OSU awards two endowments to agriculture researchers

July 25, 2003

CORVALLIS - Oregon State University's Department of Crop and Soil Science has awarded endowed professorships to two of its most accomplished faculty members.

Steve Knapp was awarded the Paul C. Berger Professorship, which recognizes work on new or alternative crops and on graduate training. Knapp's research involves discovering ways to genetically engineer oil seed plants to make them produce more oil for use in everything from cosmetics to detergents. Creating these new crops means new opportunities for growers and consumers.

Mark Mellbye, OSU Extension agronomist in Linn, Benton and Lane counties, was awarded the George R. Hyslop Professorship, which recognizes research, extension and teaching activities related to the grass seed industry. Mellbye researches seed crops and conducts educational programs for farmers and agri-business representatives throughout the southern Willamette Valley.

Both of the endowed professorships were established in 1997, and are assigned for a five-year period. Although relatively new, both endowments have historical ties to OSU.

Paul C. Berger, a graduate of Oregon Agricultural College in the 1950s, recalled the assistance that his father had received from OAC's Department of Farm Crops during the 1930s. He established the endowment with those memories and the belief that new and alternate crop development and graduate student training are the keys to a successful agricultural future in Oregon.

George Hyslop was first to head the Department of Farm Crops at Oregon Agricultural College back in the early 1900s, and was one of the first to recognize Oregon's potential for producing seed crops.

Author: Peg Herring
Source: Russ Karow