OSU College of Ag Sciences honors two from Brooks

October 27, 2006

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Myron S. Harper has been a leader in the livestock industry. Jane Harper is an author. Both, from Brooks, Oregon, have been involved in helping young people gain a better understanding of their environment.

The Harpers are among the 26 men and women to be honored at 2006 Diamond Pioneers by the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences in Corvallis Thursday, Oct. 26, at a luncheon hosted by Dean Thayne Dutson. They are being added to the college’s Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Achievement Registry that began 23 years ago when the college observed its 75th anniversary. The registry honors the achievements of those 75 and older in agriculture, their communities and the state.

While running a successful livestock operation, Myron Harper found time to serve as president of the Western Oregon Livestock Association and vice president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. He has also been involved in the Turner Lamb Show for 50 years and Border Collie sheep dog trialing for nearly as long.

In 1971, Myron helped start the National Farmers Organization hog collection point in Silverton. Jane Harper served as financial secretary of the operation. In 1982, the Harpers were honored as the Marion County Livestock Family of the Year. Both were long-time Marion County 4-H leaders.

This year, Myron is retiring from the board of directors of the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District after many years of service on the board. Both Harpers have been involved with the SWCD National Soil and Water Envirothon, a competitive outdoor event in which teams of high school students learn more about their environment and natural resources.

In 2005, the couple saw the culmination of years of work in the creation of the SWR Jones private park in honor of Myron’s great grandfather who crossed the plains to the Howell Prairie area in 1853. Both Myron and Jane were involved in the administration of the Pioneer school district. Jane served as the school’s financial clerk for 26 years, ending in 1993. Myron served on the school board for 20 years.

Jane Harper is the author of five books and sold at the State Fair author’s table for 20 years, from 1955 to 1975. Her self-published first book in 1988 told actual stories from life from 1900 to 1940. Her second book was about court life from 1984-1990. A children’s book about raising a bummer lamb came next, followed by “Sheep n’ Dogs,” a history of sheep and Border Collie dogs in the Willamette Valley, and finally “Saga of the Old Weathered Barn,” a collection of Willamette Valley photographs.

The family will continue to be involved in the Turner dog trials as their daughter, Bonnie Henny of Brooks, is manager of the event. The Harpers were nominated for the honor by the OSU Animal Sciences Department and the staff of the Marion County office of the OSU Extension Service.

Others to be honored are Margaret Campbell and Bill Jaeger, Condon; 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 Swyers, 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