents that they hired with the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program in particular, were very, very effective in reaching the disadvantaged audiences and many of those were ethnic-based. But we did reach into those audiences.

I think it will always be a big challenge to be sure that we are flexible as an Extension Service to reach audiences because we need to understand that a lot of their values come from their culture and it's not all one cultural acceptance base. And so I think in most recent years there has been some very excellent work with the State 4-H office leadership into developing programs that reach a very broad section of the ethnic makeup of the state of Oregon.

EU: So with this wide variety of programming that you were doing in Multnomah County and Portland - this is an obvious question - you had the support of the people in Corvallis? They encouraged you to widen the types of programs?

DJ: They encouraged us and they were supportive. And where resources were available to help. But a lot of our resources for expansion of these programs, came through business and industry and special interest groups in the metropolitan area in Portland. The electrical program was very very strongly supported by Portland General Electric and by, well now it's PPL; or it was PPL at that time; now it's Pacific Power. We had strong support from some of the general...the old Meier & Frank Company and the Frank family was very supportive of the 4-H program. So we were able to build a support base for that.

The Farm Bureau was very effective in helping us with the gardening program and the horticultural program, livestock program. And this was true in all of the counties as we worked together to reach that broad audience. I think the biggest challenge we had is, and it's no different today, there's so much out there and you are limited by how much energy you had. And we had a group that was willing to work, but it took its toll in overextending yourself so you had to find ways to delegate and expand that effort. For an example, in Multnomah County we organized a camp committee and turned it over to volunteers to lead the camp. But the Interstate Exchange Program was turned over to volunteers who organized the activities. Much of the organization eventually in Multnomah County for the fair were turned over to volunteers to lead. Now, they planned and worked with us, but we left that leadership to them.


EU: You just mentioned this International Exchange Program. Could you talk about that a little bit?

DJ: Well, under the leadership of Ruth Brasher and Lois Redman at Oregon State, and primarily Lois Redman, the IFYE program in Oregon had always been a strong program.

EU: And what's the IFYE program?

DJ: It was called the International Farm Youth Exchange, then it became the International 4-H Youth Exchange Program. And it had two dimensions. One, was young people from Oregon having the opportunity to go to other countries to live for a year with families and to share and learn the culture and the activities. The other was young people coming from the other countries to the United States.

I saw this and it was very successful in utilizing this program, not only to enrich the local communities but through the school system we were able to provide school programs with a foreign student telling about their country to enhance their world history. And at the same time, every IFYE that went abroad came back and spent six months reporting around the state of Oregon. So it wasn't just self-gratification, but there was the expectation that you would share your experience throughout the country.

Now that led to the 4-H Japanese Exchange Program were we became very involved in and there was the LEX program which was one program and then there was a LABO program and the UTREK program. Those are names from organizations in Japan and they all came during my time primarily when I was on the state staff. Groups came together to be managed and promoted and supported through what we call the 4-H Japanese Exchange Program. But it was a great experience for local families to have a person from another country who may or may not know any English, most likely did not know any English, they knew English but they were afraid to speak it. But we found was that a great cultural learning experience for a whole family. But we expanded it into the schools, into the community. We tried to make it being more than just somebody coming to you home and just living there for a week to a month at a time.

EU: How many people would come every year?

DJ: Well, the ones that I'm closest two was when I was a specialist and we were bringing 100-140 up to 160 Japanese throughout the state. And in most counties, you would have no more than 20 and in a lot of cases five to ten young people. You would want to have enough mass so that those young people could relate with each other. Because this is a shock for them to live in the American culture, too.

EU: Were these high school students or college age?

DJ: All the way from nine years old up. The interesting thing about Japan is that they encourage their children to travel at a very, very early age. The majority of them are twelve. We had a few that were a little younger. I may have misquoted when I said nine, I think we should say 12 years old and older.

EU: Now, did you go yourself over to Japan as part of this exchange?

DJ: Yes, but that, again, was when I was a specialist providing statewide leadership for the international program. I had the opportunity to work on the LEX advisory committee.

EU: What is LEX?

