Thousands of years before present
Native Americans inhabit the region we define as Oregon and use burning practices to clear fields.

6000 BC
Native Americans plant corn as early as 6000 BC.

2000 years ago
The point of plow is flattened into a blade called a share. This slices a furrow into the topsoil and turns it over.

1493
Christopher Columbus brings calves, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, citrus, melons, and many vegetables to America.

1609
Native Americans teach the Jamestown settlers to grow corn.

1700
Farmers produce enough grain to feed their animals year-round in Great Britain.

1731
Jethro Tull, English farmer, invents the seed drill, which cuts several grooves in the soil and drops seeds in neat rows.

1786
Andrew Meikle, from Scotland, invents a machine that threshes wheat by rubbing it between rollers.

1793
Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin.

1798
Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) plants his first appleseed nursery in western Pennsylvania.

1800s
Early trapping parties perceive agricultural potential in the Willamette Valley.

1804-1806
Captain Merriwether Lewis and William Clark travel with their party from Missouri to the mouth of the Columbia River.

1824
Hudson's Bay Company establishes Ft. Vancouver in Oregon Country, with self-sustaining farming operations, including planting of grain and orchards, and raising sheep and cattle. Dairies are established on Sauvie Island.

As Hudson's bay Company employees retire, land is given to them to farm in the French Prairie area of Willamette Valley.

1837
John Deere begins manufacturing plows.

1838
The first cattle drive in the West arrives from California.

1840
Cyrus McCormick, American farmer, invents the first successful reaping machine.

1840s
The Willamette Valley receives cattle from the California surplus. Farming and stock-raising with Andalusian Blacks supplant the fur economy in the Willamette Valley.

1843
Civil government is established in the Oregon Country. Large numbers of immigrants arrive over the Oregon Trail.

1848
The Oregon Territory is organized.

Gold is discovered in California.

1850
The U.S. Congress enacts the Donation land Claim Act as a reward to pioneers for settling in Oregon.

1850
Seth Lewelling brings first fruit tree seeds to family nursery business in Oregon.

late 1850s
Most of the good agricultural land in the Willamette Valley is taken up.

1858
Sam Strickland brings first hazelnut tree to Oregon and plants it in Scotsburg, at a Hudson's Bay Company outpost.

1859
Congress ratifies the Oregon State Constitution, and the state accepts the congressional proposal to be admitted to the Union.

1860
Louis Pasteur develops pasteurization in France.

1862
Congress passes the Homestead Act, deeding 160 acres to those who will live on and work the land.

late 1860s
Nathaniel P. Slate of Tangent teams up with Daniel Best, an Albany machine shop pattern maker, to design and manufacture a combine harvester, steam powered tractors, and a hay-baler.

1868
Corvallis College, designated as the Agricultural College of Oregon (now Oregon State University) is the first state-supported institution of higher education in Oregon.

1869
First Oregon wheat is shipped to Liverpool, England.

1871
First shipment of food by refrigerated rail cars.

1881
Hybrid corn is produced, greatly increasing corn production.

1883
The transcontinental railroad is completed through Oregon. Wheat farming in Eastern Oregon begins to grow rapidly with the new mode of shipping wheat from the area.

1887
The Hatch Experimentation Station Act is passed, providing federal grants to states for agricultural experiment stations.

Oregon and California Railroad is established in the Willamette Valley.

1888
De Lafayette Remington of Woodburn patents a "Rough and Ready" tractor that is able to work in the soft, wet ground of Western Oregon.

1905-1915
Dryland agriculture in Eastern Oregon is advertised.

1914
The federal-state extension service is organized (later to become the Cooperative Extension Service).

1917
The United States enters World War I.

1929
The Great Depression begins. Many white migrant farm laborers move to Oregon.

1931
Government reorganization in Oregon results in the combination of 17 branches of government into the State Department of Agriculture.

1933
The Farm Credit Administration is established.

1937
The Bonneville Dam is completed, providing Oregon with hydroelectric power and prospects for irrigated agriculture.

1940
The US Department of Agriculture begins the School Milk Program.

1941
The United States enters World War II.

1942
Bracero Program with legal Mexican migrant workers is begun after farmers fear that World War II labor shortages will keep crops from being picked.

1949
The Agricultural Act of 1949 is passed, giving surplus food to the needy.

1959
Century farm program us established by Oregon Historical Society to honor families who have maintained a working farm continuously for 100 years or more. More than 1000 farms are enrolled in the program.

1964
The National Food Stamp Act is passed.

1969
The control of field burning, practiced since the early 1940s by grass seed growers, is placed under state regulation.

1970
Plant Variety Protection Act is passed.

1971
State Waterbank Revolving Loan Fund is established to further develop irrigation systems for agriculture in Oregon.

1973
Governor Tom McCall promotes land use legislation to preserve land for exclusive farm use.

Statewide land use planning is approved. Congress passes the Endangered Species Act.

1977
Severe drought and plummeting farm prices bring about a farming strike. More than 100 tractors block the streets in Salem.

1987
The 95,330 milk cows in the state produce $179,169,000 in dairy products.

1988
U.S. - Canada free trade accord is ratified.

1989
Trade deficit of nearly $1.7 billion in food products in U.S.

1991
Integrated pest Management practices are used by farmers.

1993
Oregon updates land use laws and adopts a "Right to Farm" law. Passage of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

1994
Farmers begin using Global Positioning System (GPS) to track and plan their farming practices

1999
Farmgate value of Oregon agriculture is approximately 3.4 billion. Food processing adds another 2 billion. Value of Oregon agricultural exports stands at $2.99 billion. Other direct and indirect agricultural activities place the industry's economic impact at about 10% of the state's gross product.

Present
Largest agricultural industry in terms of value is greenhouse and nursery crops.