Celebrating the Legacy of Outstanding Alumni & Friends

The College of Agricultural Sciences celebrates the legacy of our most outstanding alumni and friends. Individuals who have been consummate ambassadors for the College and for Oregon State University. These are people who have had a meaningful impact on Oregon and its agriculture, food and environmental landscapes.


You can see the impact our students and faculty make wherever you look - from the food on your plate, to the water you drink, to groundbreaking advances in human health that save lives. The College of Agricultural Sciences community is dedicated to creating a safer, more abundant future for people in Oregon and beyond. Feel free to take a look at our collection of proud accomplishments.


Dates to Know

  • May 7, 2021 - Alumni and Friends Award nominations due.

  • October 2021 - Dean's Dinner

2019 Distinguished Legacy Award: Grant Schoenhard

Grant earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from OSU’s Food Science & Technology department. Since then, his accomplishments have had tremendous impact that have benefited people around the world.

The author or co-author of 10 patents and 24 patent applications, his work in food, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals as a toxicologist, chemist, inventor and executive has led to breakthrough discoveries. His research was instrumental in getting Nutrasweet and later rBST approved and he credits much of his success to his early years at OSU.

2019 Distinguished Leader Award: Alan Cleaver

Alan is a stellar example of leadership through his decades of farming since graduating from the College of Agricultural Sciences with a degree in Agronomy in 1974.

Alan was instrumental in bringing Kentucky bluegrass seed production to the Columbia Basin. In his search to help diversify the region’s crop base with economic opportunity, he created a new and critically important crop to the region. Also a recognized leader in developing onion production in the area, Alan is now most readily known as “Mr. Hemp” with 2,000 acres of hemp and a new processing facility he is planning to use for CBD oil extraction.

2019 Distinguished Luminary Award: Greg Harris

After graduating from OSU in 1997 with a bachelor of science degree in Crop & Soil Science at our joint program at Eastern Oregon University, Greg steadily built a career of distinguished leadership. He started out at OSU’s Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center as a Research Assistant and now serves as the Director of Farming Operations for one of the largest, most complex irrigated farms in the state representing 50,000 acres of rotation/forage crops and potatoes.

Beyond his business leadership, Greg is also a community servant in Hermiston. His contributions on the School Board, the Great Hermiston Foundation Board and many others have proven invaluable.

2019 Distinguished Legacy Award: Phil Ward

Graduating with both a B.S. and a M.S. in Agricultural Education from OSU, his passion for agriculture in Oregon has had a lasting impact in our state. Beginning his career as a high school agriculture teacher, he later migrated to the Oregon Department of Agriculture where he served as Director from 1999-2003.

He later led the Oregon Water Research Department and then was appointed as the State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency where he became a major contributor to the national Bridges to Opportunity program.

Hall of Fame Award: Pete Kent

Pete has contributed greatly to agriculture and natural resources in Oregon and beyond. As the Executive Director of the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, he has worked tirelessly to advance international markets for dairy products and help maintain consumer trust in the industry.

Under his leadership, the Council has conceived and created the Oregon Dairy Export Consortion, leading Oregon’s first dairy export effort as a statewide initiative. He’s also achieved Oregon’s first-time formal alliance and membership with the national dairy checkoff program under the United Dairy Industry Association and assisted in the development of the Oregon Cheese Guild.

Hall of Fame Award: David Nisbet

Dave is a native Oregonian and a lifelong learner with deep ties to OSU. His education and research experience at the College led him to develop a successful oyster farm in two states. In that time, he has worked collaboratively with OSU faculty to innovate and advance the industry.

Dave’s commitment extends to his broader work in supporting coastal communities providing family jobs and helping to pay for school and sports programs.  Skilled at bringing diverse voices to the table, Dave has also been instrumental in facilitating communications between regulatory agencies, shellfish farmers, and coastal communities. He also serves on several boards and has been a long-time supporter of OSU’s Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station.