CORVALLIS - Max F. Barlow of Nyssa was recently honored by the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences as a 1998 Diamond Pioneer.
He is one of 28 men and women to be added to the college's Diamond Pioneer Registry for their contributions to agriculture and natural resources. The registry began when the college celebrated its75th anniversary and honors those 75 and older.
Barlow began farming with his father and brothers after graduating from Vale Union high school. The family started packing onions in 1938 and by 1942 was a full potato and onion packing operation. In 1945 the family added cattle feeding to the operation. By the early 1950s, the operation included potatoes, onions, sugar beets and cattle feed lots.
Through selective breeding, Barlow developed his own open-pollinated onion variety that later was used by Archie Deser, the founder of what is now part of Sun Seeds. The farm introduced bulk storage bins to the Treasure Valley in 1952, a preferred method of onion storage still practiced. Later, Barlow finished developing irrigation and deep water wells in the Dry Lake area south of Nampa as part of the family operation.
The family holdings were divided in the early 1960s and Barlow started farming on his own, first in the Jamieson area and later southwest of Nyssa with his three sons. Barlow was a long-time cooperator with OSU Experiment Station and Extension programs, including irrigation, fertilizer, chemical and variety trials. Fertilizer placement for potatoes started in the 1960's and specialized shank for potato hills was built and sold in the farm shop.
His community activities include many years of service to the Boy Scouts of America and serving as a member and chair on the board of directors of Treasure Valley Community College.