The OSU Extension Service has been in existence since September, 1911, when the first Oregon Director of Extension was appointed. The first Extension Agent, Luther Chapin, was appointed in Marion County on September 7, 1912. Financing on the first agent was entirely from commercial sources raised through the local Chamber of Commerce. While no state funds were used, the county agent had close connections with the college, using experiment station results as the basis of his demonstration program and calling upon college specialists for assistance.
An outgrowth of federal legislation including the 1862 Morrill Act, the Hatch Act of 1887 and the 1914 Smith-Lever Act, the partnership and cooperation with Oregon counties enables OSU Extension Service to be the “Front door to OSU”.
In Marion County, the Extension Service functions as an integral department within the framework of the county. Faculty housed in this office, in surrounding counties and at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora deliver educational programs to Marion County citizens in several key areas:
Commercial Agriculture (large and small farms)
Community Horticulture (including Master Gardeners)
4-H Youth Development
Forestry and Natural Resources (including Master Woodland Managers)
Family and Community Health (including Master Food Preservers, Family Community Educators, Food and Nutrition Education, Physical Activity and Family Finance)
OSU places Extension faculty in counties in support of these program areas and also supports additional staff through special grant funded initiatives.