Guide to the Oregon State University Extension Service Faculty and Staff Oral History Collection

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Oregon State University. University Archives.
Title: Oregon State University Extension Service Faculty and Staff Oral History Collection
Dates: 2007-2009 ( inclusive )
2007-2008 ( bulk )
Quantity: 0.03 cubic foot (1 box)
108 sound files, 54 image files, and 87 document files (10.8 Gbytes)
Collection Number: OH 14
Summary: The Oregon State University Extension Service Faculty and Staff Oral History Collection consists of digital recordings of oral history interviews with retired and emeritus Extension Service faculty and staff, transcripts, photographs, and related documentation. These oral histories document the programs and activities of the Extension Service in Oregon from the 1940s through the 1990s.
Repository: Oregon State University Libraries
University Archives

121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-4501
Phone: 541-737-2165

Languages: Materials in English. 

Biographical Note

Roberta C. Frasier was appointed Family Life Specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service in 1959, a position she held until her retirement in 1974. She trained Extension and 4-H educators and project leaders on a variety of topics pertaining to families, child development, aging, and communications within families; developed curriculum; and wrote guides and publications. In 1972, she married Peter Rictor Anderson and began using the name Roberta Frasier Anderson.

Leonard J. Calvert was first appointed as the Information Specialist for the Extension Service in 1961. From 1965 to 1969, he worked for the Economic Opportunity Program at the University of Oregon. He returned to the Extension Service in 1969 and was responsible for news releases and for writing and overseeing the completion of several publications. Calvert retired in 1995.

W. Dean Frischknecht was hired by the Extension Service in 1956 as a Livestock Specialist; he worked with the livestock industry of Oregon, focusing on beef cattle improvement. Frishknecht retired in 1985.

N. John Hansen began his work for the Extension Service in 1943 in Linn County with responsiblity for the county's 4-H program. From 1949 until 1972, he was Staff Chair in Polk County. Hansen served as an area water resource specialist in Salem for 18 months prior to his retirement at the end of 1973.

Robert W. Jacobson joined the Extension Service in 1967 as a Marine Extension Agent, a position he held until his retirement in 1995. He relocated to Newport, Oregon, in 1968 when the Marine Science Extension Center opened and remained in Newport through the establishment and expansion of marine extension services through Oregon Sea Grant.

Duane Johnson began his Oregon State career as the Extension Agent for Multnomah County and held various positions until his retirement in 2000, including Specialist with the animal science and horticulture programs, 4-H Youth Development Specialist, Assistant Director for state 4-H program, and State 4-H Leader.

Alberta Johnston joined the Oregon Extension Service as a Home Management Specialist in 1963; in addition to home economics, she was active in consumer education and finances. Johnston served as the Extension Area Supervisor for Northwestern Oregon, Assistant Director for County Programs, Associate Director, and Deputy Director of the Extension Service before her retirement in 1990.

Harold Kerr began working for the Extension Service in Crook County as a County Extension Agent in 1960, working primarily with the 4-H program. After a two-year leave to attend graduate school, he worked as an agent and staff chair in Morrow County. Kerr transferred to Wasco County in 1980 and in 1982 relocated to the Corvallis to become the Associate Director for Extension Services. He retired in 1990; Kerr passed away on October 16, 2009.

Glenn Klein joined the Extension Service in 1953 as Jackson County 4-H Extension Agent. From 1960 to 1968, Klein was State 4-H Specialist and in 1968-1982 was Leadership Development Specialist. Klein retired from his Extension Service appointment in 1982.

Linda Modrell worked in Extension Service administration from the early 1960s through the 1980s, beginning as a secretary and becoming Business Services Manager for the Extension Service. During the 1990s, she worked on health policy, most notably on the team that developed Oregon's Health Plan. Modrell was elected Benton County (Oregon) Commissioner in 1999 and re-elected in 2002 and 2006.

Owen D. Osborne began his career as an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Oregon State University in 1971; through his research and work with the federal and state legislatures, he helped start the Energy Extension program in Oregon. In 1977, he became the part-time Information Coordinator for the newly established Energy Extension Program and was full-time by 1978. Osborne left Oregon State from 1982 to 1990, when he returned as Associate Director of Programs for the Extension Service, a position he held until his retirement in 1998.

Jack Ross joined the Oregon State Extension Service as an Extension Seed Certification Specialist after graduating from Oregon State College in 1951. In 1952, he became the Jefferson County Extension Agent and held several positions with the Extension Service until his retirement in 1975, including Farm Crops Specialist, Area Supervistor, Community Development Specialist, and Assistant Director.

Jane Foster Schroeder served as a County Extension Agent, specializing in home economics, in Wasco, Jefferson, and Deschutes Counties in central Oregon from 1952 until her retirement in 1980.

Walter G. Schroeder began his Extension Service career in 1949 as Agriculture Agent in Coos County. He later worked at the Lane County Extension office in Florence until the office closed in 1962, at which time he transferred to Corvallis and became an Extension Agent-at-Large developing 4-H campus and training of future extension agents. Schroeder transferred to Washington County in 1956 and to Curry County in 1967. He became Curry County staff chair in 1977, a poisition he held until his retirement in 1983.

