The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Russ Youmans Oral History Interview. May 7, 2015

Russ Youmans Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

May 7, 2015

Location:  Youmans residence, Corvallis, Oregon.

Russ Youmans (b. 1936) joined the OSU faculty in 1966 as a researcher and Extension liaison operating out of the Agricultural Economics department. From 1977 to his retirement in 1999, Youmans headed the Western Regional Development Center (WRDC), a federally funded organization based at OSU and charged with linking land grant universities with local policymakers to more effectively address issues of socio-economic development in rural communities. As director, Youmans oversaw a wide swath of activities focusing on, among other issues, health care, economic progress, and leadership education in rural areas all across the western United States. His interview recounts his own rural upbringing and education in agricultural economics; the creation and mission of the WRDC; and the many activities with which he was involved as center director.