DJ: LEX. It's a language institute program and the uniqueness about the LEX is that they learn multiple languages at the same time through memory and hearing and the young people that participated in that in Japan really become prolific in at least four or five different languages. They are much more aggressive in that. And then I also worked with the 4-H Japanese Exchange Program for a number of years. And with the 4-H Japanese Exchange program, I did travel to Japan three times.

EU: Where in Japan did you go?

DJ: Well, all over. Actually, their offices are all in Tokyo and that's always where you would start. But then you would go to the other locales from the south to the north. They built the itinerary for you to travel and see it, and to support the program.


EU: So you said, your involvement with these exchange programs continued, then, when you were at the state level. So when did you make this change from Multnomah County?

DJ: When I went to Graduate School from 1969 to 1970, then Burton Hutton called me as I was nearing it and asked if I would come to the state 4-H staff as a specialist. Now my responsibilities at that particular time was going to be with the animal science and horticulture programs and so that was my responsibility when I came to Corvallis as a specialist.

EU: Okay, and that was in 1970, then?

DJ: In 1970, right.

EU: Did that continue to be your assignment, then?

DJ: Well, I was in that assignment from 1970 to 1980. And in 1980, I assumed the responsibility as State 4-H Program Leader and stayed in that position until 1992 when I went back to being the specialist to work with volunteer leader development, professional development and a number of other activities connected with the Extension program.

EU: So your family then, did you have children at this time?

DJ: We had children. They came to Corvallis; actually graduated from Crescent Valley High School here in Corvallis and both of our sons went on to get their degrees at different universities. And then we now have one family living in Arizona and the other one living in Portland.

EU: So, when you started as a specialist here in Corvallis, you said your responsibilities were horticulture and animal science.

DJ: And some older youth programming.

EU: So what kinds of things did you do then as part of that job?

DJ: Well, I think the biggest portion when I first came in was making sure that educational materials and the activities that support those programs were the best for youth development and the program. Early on, again, carrying out what I saw as the result of having young people and adults involved, we introduced the utilization of what we called statewide development committees and had volunteers and youth from throughout the state who served on those committees. The committees usually met at least twice a year and in some cases depending upon all of the activities of those committees up to four times a year. They had their own chairman and they had their own secretaries.

As specialist, I worked with several of those over the years but the other faculty members had their development committees, too. The very first one was the horse program, followed by the livestock program. Home economics came in and then we had horticulture development committees and we had expressive arts committee. Several of them and that still exist today; the concept of involving the clientele in the design of the educational materials.

The other thing was an observation that in my specialist years I saw was that I could not be an expert in all the subject matter and a lot of the early literature and the volunteer leader development materials were being done by faculty members in the 4-H Youth Development unit. And so we were able to build a very, very strong relationship, especially in the College of Home Economics and in the College of Agriculture where the subject matter specialists – the Dean Frischknechts, the John Landers, the Joe Capizzis, the people in horticulture, home economics, all of those would assume a responsibility to help design educational materials for a youth audience so that was very critical for us to be able to stay ahead of the game and to stay on the leading edge. So I think that was probably one of the initial big advancements that we were able to accomplish. And during that time, the first few years with Burton Hutton's support, but then with Joe Meyer's, who was my predecessor as State 4-H Program Leader, was that to really encourage and support that kind of a structure for development of program.

EU: And so county agents and 4-H members were also part of this?

DJ: Yes. We always had juniors and seniors. We offered the opportunities for juniors and seniors to be part of that process to help design experiences for those that followed them.


EU: What were some of the programs that grew out of this committee work and the areas that you moved into, for example?

DJ: Well, let me give you a few examples. One of the things that we noticed that we had judges at county fairs making a big impact, positively and negatively with the young people and the families by what they did. So we organized and offered judges training to help them understand the objectives of the 4-H program, how to communicate and interact with young people and with adults. How to do the job of judging in a positive way rather than just saying this is first, second, third or fourth; or this is a blue, red or white and leaving it at that. And I think the fair competition was improved significantly with that.

And then with Barbara Sauer coming on the State 4-H Staff, worked with her very closely in the introduction of interview judging rather than judging and examining the products and being isolated, just in a room, here's all the items, We started to introduce interview judging which was most effective at the county fair level, not a the state fair level, because it is hard for people to come in, but the activities of presentations, the cooking contests, the judging contests, all were done where we would get a two-way interchange with the participants and the evaluators. So I think in that particular area that's one of them.

