Kerr expands agricultural sciences research, education, and extension


Both Oregon Agricultural College and the Agricultural Experiment Station grew considerably under William Jasper Kerr’s dual role as Station director (1907) and college president (1907–1932). He expanded the number of academic departments, largely funded by the Experiment Station, including establishing the nation’s first horticultural products program in 1919 (which later became Food Science and Technology).

Kerr and others realized that the success of the Experiment Station would require more outreach to farming communities and families. The Station had already established the first link with farmers’ institutes and demonstration trains. Kerr supported this growing program of statewide, off-campus education. In 1911, the Oregon Extension Service was established, and the first county-based Extension agents began work in Marion and Wallowa counties.  Today there are OSU Extension programs in every county in the state.

Media Image: 
Lenora and William Jasper Kerr
Caption Text: 
Lenora and William Jasper Kerr. (Photo courtesy of OSU Special Collections & Archives.)