The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Eighty Years of Starker Forests, Inc.

An interview with Gary Blanchard, Bond Starker and Anna (Starker) May, conducted by Mike Dicianna.

August 29, 2016


“Starker Forests through the Generations”  August 29, 2016  Location: Starker Forests, Inc. headquarters, Corvallis, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Bond Starker, Anna May, and Gary Blanchard all discuss their involvement with Starker Forests, Inc. and Oregon State University. Throughout the interview, each individual also shares their memories of T.J. Starker and Bruce Starker, and comments on the impact that both men made on the company that bears their name.

The session begins with brief biographical sketches of each narrator, followed by memories of high school and college. Of particular note are multiple comparisons of OSU Forestry education between generations, as well as observations on changes in the culture of the Oregon State campus and community. Topics of specific interest include OSU during the Vietnam War-era; class sessions in Moreland Hall and Peavy Hall; fieldwork during different time periods; and Anna May's experiences as a woman in Forestry.

From there, Bond Starker and Gary Blanchard provide their perspective on the growth of Starker Forests, Inc. over time, noting some of the innovations and business practices that T.J. Starker and Bruce Starker implemented to help make the company a success. All three narrators also share their points of view on keys to the continued health of the company in the years to come. Bond Starker then responds to questions about the major challenges that he has faced as Chief Executive of the company, and each interviewee adds their thoughts on contemporary practices utilized today by Starker Forests.

As it nears its conclusion, the interview shifts focus to the Starker family's community outreach and involvement over the years, as well as its continuing investment in the OSU College of Forestry. The session winds up with notes on each narrator's life away from work.