President Grover Cleveland signed the Hatch Act on March 2, 1887. It provided annual funds for agricultural experiment stations at land-grant colleges in each state and territory. The Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station was created the following year. The first director, Edgar Grimm, an agricultural chemist, was appointed on July 2, 1888.
Oregon Governor Sylvester Pennoyer directed the Board of Regents of the State Agriculture College of the State of Oregon (the state’s land-grant college located in Corvallis, Oregon) to administer the Hatch Act grant of $15,000. The grant boosted the college’s entire budget by 50 percent! Today, the State Agricultural College is Oregon State University. In the beginning, the OAES consisted of a single laboratory and the college farm, 35 acres of land donated by citizens of Benton County, on what today is the lower OSU campus.
The first branch station of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station was opened in 1901 at Union in Eastern Oregon, near La Grande. Today, the Agricultural Experiment Station has research facilities throughout the state, each doing studies tied to the conditions and needs of the area. They are headquartered at Aurora, Hood River, Hermiston, Pendleton, Ontario, Burns, Powell Butte, Madras, Klamath Falls, Medford, Newport, Astoria, and Portland.
Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station
448 Strand Agriculture Hall
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-2212
Oregon Agricultural Hall, 1897
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons