The Oregon Hazelnut Industry Endowed Professorship

The Oregon Hazelnut Industry Endowed Professorship will strengthen the hazelnut research, Extension, and education capabilities at Oregon State University, benefiting the College of Agricultural Sciences and the hazelnut industry in Oregon. Through the E.R. Jackman Board, OSU and industry officials created the Oregon Hazelnut Growers Professorship Committee, which began to raise the necessary funds. Support came from growers, processors, and industry organizations from all over the state, with many packers matching the gifts of growers.

Within a year, a significant amount had been given or pledged, including a $250,000 deferred gift. Although the Committee is still raising the necessary funds to fully endow the professorship, the Oregon Hazelnut Commission, a longtime supporter of OSU hazelnut research, has made an outright gift of up to $20,000 a year for five years to supplement earnings while the committee completes its work. The Commission's generosity has enabled the growing endowment to have an immediate effect.

The professorship, which is appointed by an oversight committee consisting of hazelnut industry representatives and academic leaders in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is designed to supplement but not replace existing state funding. Earnings will support the research program of the selected professor. OSU will continue to pay the professor's salary. After five years, the professorship may be reappointed or assigned to a new holder.


Shawn Mehlenbacher

Shawn Mehlenbacher, the first Oregon Hazelnut Industry Endowed Professor, teaches in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University and is recognized around the world as one of the leading experts on hazelnuts.

Dr. Mehlenbacher breeds new cultivars for Oregon's hazelnut industry, striving to improve breeding methods, document genetic variability, and increase resistance to disease. Since he joined the faculty in 1986, he has taught courses in plant breeding at the graduate and undergraduate levels. In addition, Dr. Mehlenbacher has networked extensively with hazelnut producers in Italy, France, Spain, and Turkey, greatly benefiting Oregon's hazelnut industry through the exchange of ideas and technology.




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