OSU to honor Halsey area grower


CORVALLIS - George VanLeeuwen, a Halsey area grass seed producer, is among the 28 men and women who will be honored as 1998 Diamond Pioneers Oct. 27 by the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences.

The 1998 "pioneers" will be honored during a luncheon hosted by Thayne Dutson, dean of the college. The Diamond Pioneer Registry recognizes contributions to agriculture and natural resources by those 75 and older. It began when the college observed its 75th anniversary.

VanLeeuwen, an OSU graduate, his wife, Oregon Rep. Liz VanLeeuwen, and their son, James, operate the family farm, which includes a seed cleaning and processing plant.

Before starting his farming career, VanLeeuwen served as a loan officer with the Salem-based Willamette Production Credit Association, and later on its board of directors. During his more than 40 years of farming, VanLeeuwen has worked closely with OSU Extension agents, specialists and agricultural scientists in developing new varieties and dedicating part of his farm to tests of experimental varieties.