Gregory Tillson began his Extension Service career as an Extension Agent-At-Large in Bend in 1970. In 1972 he transferred to Marion County to work in community development and land use planning efforts for Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties. Tillson became state coordinator of the Family Community Leadership Project, funded bey the Kellogg Foundation, in 1981 and was appointed Extension Volunteer Management Specialist in 1987. Tillson retired in 2004.

Thomas G. Zinn joined the Extension Service in 1962 as a County Extension Agent for Columbia County and was transferred to Gilliam County in 1965. After a leave of absence to work as a Wheat Specialist in Ankara, Turkey, and complete his graduate degree in ceral production, Zinn served as an Extension Agent in Wasco County focusing on livestock and crops. He moved to Corvallis in 1980 to become a supervisor and, later, Associate Director. Zinn retired from the Extension Service in 1993.

Content Description

The Oregon State University Extension Service Faculty and Staff Oral History Collection documents oral history interviews of retired and emeritus Extension Service faculty and staff that were coordinated by the Oregon State University Archives in collaboration with the Extension Service. The collection includes digital sound recordings, transcripts of nine interviews in electronic form, interview questions, signed releases, biographical and background information, digital photographs, and related documentation and correspondence. All of the interviews were conducted in 2007-2008 with the exception of the interview of Linda Modrell, which was done in June 2009.

Interviews of the following 16 individuals are included in the collection: Roberta Frasier Anderson, Len Calvert, Dean Frischknecht, John Hansen, Bob Jacobson, Duane Johnson, Alberta Johnston, Harold Kerr, Glenn Klein, Linda Modrell, Owen Osborn, Jack Ross, Jane Schroeder, Walt Schroeder, Greg Tillson, and Tom Zinn. Harold Kerr and Tom Zinn were interviewed together.

The interviews address a variety of topics pertaining to the full range of extension programs in home economics, marine resources, energy, and agriculture as well as 4-H youth programs and extension communications. The interviewees describe their 4-H experiences as children and youth, education, and professional activities leading them to extension work.

The digital sound recordings will be made available to patrons upon request. The sound recordings are in *.wma and *.mp3 formats. Each interview consists of multiple sound files.

Transcripts are available in electronic form for nine of the interviews: Roberta Frasier Anderson, Len Calvert, Dean Frischknecht, Bob Jacobsen, Duane Johnson, Alberta Johnston, Owen Osborn, Walt Schroeder, and Harold Kerr and Tom Zinn. Questions for the interview with Linda Modrell are also part of the collection.

The collection includes digital photographs depicting all of the subjects at the time the interviews were conducted.

The interviews were conducted by Elizabeth Uhlig.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation :  

Oregon State University Extension Service Faculty and Staff Oral History Collection (OH 14), Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Processing Note :  

This collection is not fully processed; this guide is preliminary.

Future Additions :  

Additions to the collection are expected.

Related Materials :  

Oral histories of other Extension Service faculty are part of the College of Home Economics Oral Histories (OH 11) [Esther Taskerud] and the Oregon Emergency Farm Labor Service Oral History Collection (OH 08) [O.E. Mikesell]. The Extension Service Records (RG 111) provide extensive documentation of the extension administration and programs; images of extension programs and staff are part of the Extension and Experiment Station Communications Photographs (P 120), Extension Bulletin Illustrations Photograph Collection (P 020), Extension Service Photographs (P 062), and other collections. Photos of some of the interviewees are available online in the Best of the Archives digital collection. The Archives' collections include the records of several Extension organizations and the papers of many Extension faculty and administrators, including the Roberta Frasier Anderson Papers. A DVD featuring moving images and still photographs of a 1959 wagon trek of Jackson County 4-H members that was organized by 4-H agent, Glenn Klein, is part of the 4-H Moving Images Collection (FV P 146).


    • Corporate Names :
    • Oregon State College. Federal Cooperative Extension Service.
    • Oregon State University. Extension Service.
    • Subject Terms :
    • 4-H clubs--Oregon.
    • Agricultural extension workers--Oregon.
    • Agricultural extension work--Oregon.
    • Agriculture--Oregon.
    • Home economics extension workers--Oregon.
    • Home economics extension work--Oregon.
    • Rural development--Oregon.
    • Rural extension--Oregon.
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Digital photographs.
    • Oral histories (document genres)
      • Other Creators :
      • Calvert, Leonard.  ( interviewee)
      • Frasier, Roberta C.  ( interviewee)
      • Frischknecht, W. Dean.  ( interviewee)
      • Hansen, N. John (Niels John), 1918-  ( interviewee)
      • Jacobson, Robert W. (Robert Warren)  ( interviewee)
      • Johnson, Duane P.  ( interviewee)
      • Johnston, Alberta B.  ( interviewee)
      • Kerr, Harold (Harold Edward), 1935-  ( interviewee)
      • Klein, Glenn A.  ( interviewee)
      • Modrell, Linda.  ( interviewee)
      • Osborne, Owen D.  ( interviewee)
      • Ross, Jackson Weaver, 1920-  ( interviewee)
      • Schroeder, Jane F. (Jane Foster)  ( interviewee)
      • Schroeder, Walt.  ( interviewee)
      • Tillson, Gregory D.  ( interviewee)
      • Uhlig, Elizabeth M.
      • Zinn, Thomas G.  ( interviewee)
      • Oregon State University. Extension Service.

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