The second area that I think, that I felt I was involved in significantly; we introduced through the cooperative efforts of the Oregon 4-H Foundation and at that time Standard Oil Company, now Chevron, who provided the funding, we introduced what we called the 4-H Community Pride/Community Service programming efforts and we were able to establish a curriculum that involved young people learning to make a grant proposal and to do a particular project in the communities where they lived. That particular program has been successful enough that it has really spread across the United States in a number of states. Primarily with the very strong financial support of the Chevron Chemical Company.

EU: How did you do the training, then? Were there camps or workshops?

DJ: Well, we had Community Pride conferences.

EU: In Corvallis, or where did you meet?

DJ: Well, we had them in Bend and we had them in Corvallis and we had them in Salem and we had them in different locations. They were a statewide conference where counties could select an adult as well as a team of youth. One adult/team of youth who would come and give training in the areas of how to identify, how to plan, how to respond to community interests and needs, and how to carry them out. And then each of those teams, the early work was each of those teams then could submit a proposal to the State 4-H Office and the 4-H Foundation, for the funding to help support it. Now in every case, they had to have local funding, also. It wasn't just a full grant but it was, you might call it "seed money" for that identity. And I think out of that came a real focus on that community service should be part of every 4-H member's experience.

Then we introduced the 4-H Ambassador Program. The 4-H Ambassador Program was designed to build leadership with freshmen through seniors to build their strengths. We tied to that, rather than selecting young people for National 4-H Congress and National 4-H Conference, and so on, strictly by an application basis and their record books, we introduced the use of an interview process. And so we had that group of people as well as other participants in the 4-H Ambassador Training Program which was a statewide program and this was held, it started out at Oregon State but then we moved it to McMinnville at Linfield College where we could bring in speakers and do training in a number of areas that led to leadership development. A number of our county agents in Oregon were key people in that teaching that aspect of our program.

EU: When you talked about the Pride Program, for example, I should think one of the advantages was; they applied for a grant and were then able to carry it out. So they saw the whole....was this part of the plan?

DJ: This was part of the plan. They would develop skills in the training, they would go back and introduce a community service project at a club level and at the county level, whatever fit in their situation; carry it out so they could see the finished project.


EU: This was in the '70s and '80s? Were the types of the programs and community activism very much a part of this time? I mean, I'm thinking like with Tom McCall and the environmental program and some of these new social interests that were happening in this state?

DJ: Two governors of the state of Oregon, Tom McCall being one, Mark Hatfield the other one, who were great supporters of the 4-H program and they were strong encouragers. The introduction of the Community Pride Program actually featured Tom McCall in that particular programming effort, when we introduced it with two 4-H members doing the official kick off of the community pride program for Oregon.

And then, another aspect - mentioning Tom McCall, leads me to another one which is Glenn Klein, who I think you know. Glenn Klein, when he was county agent in Jackson County, he introduced with Nancy Rand, the 4-H Guide Dog Program. During the time I was on the state 4-H staff we expanded that program significantly. But one of the real problems with the guide dog program was there was a great deal of difficulty of socializing the dogs in public buildings, in public locations. So with the help of Tom McCall and with a number of legislators, I was fortunate enough to be able to get the law passed that would allow guide dogs in training in all public buildings and all in businesses and they helped to design the very first card-carrying guide raiser cards to gain admission. That not only affected, we had volunteer leaders make arrangements then to fly the dogs on planes, to take the dogs on busses, you'll see them on campuses going into classrooms, they are guide dogs in training. And today they are the only group that had that public access from that particular effort.

Here you had a problem, you went to it, you found a way to have it accomplished and with the help of a lot of good volunteer leaders, Maryanne Fennemore of Multnomah County, Mrs. Johnson from Washington County, Nancy Rand from down in Josephine County, a lot of individuals who worked together to work through that process to help bring that about.

EU: Let's take a little break here.

DJ: Okay.


Elizabeth Uhlig: This is part 3 of the oral history with Duane Johnson.

