OSU College of Agricultural Sciences to honor Lane Co. resident

October 14, 2005

CORVALLIS - Duane Hatch, of Eugene, is still educating people about gardening and caring for plants after more than nearly 50 years. He started as a horticulture agent for the Lane County office of the Oregon State University Extension Service in 1959, working with both commercial growers and home gardeners.

Hatch is one of 32 men and women who will be honored as 2005 Diamond Pioneers by the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences Thursday, Oct. 20, at a luncheon hosted by Dean Thayne Dutson. Guest speaker will be Tammy Bray, dean of the OSU College of Health and Human Sciences.

The 2005 group will be added to the college’s Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Achievement Registry honoring the achievements of those 75 and older. The registry started 22 years ago when the college observed its 75th anniversary.

Hatch served in the Lane County office from 1959 until 1982, when he resigned to accept a similar position with the Utah State University Extension Service in Salt Lake City. He returned to Eugene after retiring from the Utah State in 1989.

As an Extension agent, Hatch worked with commercial growers of small fruits, tree fruits, nuts and vegetables. By using moisture blocks in fields to measure the need for water on the basis of soil and crop needs, Hatch demonstrated that most growers were over-irrigating.

In 1965, Hatch planted his first demonstration garden in a public location, a practice he continues to this day. He was the first state coordinator of the volunteer Master Gardener program.

Hatch is still teaching on his popular “Hatch Patch” radio program and at the “Hatch Patch” planted each year at the Lane County Fair to show various gardening techniques.

Ross Penhallegon, the current OSU Lane County horticulturist nominated Hatch to the register.

Others to be honored include Helen Hays and Edwin Rohner, Albany; Dan Warnock, Baker City; John Rosebrook, Beavercreek; Virgil Montecucco, Canby; Dalton Straus, Central Point; Emmett Pryor, Condon; Earl Bates, David Chilcote, JoAnn Hathaway, Richard Morita, and Clarence Venell, Corvallis; Ken Wulff, Enterprise; Martha Jane Spratling, Haines; W. Arden Sheets and Connie Sheets, Hillsboro; Mack Birkmaier, Joseph; Donald Sands, La Grande; Glen Christensen, McMinnville; Porter Lombard, Medford; Murray Fretz, Mosier; Mathias Kolding, Pendleton; William Domes, Rickreall; Kenneth Bare and LaBrie Ritchie, Roseburg; Bill Dolan, St. Paul; Genevieve Lindsay and R. Grant Lindsay, Shedd; Paul Dickman, Silverton; William Sandine, Temecula, CA; and Charles Stanger, Jr., Boise, ID.

Author: Len Calvert
Source: Loretta Austin