Who was George Hyslop?
George Hyslop was one of the two members of the Agronomy Department at Oregon Agriculture College in 1908. Hyslop was in charge of the Farm Crops Division as well as Farm Mechanics. He became head of the Farm Crops Department (now Crop and Soil Science) when it was established in 1916 and served in that role through his death in 1943. George Hyslop devoted much time to the development of the seed industry in Oregon. He started the Oregon Seed Certification program and was active in the development of the program until his death. He has been called the father of both the seed industry and the certification program in Oregon. He first undertook seed certification with potatoes in 1916 to provide seed stock true to variety name and reasonably free of diseases. Two years later, Oregon State Agricultural College started the certification of wheat. Certification of forage crops seed started in 1924, with the certification of a field of Grimm alfalfa. He helped to establish weed control as a science by hiring Linn Harris, the first full-time weed scientist at OSU. He was the second President of the Western Weed Control Conference and also was involved in the creation of the Oregon Wheat League.
The land for Hyslop Farm was acquired by the department in 1929 and later named in honor of Hyslop. Dr. Hyslop’s family and friends have established a large endowment in the OSU Foundation that provides funds for a number of departmental activities including scholarships and a professorship.
Overview of the George Hyslop Professorship
Seed production is an essential component of the genetic delivery system. New favorable genetic combinations are packaged into seed by plant breeders and are multiplied through seed production while maintaining genetic integrity and seed quality. The economic and environmental sustainability of crop and turf production systems depends on the development and delivery of planting stock that maximize field performance, quality, and pest resistance. Oregon’s seed industry – seed growers, seed companies, and the agricultural service companies associated with seed production, has been one of the most important contributors to our nation’s seed-based genetic delivery system.
The Oregon seed industry, with assistance in the form of scientific and technical support from university and federal government scientists, has been particularly adept at crafting solutions to vexing problems. For instance, the industry’s viability was threatened by the incremental reduction of field burning during the early 1990s and many predicted losses in grass seed acreages as a result. Instead, economically viable strategies for residue management were developed and grass seed production acreages in Oregon expanded by more than 200,000 acres.
The continued success of Oregon’s seed industry will be predicated on its ability to recognize new opportunities and to successfully address present and future problems.
Purpose of the Current George Hyslop Professorship
Integrate undergraduate instruction in seed production sciences with research and domestic and international real-world experiences.
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