Duane, you were talking about some of the different programs and things you were involved with as a specialist in Corvallis. Could you continue talking about some of these; for example, the program assistants - who were they and how did that work?

Duane Johnson: What came about with the program assistant structure was that we found, and it was my firm belief that many of the tasks that were being carried out with the county Extension agents really were things that should be carried out by people who have a different kind of a role within the Extension organization. So what we did is try to demonstrate on a statewide level how hiring individuals at a different level in the organization with a different kind of a background could be the management of activities and special programs.

This was introduced at program assistants in 4-H. Two that come to my mind that were very instrumental in really making a solid base for these were Vicki Avery and Elaine Schrumpf who were members of the State 4-H faculty and staff as program assistants. What we did in the assignment of them - they did much of the organizational work for activities like 4-H Summer Week – used to be summer school – Summer Week and so on. And then also for the state fair, for the National 4-H Club Congress delegation, management of the 4-H recognition program and working with the 4-H Japanese Exchange Program, and working on host families and coordinating that effort and they always work with the specialist or specialists with those particular programs, but then when it came to the details in putting it together they did a wonderful job and made the experience very very good.

So, that dimension of the program then has encouraged to be utilized at the county level and as the funding for educational programs at Higher Education was reduced, one of the avenues really built was being able to maintain programs through the utilization of program assistants that were either funded at the state level or at the local level to extend the impact of a county Extension agent providing leadership for 4-H. And it's a model that is still in place today. In fact, it's growing and it's being utilized actually in a lot of states across the country today. So, I feel very, very good with the introduction of that management program.

Also, during the time that I was state 4-H Program Leader and as a Specialist – I'm putting the two together because that we put a major emphasis to train our Extension faculty in various dimensions of the program. Most people who came into Extension came with a discipline-based background and a knowledge base, or they may have had a good experience as a 4-H member. But their experiences when it comes to being an educator of adults, being a designer of educational programs to have a positive impact, those are the things that they needed to strengthen. Whether in some cases it was in communication skills, in writing skills, in building collaborations with other organizations, and doing cooperative programs. And many of them are in counties where the educational program for 4-H was very different from what they came from on a ranch or in a different locale or another state.

So there was a real need for that training. So we put new faculty staff training/orientation together, we put annual staff training, multi-day training program. And then we saw that the need, there was great benefit to work together with our neighbors, Washington and Idaho in particular. We put together a regional training program, the Northwest Regional Training every third year that allowed the opportunity to utilize resources of the three states.

And then we also had with the support of Extension Directors in the 13 western states, we started to bring together once every five to seven years, a training program in the Western Region for Extension faculty in various dimensions and all of those involved planning committees from the participating audience or audiences. And, all of that has stayed in place and is still a very strong focus of the Department of 4-H and Youth Development.


EU: You started talking about faculty; sometimes you talk about specialists or faculty. And you had mentioned there was reductions in budget and staff reductions. Maybe this is the time to talk about some of these organizational changes. What were the organizational changes and when were some of these taking place?

DJ: When I joined the Extension Service back in late 1950s, everybody who – this is one of the visions of the forefathers of the Extension Service in Oregon is that all of the Extension faculty whether they were in a county or whether they were on the university were a faculty member. And in the early years you were a faculty member of the Oregon State University Extension Service. And then, so everybody who was....there was faculty and then there was staff. Staff being the program assistants and the classified staff supporting the program.

Probably the first one that I would speak to that impacts the 4-H program in particular, is the Extension Service was part of the College of Agriculture. But the focus of 4-H program was not agriculture. The program was Youth Development, was education. So, with the help of Glenn Klein, who was involved in the adult education department of the College of Education, with the Dean at that time, Dean Barr, we made the 4-H program now became a joint department between the College of Education and the College of Ag. That was the first change that took place.

Then a few years later, after that, then with Dean Barr we were also working on developing a potential of the youth development curriculum at the Master's and PhD levels. Dean Barr left us for Boise State and so then that kind of sat on the back burner because at the same time the College of Education became a school of Education and again, limited resources. But we saw we had a lot of interest from agencies in youth development whether Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, who wanted the opportunity for their staff to receive advanced degrees. And so we didn't let that one die. Under the leadership of Jim Rutledge, who followed me, that finally came together under the current new structure. But in the meantime, the 4-H then became a full-fledged department. It is the first 4-H department in the College of Home Economics and Education when those two came together with Dean Kinsey Green.


EU: About what years are we talking about?

DJ: In that particular thing, that's probably 19...we became a department in the College in about 1990. The other connections were in the late '80s.

Then, the other thing I think you saw in the staffing was the merging with the Extension Service is that with many of our Extension faculty, they have a discipline responsibility. Whether it be in Horticulture, whether it be in Animal Science, or whether it be in Foods and Nutrition, and so through a lot of studies and a lot of discussion and a lot of disagreement, that the Extension Service then was moved, broken up and moved into the departments. All the faculty members had the opportunity to decide what department that they wanted to be affiliated with within the whole University and I think we had individuals in the majority of the colleges. There may have been one or two persons in that college.

And that was during the whole time of growing. And there are still individuals that say it was a good thing and there are people who say it wasn't a good thing, but I think Extension faculty and the Extension Service, has benefitted from, personally, from that relationship. Administratively, they may feel they have lost some control on the financial side, but I think it has strengthened the credibility of Extension. It provided an opportunity for their salaries to be in line with the other faculty. It allowed them to be academically strengthened through the peer evaluation process and I think we brought a lot of different kind so of resources within those colleges into supporting of the Extension Program.

Now, I know that there are some that feel we have fallen behind in that particular thing, that we lost control now that department heads and deans have actually more control through the evaluation process and through the funding process, but I think it's also one that will resolve; those issues will be resolved over time. Now, I think a lot of it depends on the leadership of the organization. Whether it's the Extension leadership, college leadership, or what, you will always have that debate. But I think it will be a very positive...The other thing that I think you see ...[coughing]


Elizabeth Uhlig: This is part 4 of the oral history with Duane Johnson.

Duane, you were talking about some of the organizational changes and the movement into the different departments. Could you talk about some of those staffing changes and sort of the implications or the impact of those changes?

Duane Johnson: I'll take this from two or three different positions. One is that about every ten years, starting in about 1963-64, it seems like Higher Education and the Extension Service took a big budget cut and so we saw a lot of downsizing of the Extension Service. I can remember when there was between four and five hundred Extension professionals in the state back in the '60s and early '70s and the cuts took that back down to half of that size in essence. So that has brought about for the organization, I think, a real opportunity to say, how are we staffing and what are we doing? What has happened in this, I think we saw a good evaluation of what programming areas we want to maintain, which ones do can we no longer afford to, what are the duplications in emphasis and we've seen the combining of units...a good example today would be the family and community development. That used to be two separate programs and now it's into one. So we see that.

I think the other thing that you see that has happened; we talked about the program assistants and that has emerged too. Also a lot of volunteer programs – volunteer food preservers, forestry programs, etc., all have their volunteer based programs.

The other change I think we've seen – when I came into the Extension Service a lot of the disciplines were dominated by either a male or a female person. And we have seen a number of males move into the foods and nutrition program, into home economics programs who are coming out into that education area. In the dominance of agriculture and so on, we have some very outstanding female educators have emerged into those particular discipline areas.

In the 4-H program, for example, I would venture to say it was probably about a 60/40; sixty percent male and 40 percent female faculty that was working with the 4-H youth development back in the 1960s. I would say today, it's probably 80/20, 75/25 of females to males. Now why is that about? I think a lot of the female professionals in the area have come out of the areas of education, youth development, family development backgrounds which enhance and focus on the youth development side of the 4-H program. I also think that in many cases, the women in the Extension program for 4-H has found that they have enhanced their career opportunities in the profession. In the case of a drop in the males, I think a lot of that is that there has been a lot of shortages in some of these areas and a lot of the males have found that higher income levels in different kinds of work environment has been available for those graduating in the disciplines that would normally come to the Extension Service.

Now, the Extension Service still has some problems in these areas, although I think they are making progress. The idea of flex scheduling has helped to build this. I think the Extension Service still has a problem of balancing work, family and personal and the professionals in it. I think that although we're seeing some change in that, when I came into the Extension Service and this is no different in Oregon than anywhere else in the country, is you had a job that was built on 60 or 70 hours a week because you had to have eight to five, five days a week and then you had all the nights and the weekends and so on. And there was probably no position in Extension than the 4-H program because you had to deliver the program when families were available and they were working so here you were at nights and on the weekends. But I think that is starting to be resolved but certainly not totally resolved today.

