OSU College of Ag Sciences honors three Gilliam County residents

October 27, 2006

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Margaret (Alma) Campbell and Bill Jaeger, both of Condon, and Don Childs, now of The Dalles, are among the 26 men and women to be honored as 2006 Diamond Pioneers by the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences.

The 2006 class will be added to the college’s Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Achievement Registry at a luncheon Thursday, Oct. 26, at the OSU Alumni Center. Thayne Dutson, dean of the college, will host the luncheon.

The registry began 23 years ago when the college observed its 75th anniversary as a way of honoring those 75 and older for achievements not only in agriculture, but also as leaders in agricultural organizations and their communities.

Margaret Campbell was born and raised in Lonerock where she still operates a livestock ranch in the Lonerock Valley. She and her late husband, Pete Campbell, developed an outstanding herd of black Angus cattle while adopting many conservation practices. They followed a rotational grazing plan and fenced their summer pastures to avoid overgrazing.

Campbell participated in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Environmental Quality Incentive Program, using funds for such practices as juniper eradication, timber reseeding and stock ponds. In 2005, she was a participant in the Urban Wildlife Thinning Program for fire reduction.

She also participates in the Lonerock Watershed Working Group and represents it on the Gilliam-East John Day Watershed Council. She has been a long time member of both the Oregon and Gilliam County cattlemen’s associations.

Bill Jaeger was raised on the ranch he operated for many years, near Condon, following the conservation ethic instilled by his father, Arthur Jaeger. The Jaeger farm has been the site of many demonstrations of erosion control by the Soil Conservation Service and the OSU Extension Service.

Their farm was selected as a conservation demonstration farm in 1943, with Bill Jaeger and his brother carrying out many of the practices under the watchful eye of their father.

Jaeger was a Gilliam County 4-H member and won a national 4-H contest in soil conservation. After attending OSU, Jaeger returned to farming, taking over operation of the farm when his father retired. Bill’s son now operates the family place.

Active in the Oregon Wheat League since the 1950s, Jaeger served as president in 1973. He is a past president of the Oregon State Ag Research Advisory Committee, and a past member of the Oregon Wheat Commission. Among other community activities, he is a past director of the Bank of Eastern Oregon and serves on the board of the Columbia Basin Electric Coop. He is also an active member of the Gilliam County Historical Society.

Although Don Childs now lives in The Dalles, his activities have centered on Gilliam County, where he farmed on the family homestead near Arlington. He has been particularly active in water conservation matters, earning Conservation Farmer of the Year honors for Gilliam County in 1954 and 1964.

Childs helped establish science-based energy and water usage requirements for agricultural water users. On his farm, he utilized a basin tillage system to control runoff and miniature pilings to stabilize stream bank erosion. He cooperated with the Soil Conservation Service and the OSU Extension Service on numerous demonstration projects.

He served on the Gilliam County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Committee for six years and was a co-founder of the Rock Creek Water Control District. He served on the water committees of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association and the Oregon Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. He was a member of the ground water advisory committee of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Oregon Tactical Water Planning Group.

Child’s other activities include service as chair of the Gilliam County School Reorganization Committee, serving as a director of the Bank of Eastern Oregon and the Mid-Columbia Medical Center Foundation and work as a commissioner of the Port of Arlington from 1970 to 1979.

Others to be honored are Myron S. and S. Jane Harper, Brooks; Ian Tinsley, Harry Nakaue, Allan Deutsch, John R. Dalvis, and Floyd Bolton, Corvallis; W. James Clawson, Dallas; Edwin (Tad) H. Miller, Jr., Louis Carlson, and Betty Graves Carlson, Heppner; Donald Rydrych and Harry Schuening, Helix; DeLane Fry, Hillsboro; Rita Sawyers, Hood River; Don Logan, North Plains; Ben Holdman, Pendleton; Vernon Hulit and Ray McNeilan, Portland; Don Kruse, Roseburg; David Childs, The Dalles; Allan Pinkerton, Surprise, AZ, and Pendleton; Edmund Zottola, Cook, Minnesota, formerly of Grants Pass; and the late Ernest J. Briskey, Waunakee, Wisconsin.

Author: Len Calvert
Source: Loretta Austin