OSU college of ag sciences to honor five Umatilla county 'pioneers'

October 21, 2004

CORVALLIS – Five Umatilla County residents, Maurice and Donna Johns of Athena, Gerald Terjeson of Helix and Donald D. H. Hawkins and Stan Timmermann, both of Pendleton, are among the 31 men and women to be honored as 2004 Diamond Pioneers by the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences.

Dean Thayne Dutson will welcome the 21st class to the college's Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Achievement Registry during a luncheon Thursday, Oct. 21, at the OSU Alumni Center in Corvallis. Speaker will be former State Rep. Tony Van Vliet of Corvallis.

The registry started when the college observed its 75th anniversary as a way of recognizing the agricultural and community achievements of those 75 and older.

Maurice and Donna Johns have worked as partners in their farming operation for more than 50 years. Maurice Johns was cited for working closely with the OSU Extension Service, Agricultural Research Service and local agricultural suppliers to develop the latest technology through experimental plots.

Over the years, the Johns' have grown numerous crops. In 1966, Maurice drilled one of the first wells in the Athena area to help produce different crops with more reliability. Donna is a former Athena First Citizen of the Year for her work with health and senior citizen programs. Both continue to be active.

Gerald Terjeson has farmed for more than 50 years, working first with his father. He was a partner in the Juniper T Cattle Ranch for 18 years. Today, he farms with his son, Jerry, in Juniper Canyon west of Helix.

Terjeson bought the first self-propelled combine in the area. Each year, he and his son host the Juniper Open, a golf tournament in their cow pasture. The elder Terjeson has long been an active member of the community, helping build the Helix Community Pool land then building the Juniper Canyon Satellite Fire Station and donating it to the Helix Rural Fire District. He is past officer of Pendleton Grain Growers.

Donald Hawkins, this year's grand marshall of the Pendleton Round-Up's Westward Ho! parade, is a partner in Hawkins Company that farms more than 12,000 acres of owned and leased land. He has been actively involved with Round-Up for more than 50 years and is a past member of the Round-Up board and a past president of Happy Canyon. In 1995, he and his brothers, Bob and Wray, were elected to the Round-Up Hall of Fame.

In addition to his farming work, Hawkins has served on both the Helix and Pendleton school boards and on the boards of the Federal Land Bank and Pendleton Banking Co. A life member of the Oregon Wheat Growers League, Hawkins served 14 years on the board of Pendleton Grain Growers.

Stan Timmermann has been a leader in the wheat industry while winning recognition for his conservation farming practices over the past 50 years. He is a past president of the Oregon Wheat Growers League and a past chair of the Oregon Wheat Commission. On the national scene, he is a past chair of the U.S. Wheat Associates and Wheat Export Trade Education Committee. He also helped develop overseas markets for U.S. wheat.

Timmermann was named outstanding soil and water conservation district cooperator in the state in 1983 and then in 1986 was named Conservation Farmer of the Year by the Oregon Wheat Growers League. In 1987, he was a finalist in the National Endowment for Soil and Water Conservation awards program. He serves on the board of Oregon Growth Account, a venture capital group distributing Oregon Lottery monies for economic development.

Others to be honored include Jack Kalina, Albany; Beryl Elmore, Applegate; Howard Mader, Aumsville; Gerda Hyde, Chiloquin; Lynn Cannon, Coquille; Rodney Frakes, Norman Goetze, Roy Hathaway and Harry Mack, Corvallis.

Gordon Stanley, Eagle Point; Morris Culver, Eugene; Bob and Suzanne Jepsen, Merlyn Robinson and Shirley Rugg, Heppner; Arnold "Dale" Scheller, Hillsboro; David Burkhart, Hood River; Frank Fobert, Hubbard; Delores Scott, Jordan Valley; Alan Withers, Paisley; Robert and Virginia Vogel, Talent; Virgil Ellett, The Dalles; Donald Michael, West Linn; Royal Brooks, Wilsonville; and Cecil Pierce, Fallon, Nevada.

Author: Len Calvert
Source: Loretta Mason