The Formation of the Oregon Master Gardener Program:

  • 1862: The Morrill Act created the Land Grant College system. It was signed by Abraham Lincoln to provide education in agriculture

  • 1868: Formerly the Oregon Agricultural College, OSU was established as the designated Land Grant College in Oregon

  • 1914: The Smith Lever Act established the Cooperative Extension Service in order to distribute information developed by land grant colleges and research stations to citizens. It also established a partnership between agricultural colleges and the United States Department of Agriculture to engage in Extension work

  • 1973: David Gibby and Bill Scheer, Extension Agents in King and Pierce Counties in Washington developed the WSU Master Gardener Program

  • 1975: The Oregon Legislature assigned four Extension Agents for a Master Gardener Program to be developed in Oregon after a request was made by the OSU Extension Service

  • 1976: Oregon Master Gardener pilot programs were commenced by Extension Agents Duane Hatch (Eugene, Lane) and Gray Thompson (Oregon City, Clackamas). Training was provided by Extension personnel

  • 1982: At Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, an organizational meeting was held and attended by 85 master gardeners from 10 counties. The purpose of the meeting was to form a statewide association. A motion was made by Ray Davis (Josephine) and seconded by Mabel Lund (Washington) to form a state association. (Voted and agreed)

    The following were elected as the first set of OMGA Officers:

    • President Jeanne Walker (Clackamas)
    • Vice President Ray Davis (Josephine)
    • Secretary Pat Patterson (Lane)
    • Treasurer Cloyd Makinson (Baker)
  • On August 22-25, 1983 the first Gardener’s Mini-College was scheduled and co-sponsored by OSU and the newly formed OMGA. Organized primarily by Jim Green (OSU, Professor of Horticulture), Eric Ross (Linn, Extension), Jeanne Walker (OMGA, President) and Ray NcNeilan (Multnomah, Extension) it was an immediate success. Each year, OSU Master Gardener’s from around the state continue to attend mini-college.

A Brief History of Yamhill County Master Gardener Program:

  • 1986: The first OSU Master Gardener course was taught in Yamhill County. Paul Rauen, full-time Home Horticulture Agent, taught the course until he retired in 1989.

  • 1989-1991: Dona Allison (half-time agent), taught the course, organized the Master Gardeners and published an occasional newsletter.

  • 1991: The Yamhill County Master Gardeners decided it was time to organize an official OMGA chapter. An organizational meeting was held at the home of Cliff and Doris Thayer and YCMGA was born.