I think the other thing that Extension Service, staffing wise that I have seen is that when I came in a lot of people were committed to the organization and to their profession for life. And as I've seen across the country, you know, we used to have lots and lots of faculty members that were 25 and 30-year career people. Now you see them for 10 or 15 years, 20 years and they go on to something else. It may be the job demand; it may be a major problem, I don't know, in causing that. But we are seeing that kind of a change so you've got more of a change so you've got more of a change in faculty and staff. Those are some of the things that I've noticed over the years but I think that I've had the fortune to work with some fantastic professionals, both males and females. I would not be where I'm at if it hadn't for the great support and great team that I worked with.


EU: Could you talk a little bit about the ethnic representation in the Extension Service, and how maybe the populations that you served have might have changed over the years?

DJ: Yeah. I think what you are seeing in the Extension Service - when I first started working within the Extension Service the Asian and the Black populations were the primary ethnic audiences other than the Caucasians.

The thing that I think we see now is with the tremendous growth in the Hispanic audience under the leadership of Beverly Hobbs who is currently on the staff - tremendous programming in reaching the Hispanic audience has resulted. She's had very much of a vision and the skills to really expand programming into that area. Significant population. I think the Asian population has found in their cultural drive they have found that the 4-H program offers tremendous opportunities for the areas of sciences and career building where real focus is.

I think we are also seeing with the changes in our makeup of our educational system, so many charter schools and home schools and so on, the 4-H program has been very effective in working with those audiences to strengthen the curriculum they get and the experiences they get. The homeschoolers have taken advantage of participating in the 4-H program development of the activities and the social skills. And then many of the charter schools are utilizing 4-H curriculum to enhance the curriculum that they can offer because they just don't have the large amount of faculty in order to be very focused. Those are all positive relationships and the Extension Service and the 4-H program in particular have been willing to really reach out and try to design educational programs for those audiences.

So, I think the other thing we see is that you know, out of the 100 and some thousand 4-H members that are currently involved in the program, the "traditional" program which was a club based, volunteer led, subject matter led program is probably less than 25 percent of that total. We now have school enrichment and outreach educational programs and so on.

We also saw the 4-H program; again under the leadership of Beverly Hobbs develop a program that was called the "4-H Adventurers Club" which is designed for young people that are K through 3rd grade. Oregon actually was one of the very first states in the country that switched from an age-based program to a grade-based program to tie the curriculum and the experiences more to the developmental level of young people and the best correlations is grades in school. And that has moved across the country significantly. There are still some that are on an age basis but there's a lot of difference between a 4th grader who is eight years old or a 4th grader that's ten years old. So what we saw if we would develop the program the curriculum based upon that and that also impacted our design of curriculum so it because sequential and so designed for 4th and 5th graders, 6th and 7th graders, 8th graders, and so on into high school.

And again, I think as we work with those curriculum that we have, then we have audiences, we've got to be very, very cognizant of the need to understand the cultures from which they come. The values of people emerged from their cultures, the manner in which you work with them. And so, this means different flexibility, different approaches, a great deal more patience and so I think you are seeing that. It's an evolving thing as we work with the very diverse audiences that we have, not only in Oregon but throughout the country. I hope that's answering...

EU: Yes, yes. Another question having to do with benchmarks. Could you talk a little bit about those?

DJ: We had back when CIM and CAM and all of those whatever they were, and they still are part of the education system testing, is that we saw the real need for developing literature and educational programming that would help young people meet those benchmarks. And many school districts in the State Department of Education agreed that the learning and the development and the skills demonstrated in the 4-H program could suffice for demonstrating the competencies.

Jim Hermes, who is a poultry specialist at Oregon State University and Brad Jeffreys who was a 4-H specialist probably did the very first, I think, developing a poultry curriculum called "Egg to Chick" - science based - that was designed to meet those benchmarks. And since then benchmarking, looking at the benchmarks that the development of young people have always continued to be a major focus of the Extension faculty in design of those experiences so where they are wanted to be used, could be used in meeting those. I think 4-H has been a partner with education in a very positive way of doing that.


