On February 25, 1889, Oregon Governor Sylvester Pennoyer signed legislation that established an Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) at Oregon Agricultural College (later called Oregon State University). The Hatch Act provided $15,000 a year in federal funds to support the Experiment Station, which increased the budget for the entire state college by 50 percent.
From the beginning, sharing research-based information with the public was a top priority for the station. Within the first 10 years, scientists published 58 bulletins to help farmers and others solve problems. Among the station’s first publications was a comprehensive report on growing prunes, which it called “the most important orchard industry in Oregon.” Other reports explored the possibility of a commercial mulberry industry and examined research on growing flax and hemp. The need to communicate was established; notes from an early Station meeting included a debate over the merits of buying a typewriter.