Thousands of years before present
Native Americans inhabit the region we define as Oregon and use burning practices to clear fields.
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.
Christopher Columbus brings calves, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, citrus, melons, and many vegetables to America.
Native Americans teach the Jamestown settlers to grow corn.
Farmers produce enough grain to feed their animals year-round in Great Britain.
Jethro Tull, English farmer, invents the seed drill, which cuts several grooves in the soil and drops seeds in neat rows.
Andrew Meikle, from Scotland, invents a machine that threshes wheat by rubbing it between rollers.
Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin.
Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) plants his first appleseed nursery in western Pennsylvania.
Early trapping parties perceive agricultural potential in the Willamette Valley.
Captain Merriwether Lewis and William Clark travel with their party from Missouri to the mouth of the Columbia River.
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.
John Deere begins manufacturing plows.
The first cattle drive in the West arrives from California.
Cyrus McCormick, American farmer, invents the first successful reaping machine.
The Willamette Valley receives cattle from the California surplus. Farming and stock-raising with Andalusian Blacks supplant the fur economy in the Willamette Valley.
Civil government is established in the Oregon Country. Large numbers of immigrants arrive over the Oregon Trail.
The Oregon Territory is organized.
Gold is discovered in California.
The U.S. Congress enacts the Donation land Claim Act as a reward to pioneers for settling in Oregon.
Seth Lewelling brings first fruit tree seeds to family nursery business in Oregon.
Most of the good agricultural land in the Willamette Valley is taken up.
Sam Strickland brings first hazelnut tree to Oregon and plants it in Scotsburg, at a Hudson's Bay Company outpost.
Congress ratifies the Oregon State Constitution, and the state accepts the congressional proposal to be admitted to the Union.
Louis Pasteur develops pasteurization in France.
Congress passes the Homestead Act, deeding 160 acres to those who will live on and work the land.
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.
Corvallis College, designated as the Agricultural College of Oregon (now Oregon State University) is the first state-supported institution of higher education in Oregon.
First Oregon wheat is shipped to Liverpool, England.
First shipment of food by refrigerated rail cars.
Hybrid corn is produced, greatly increasing corn production.
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.
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.
De Lafayette Remington of Woodburn patents a "Rough and Ready" tractor that is able to work in the soft, wet ground of Western Oregon.
Dryland agriculture in Eastern Oregon is advertised.
The federal-state extension service is organized (later to become the Cooperative Extension Service).
The United States enters World War I.
The Great Depression begins. Many white migrant farm laborers move to Oregon.
Government reorganization in Oregon results in the combination of 17 branches of government into the State Department of Agriculture.
The Farm Credit Administration is established.
The Bonneville Dam is completed, providing Oregon with hydroelectric power and prospects for irrigated agriculture.
The US Department of Agriculture begins the School Milk Program.
The United States enters World War II.
Bracero Program with legal Mexican migrant workers is begun after farmers fear that World War II labor shortages will keep crops from being picked.
The Agricultural Act of 1949 is passed, giving surplus food to the needy.
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.
The National Food Stamp Act is passed.
The control of field burning, practiced since the early 1940s by grass seed growers, is placed under state regulation.
Plant Variety Protection Act is passed.
State Waterbank Revolving Loan Fund is established to further develop irrigation systems for agriculture in Oregon.
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.
Severe drought and plummeting farm prices bring about a farming strike. More than 100 tractors block the streets in Salem.
The 95,330 milk cows in the state produce $179,169,000 in dairy products.
U.S. - Canada free trade accord is ratified.
Trade deficit of nearly $1.7 billion in food products in U.S.
Integrated pest Management practices are used by farmers.
Oregon updates land use laws and adopts a "Right to Farm" law. Passage of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Farmers begin using Global Positioning System (GPS) to track and plan their farming practices
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.
Largest agricultural industry in terms of value is greenhouse and nursery crops.