EU: I wanted to also ask you about the recognition program.

DJ: Well, recognition programs have always been a very special part of my career in the sense that I felt very strongly that you have to have a balanced recognition program. One that focuses on... I believe everybody likes some type of recognition. We had to have a recognition program to recognize the very creativeness and the innovativeness and the risk taking of our Extension faculty. We needed a recognition program for our volunteers who contribute so much to the young people of this state. And we had a recognition program for young people, too, that is developmentally appropriate.

Now, I call it recognition, not competition purposefully. I don't call them awards. I call them recognition and I feel very strongly in that position. Recognition is earned and is recognized by your peers and others. Awards you can apply for. And competition is competition and I don't think necessarily competition is bad, but I don't think it should be the focus.

And so the recognition program in Oregon, which I think has the footprint of a Duane Johnson on it quite a bit is that recognition should be provided for a combination of skill learning, leadership, community service, public speaking, you're talking the well rounded individual. And whether it's a faculty member, or whether it's a volunteer, or whether it is a youth, it fits, or whether it's a family or it's a community. I think what it has done is to continue to build young people who are well rounded rather than narrowly focused and I think that's the real point of strength of the 4-H Youth Development Program and the Extension Service as a whole in Oregon. But it's also true in other places too.

EU: Could you talk a little bit about your work with the foundation and the foundation board?

DJ: The 4-H Foundation in Oregon in the early years when I first came to Oregon it was in name only. And the foundation was really only formed for the purposes of establishing the 4-H Education and Conference Center at Salem. But the Foundation provided an opportunity for the private sector and individuals to support something that they believed in and something they wanted to have happen. And so during my years, and I have to go back really into the Burton Hutton and the Joe Meyers years, they established it and moved it forward. But I was fortunate enough to come along about the same time that we really got some great people to provide the leadership but we built the Foundation board of people from within and outside and the 4-H Family. The early foundations were made up of volunteer leaders. That's now been, there are a few volunteer leaders, there's a couple Extension faculty, but most of them are from the broader section, as foundation boards should be established.

Then on her retirement, Alberta Johnston assumed the responsibility of the Executive Director as a volunteer position. And she has provided tremendous leadership to that in partnership with the leadership of the Foundation, the president and other members of the board. And so the 4-H Foundation in Oregon, now is on very solid ground with a tremendous amount of investments in endowments that will go on forever, not just bring the cash in and spend it. It also has provided, it's got great visibility for public support, but it has also been organized as a model that many states across the country have followed.

And I have worked with the foundation for a number of years, first as a specialist and then program leader, secretary, served on the board, but I have to admire her leadership, but also the leadership of the public participants on these boards that have helped to move this forward to a multi-million dollar foundation. And the future support of many of the programming of Extension and 4-H will depend upon that private public sector and the Foundation is going to continue to play an expanding role in the support of the 4-H program at the county and state level. The foundation is now managing accounts for many of the counties around the state to support programs at the county level. That's another dimension to it. And I think we have made, under my leadership I think we've made tremendous growth in the number of college scholarships that are being offered through endowed programs. And so I think it's on solid financial, we have an outstanding conference and education center in Polk County outside of Salem and so I think the Foundation will play a very big role in what we do in the future.

EU: So, I think you said you retired in 2000 after 41 years with the Extension Service.

DJ: That's correct.

EU: When you look back on your career, what things gave you the most satisfaction? What are you proudest of?

DJ: Well, I guess the thing that I would say is probably my greatest satisfaction was seeing my faculty, the county faculty and the faculty in the Department of 4-H and Youth Development be successful. I hope that I just left a little bit of a footprint for those who follow, by the introduction of being innovative, being a risk taker, being an encourager of others to be visionary, and challenging individuals don't just stay with the status quo.

