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In 1997, various organizations and individuals associated with Oregon's grass seed industry joined with the Hyslop family to establish the George R. Hyslop Professorship, in memory and recognition of Professor Hyslop's many contributions to Oregon agriculture. The intent of the professorship is to enhance and focus research and education efforts—both in teaching and Extension—on specific problems of the Oregon grass seed industry, which Professor Hyslop helped establish in the first half of this century.
George Hyslop's career—spanning 35 years in Oregon, from 1908-1943—was a model of careful scientific inquiry, dedication, and hard work. After receiving his bachelor's degree in agronomy from Ohio State College, he and his wife Susan came to Corvallis in the summer of 1908. In 1916 he was appointed Professor of Farm Crops at Oregon Agricultural College, and during World War I, was instrumental in developing Oregon's seed certification system.
An innovative researcher and effective teacher, Professor Hyslop laid the foundation for a grass seed industry, a hop industry, and a fiber flax industry, all in Oregon. He also pioneered a system for shipping Oregon potatoes and surplus forage from irrigated farmlands by sea to the eastern states, thus minimizing Oregon's isolation from major market areas. In addition, Professor Hyslop influenced numerous students who went on to have a major impact on Oregon's agriculture, among them E. R. Jackman, the popular and effective Extension agronomist for whom the present E. R. Jackman Foundation is named.
Since George Hyslop's death in 1943, a memorial scholarship fund established by the late professor's friends and colleagues has been benefiting deserving students in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Associate Professor of Crop Physiology of Grass Seed Crops Tom Chastain was named to the George Hyslop Professorship in July 2008. Dr. Chastain researches the physiology of grass seed crops. He plans to use the endowment funds to enhance student education in the area of seed crops and to promote student internships and undergraduate research.
Dr. Chastain's research focuses on how environment and farming practices influence the long-term productivity of cool-season grasses grown for seed production. He has also studied the possibility of using canola, an oilseed crop, for biodiesel production. He has published his research extensively and previously served as an associate editor of the Agronomy Journal.
In 2004 he received the Outstanding Professor award from the Department of Crop and Soil Science. Dr. Chastain holds a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from California State University, Chico, and a master's degree and a doctorate in crop science from Oregon State University.