CORVALLIS - John T. "Bud" Jones of Cove, Stan Weishaar of La Grande, and Glen McKenzie of Summerville are three of the 28 men and women recently recognized as 1998 Diamond Pioneers by the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences.
They will be added to the college's Diamond Pioneer Registry that honors contributions to agriculture and natural resources by those 75 and older. The registry started in 1983 when the college observed its 75th anniversary.
Jones was cited both for his conservation and community activities. Farming since 1947, he served on the board of the Union Soil and Water Conservation District for 15 years and has twice been named Conservation Farmer of the Year. He was named outstanding SWCD board member in the state in 1996 and is a member of the Grande Ronde Model Watershed Board.
He chairs the La Grande Rural Fire District board, which honored him with its Memorial Award for Service in 1997. He was active in the building of the Union County Ag Service Center in Island City. In addition, he has served on the La Grande school board and Educational Service District board and is a past president of the Union County Wheat League and Farm Bureau.
Weishaar has also been a leader in conservation, serving on the Union County SWCD board for 20 years and on the Oregon State Soil and Water Commission. A past Oregon Wheat League Conservation Farmer of the Year, Weishaar is a strong believer in working crop residue into the soil. He was one of the first in his area to drill an irrigation well and use the water to leach alkali from the soil.
Weishaar was one of the organizers of the Oregon Trail Electric Coop, currently serving as a director. In addition, he has served on the Union County Extension Advisory Board, on the Farm Home Administration Advisory Board and the Federal Land Bank Advisory Board.
McKenzie, who has spent his life on the family farm except for service during World War II, is a charter member and past president of the Union County Cattlemen's Association, a life member of the Oregon Wheat League and is a past chair of both the La Grande Farm Bureau Center and the Union County Farm Bureau. He was a charter member of the county Planning Commission that established the state's first minimum acreage standards for farm land. McKenzie also chaired the successful effort to establish a 4-H and Extension Service District in the county.
A member of the Oregon Agriculture Hall of Fame, he and his late wife, Jean, established the Oregon Agriculture Foundation to own and operate the McKenzie Century Farm. A subsidy of the Eastern Oregon University Foundation, the foundation will maintain the place as a working farm to provide agriculture students and others with a farm laboratory. Any profits from the farm are to be used to establish scholarships.