I think that Oregon has been extremely fortunate to have had some absolutely outstanding county faculty. I don't think they always got their recognition that they should have, but the partnership between county faculty and state faculty working as a team, the interdisciplinary within the university, having a Department of 4-H and Youth Development in the School of Education, the design of curriculum based upon the developmental levels of young people, a focus on leadership and community service and citizenship programming meant a lot to me. And probably the one way you achieve that more is you have quality staff, you trained them well and you supported them well and I would hope that I did that in a positive way. History, time, will tell. But you know there are some great people out there that have made a career in Extension and are doing a wonderful job.


EU: So in your retirement, what have you been doing in these past years? And then I specifically want to get into your work with Epsilon Sigma Phi.

DJ: Well, I was very active in professional associations as a professional in my career. The professional associations, the National County Agents Association, the Ag Association, the 4-H Agents Association which is a 4-H association, the Epsilon Sigma Phi which is the Extension professionals association that reaches across to everybody, all gave me an opportunity for great professional developmental experiences and for those personally enriching experiences and developmental experiences, working with colleagues across the country, it was very important.

At the same time, Extension was a great career for me. Like every career you have ups and downs, but we don't worry about the downs, we worry about the ups. And probably, one of the things I saw, it's characteristic of me, is having professional faculty, volunteers and young people achieve where they want to achieve – great satisfaction. I'm kind of an emotional person and so I always wanted to see others really accomplish what they wanted to and if I could help them a little bit along the way I would do so.

Now, it isn't limited just to 4-H. When I look at people in agriculture and family living and so on, we've talked a lot about 4-H, but Extension's faculty across the whole discipline area is very, very good. And I don't think always the people get the credit for the impact they are having on our families and communities and individuals across the country. As I said earlier, Extension has been good to me and I made a decision early on that I'm going to give back and so that's what I'm doing being active in Epsilon Sigma Phi, both in the Oregon Gamma Chapter and at the national level. I have been blessed and I am humbled over the fact that the people in this country asked me to be their President, which I am currently serving and I just hope that we can leave a little bit of a footstep for sometime in the future that this is what we have done.

You see, the tradition is, if I can step away from that just a little bit, the Extension Service has been built upon the history of people. The 4-H program in Oregon has very deep roots by a group of three people - Harry Seymour, Doc Allen and Helen Cowgill, who in the early years of the Extension Service, actually they were the very first for the 4-H program for a long, long time, as a team of three and they established the county based programs, the first boys and girls 4-H clubs across the country and so on and had a great reputation in the history of 4-H in the country.

Frank Ballard is probably the dean of Extension Directors and really established some very solid philosophical basis for the Extension Service; not just for 4-H but all of us. The position of a state 4-H leader when you figure that from 1910, depending on who you talk to, when it started, but there haven't been a lot of state 4-H leaders. ... Now there have been more changes since then, but being in a group of people who have been asked to provide leadership to the people and professionals, there's nothing more enriching and I can't say that I took on any of those jobs just for the sake of my own gratification because I didn't. I did it for others and that's kind of following through on what I'm doing with Epsilon Sigma Phi.


Now, I'm also involved very much in the Kiwanis Club of Corvallis, again community service, serving others. I had great involvement on a lot of university committees and so on and played probably a significant role with two people, Dean Bud Weiser, Conrad Weiser, College of Agriculture and Roy Arnold who was the provost, and Andy Hashimoto. We played a great role in the transition of having Extension integrated into the P&T [promotion and tenure] process in departments and doing the training and that was a great experience training deans how to look at Extension and evaluate Extension instead of a researcher or as a classroom teacher. And so, maybe a little bit of a foot print in the whole education system of the university. But, no I am giving back at this time. It won't go on forever, there's going to be other things.

But I think the other thing is that my family is very important to me and within the means that you can doing the things that you do as a family and being supportive of my wife who is the most gracious person and the people from both of my sons and their families, my grandchildren. It's not going to be long until those young people that are my grandchildren now are going to be in college, out on their own, so it's something great to look forward to. So that's kind of where I am today.

EU: Are there other things I should have asked you about with your career or anything we missed?

DJ: I really don't know. We have talked about a lot of things, a lot of highlights, but this has been a very enjoyable experience with you, and I hope that I can make a small contribution to the history of the Extension Service as this project is trying to accomplish.

EU: The insights and overview you've given me have been amazing for me. Thank you very much.

DJ: Well, thank you very much for asking me.



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