Skip to main content

Learn more about where you can get a COVID-19 vaccination and sign up today!

×

OSU Welcome Events

View More OSU Welcome Events

Oregon State was founded more than 150 years ago as a land grant institution, building on the idea that everybody deserves access to an education that transforms their lives. Yours could be next.

Adapting to today’s challenges, we continue to deliver innovative, high-quality courses and programs. We put the safety and success of our community as our top priority. As Oregon’s largest university, we draw people from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Our mission is constantly evolving to serve all learners.

The Right Path for You

With campuses in Corvallis and Bend, centers in Newport and Portland, Extension offices in every county and one of the best online degree programs in the world, Oregon State University offers more pathways to a high-quality education than any other university in the state. We are meeting students where they are so everyone can achieve their goals.

Our Stories

Oregon's Best Research University

With over 200+ academic degree programs Oregon State has a path to the career you always wanted. Find your major.

#2 Forestry
in the World

#3 Oceanography
in the World

#4 Best Online Bachelor’s
Degrees in the U.S.

#3 Human Development
and Family Studies
in the U.S.

Gold Rating for
Bike Friendliness

#2 Friendliest College Town
in America

Oregon State University Skip to main content

Learn more about where you can get a COVID-19 vaccination and sign up today!

×

OSU Welcome Events

View More OSU Welcome Events

Oregon State was founded more than 150 years ago as a land grant institution, building on the idea that everybody deserves access to an education that transforms their lives. Yours could be next.

Adapting to today’s challenges, we continue to deliver innovative, high-quality courses and programs. We put the safety and success of our community as our top priority. As Oregon’s largest university, we draw people from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Our mission is constantly evolving to serve all learners.

The Right Path for You

With campuses in Corvallis and Bend, centers in Newport and Portland, Extension offices in every county and one of the best online degree programs in the world, Oregon State University offers more pathways to a high-quality education than any other university in the state. We are meeting students where they are so everyone can achieve their goals.

Our Stories

Oregon's Best Research University

With over 200+ academic degree programs Oregon State has a path to the career you always wanted. Find your major.

#2 Forestry
in the World

#3 Oceanography
in the World

#4 Best Online Bachelor’s
Degrees in the U.S.

#3 Human Development
and Family Studies
in the U.S.

Gold Rating for
Bike Friendliness

#2 Friendliest College Town
in America

Banner Image. One Hundred Years of Extension
Search Items
Back to Exhibits List

Of Value to the People

The farms in Oregon are organized under extreme variation of climatic and soil conditions. Some farmers operate below high tide protected by dikes and tide gates. Others operate in valleys cut in between higher hills more than a mile above the sea. Some Oregon farm lands are watered by more than 60 inches of rainfall in a year, while others are successfully cropped under only 13 inches without irrigation; and with irrigation under seven inches. Snow falls but once in five years on the average in some farming regions, good old-fashioned New England winters occur nearly every year in others. A result is that practically every farm crop adapted to the north temperate zone can be grown in commercial volume in Oregon under some of these conditions of elevation, climate and soil.

   —Frank Ballard, The Oregon State University Federal Cooperative Extension Service: 1911-1961

F. L. Ballard, County Agent inspects field of alfalfa
F. L. Ballard, County Agent, inspects a field of alfalfa, circa 1922.

Agriculture has been at the core of the Extension Service program since its establishment. Agricultural Experiment stations were established throughout the nation following the passage of the Hatch Act of 1887.  The research conducted at these stations resulted in an outstanding collection of new scientific information which had the potential to add tremendously to the incomes from farming if used.  However, without agents in the field to distribute the knowledge gained from their research, the stations had little impact on state agriculture beyond the scientific bulletins, which were too technical and not widely read by farmers. 

Extension Pathologist
Extension pathologist working in his laboratory, Jackson County.

The availability and familiarity of new machinery and farm technology was also an issue for early Oregon farmers. Extension agents helped to organize co-ops and testing associations to assist large groups of farmers to have access to tools and supplies necessary to improve their product. The testing of cows for butter-fat, for example, was necessary to produce higher grade dairy products; however, few in the state had access to testing associations in 1912. In the first ten years of the state Extension Service, the number was increased from 82 to 452 cow-testing associations with the assistance of county agents.

George Hyslop, 1919
George Hyslop certifying oats, circa 1919.