Walt & Florence Jaeger

Walt Jaeger was a leader in agriculture and a leader in his community all of his life. As a youth, he was actively involved in 4-H for 12 years, showing top grade animals in local, state and regional competitions. For his efforts, he was awarded a $300 scholarship at the national level in 1931. He used this money to attend Oregon State College in Corvallis.

Florence Jaeger, originally from Grandview, Washington, grew up in a very strong 4-H area of Yakima County. She joined 4-H at age 10 and raised animals: beef, sheep and swine. She was a 4-H Member for 10 years.

Both Walt and Florence, competed in local and state livestock shows, but it wasn't until 1926 when they met at the Pacific International Livestock Exposition that they competed against each other for grand champion steer. Florence won out at that first showing, but 4 years later they again met in the final show ring and Walt came away with the grand champion.

Walt moved to Gilliam County in 1932 and purchased a wheat ranch in 1939. Sixteen years after first meeting, Walt and Florence were married. Walt's leadership in the community showed from the beginning. He led a 4-H livestock club in the early 30s. In the 1940s, he was active in the Gilliam County 4-H Leaders' Association serving on the Ag, Beef and Lamb Committees. He served various organizations including the Columbia Basin Electric Cooperative for 32 years, the Gilliam Soil and Water Conservation District Board for 14 years and was active in the Mason's and Eastern Star. In 1958, Walt was selected as the Gilliam County Conservation Farmer of the Year.

Florence was active when the organization of the Gilliam County 4-H Leaders' Association took place. She helped with the incorporation and by-laws of the association and served as president. She was a cooking and clothing 4-H Leader. Florence was active in getting a Home Economics Agent in Gilliam County. She was a member of the Gilliam County Homemakers Council and Homemakers for over 30 years including serving as chairperson two different times. She also served on the Gilliam County Extension Advisory Council. Florence loved flowers and was superintendent of the flower department at the Gilliam County Fair for over 25 years. Florence joined Eastern Star in 1943 and was the State Worthy Grand Matron in 1963.

Florence passed away in 1992. She always wanted to learn and was signed up for a microwave oven class, but was not able to attend. Walt missed Florence so very much and in 1995, he passed away. At that time, the wheat ranch was sold and part of the proceeds were donated to the Oregon 4-H Foundation to create an endowment fund to benefit Gilliam County 4-H Members. Full scholarships are awarded to all 4-H Members from Gilliam County wishing to participate in the Oregon State University Summer Conference held on the Corvallis campus in June. The fund has earned sufficient proceeds in the years, since it was set up, to support other enrichment programs within Gilliam County.

Since the fund was started in July 2007, over $100,000 has been used to support 4-H Members attending Summer Conference and other programs in Gilliam County such as the Make & Share Day, Recognition Night, Countywide and Club field trips, horse workshops, Fiber Arts Day and Teen Leadership Retreats. In addition to the county enrichment programs, members have attended many regional workshops increasing their knowledge of their projects and their leadership skills. Leaders have also been assisted in attending the Oregon Leaders' Forums and Regional Leaders' Forums enabling them to bring back skills to share with 4-H Members and other leaders.

Without the generous support of the Walt & Florence Jaeger Endowment Fund, Gilliam County 4-H Members would not be able to experience the great programs available to them at the local, regional, state and national levels. Walt and Florence met through 4-H and with this endowment they are giving back to 4-H some of the benefits they received many years ago.

Scholarship Applications

Jaeger Fund Scholarship Application - Fillable or Printable - Use this form to request scholarship funds to attend a retreat, camp, etc.

Club Resources

Jaeger Fund Application - Fillable or Printable - Use this form to request Jaeger Funds for your club use.