G. Burton Wood

G. Burton Wood Oral History Interview (1 of 2)

G. Burton Wood, May 1979

G. Burton Wood (December 26, 1909 - September 8, 1990)

Gregory Burton Wood was born in Medford, Oregon to James and Jessie Wood. Wood lost his father at the very early age of six and, once his mother remarried in the 1920s, his family relocated to Corvallis. He finished his high school education in Portland, because his stepfather found improved opportunities for employment in the metropolitan area.

Wood's first association with Oregon Agricultural College came by way of his employment as a janitor, where he earned thirty cents an hour. Later, Wood took advantage of a unique opportunity to serve as chauffeur to the president of OAC, William Jasper Kerr. Though for a time he studied as an undergraduate at OAC, Wood completed his bachelor's degree in Business Administration at the University of Oregon. He followed that up with a master's degree from Oregon State College in Agricultural Economics (1940) and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin. 

His doctorate in hand, Wood returned to Corvallis where he worked as a faculty member in the Department of Agricultural Economics from 1951 to 1966. Wood then became the Director of the OSU Agricultural Experiment Station, where he remained until his retirement in 1975. Wood also contributed to the world of agricultural economics outside of OSU, serving as a senior economist for the US Department of Agriculture during the Nixon administration.