OSU College of Ag Sciences Honors Wasco County Couple

October 19, 2007

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Art and Marjorie Van Gilder, originally from Wasco and now living in The Dalles, were honored as 2007 Diamond Pioneers by the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences on October 17 in Corvallis.

They are two of the 38 men and women who will be added to the college’s Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Achievement Registry at a luncheon hosted by Dean of Agriculture Thayne Dutson. They were nominated for the award by Sandy Macnab, OSU Extension agent in Sherman County.

The registry, now in its 24th year, honors those 74 and older for their achievements in agriculture and related fields and for their contributions to their communities.

Marjorie Van Gilder was cited particularly for her work with the Oregon horse industry, She purchased her first Arabian in 1949, the start of one of the oldest breeding programs in the Pacific Northwest. Van Gilder Arabians is one of the few programs claiming success in both the show ring and the racetrack. She was honored by the Arabian Horse Breeders of Oregon for being the only one to show for 41 consecutive years, while finishing out of the ribbons only once.

Art Van Gilder, a key part of Van Gilder Arabians, farmed in Sherman County from 1947 until his retirement. He farmed with an eye to the future, earning the title of 1973 Conservation Farmer of the Year for his farming practices. He was one of the earliest to achieve 100 percent adoption of the stubble mulch conservation system. He was also actively involved in the Ten Year Planning Conference, conducted by OSU Extension that helped effectively shape future efforts in many areas.

Their daughter, Dee, is continuing the family tradition with Arabian horses on the family farm in the hills near Wasco.

Others to be honored as 2007 Diamond Pioneers are Thomas Allen, Jr., Larry Boersma, Kenton Chambers, Robert L. Stebbins, Benno Warkentin, J. Lowell Young and Tom Zinn, all of Corvallis; Don Bennett and Doug Bennett, Echo; Henry Turk, Grants Pass; John Leffel, Hillsboro.

W. L. Andersen, Independence; Doug and Janie Tippett, Joseph; Cleve and Ellie Dumdi, Junction City; Frank King and Eddie Meeker, Klamath Falls; Arleigh Isley, LaGrande; Louise Grothe and Neil (C.J.) Taylor, Lakeview; Don Denman, Medford; Everett Seagoe, Merlin; James D. Wilson, Monmouth.

Tom Uriu, Ontario; Thomas Bedell and Gerne Newcomb, Philomath; William and Donna McCormack, Prineville; Robert Huckfeldt, Redmond; Betty Jo Smith, Shedd; Lawrence Fisher, Sublimity; Bill Bennett, Connell, Washington; Fred Hagelstein, Vancouver, Washington; Ellington Peek, Cottonwood, California; and William Kittredge, Missoula, Montana.

Author: Len Calvert
Source: Loretta Austin