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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.
GASTON, OREGON, January 1, 1909. To the Honorable, the Legislative Assembly of Oregon:
Gentlemen : In conformity with the statute which directs the Board of Horticulture to report biennially to you, 1 herewith submit my report of the work of the Board for the years 1907 and 1908.
You are, of course, familiar in a general way with the object of the Board and with the work that has been accomplished. and I need refer to that only briefly, but I hope in a way that will show its importance As originally organized, the district commissioners, five in number, were the active working force, the president being merely a figurehead who presided at meetings. Later the president was made an active working member and in 1905 the present organization was perfected; the work of the Board being supplemented by a force of county inspectors.
We have now a very efficient working force, having been extremely fortunate in securing the services of some of the best fruit growers in the state as county inspectors. Without any desire to boast, but merely for your correct information, I wish to call your attention to the condition of the fruit industry in the State, past and present. The United States and State census figures show for many years prior vo the year 1900, a steady decline in the value of the fruit crop in Oregon. This condition was due to the tremendous increase of insect pests and fungous diseases and the lack of knowledge or incentive to fight them. There was an over-supply of fruit for home use and the condition of the fruit prevented its being marketed abroad, henee the industry languished. Since the year 1900 the value of the crop has steadily grown, increasing from one million, three hundred thousand dollars in that year to over four million dollars at the present time.
While, of course, not being so egotistical as to claim all the credit for this, it is only fair to say that without the machinery of such an organization as the State Board of Horticulture, it would have been impossible to have accomplished it. A fact not generally recognized is that the fruit industry, unlike many others, must depend very largely upon a market outside of the State. Without a high standard, and the means of attaining and enforcing such standard, it would be impossible to reach these outside markets and the industry could not enlarge. As it is now, a very large per cent of the crop goes
outside of the State, bringing absolutely new money in return. Oregon apples and pears are now unquestionably the most famous in the world, and it must be our constant aim to keep them so, that we may continue to find remunerative markets for the vastly increased crops of the near future.
Since the addition of the county inspectors to our force the scope of the work has been enlarged, and the duties of the commissioners have changed somewhat. The county inspectors are paid by the counties, but work under the direct supervision of their respective commissioners. The commissioners are kept busy training and drilling the inspectors in their work, traveling here and there to attend meetings, or to settle appeals in disputed cases, to gather information and statistics, and to look after the inspection of nurseries. The field of work is so vast that the only limit is the time and money available.
The commissioner-at-large is directed by the law to visit annually each of the fruit-growing districts of the State. With the funds available this is manifestly impossible, but I have endeavored to visit just as many as possible, the more important ones of course, first. In view of the constantly increasing work, and of its importance, it becomes necessary at this time for us to ask a small increase in the biennial appropriation for our use. The amount appropriated has never been increased since the board was organized, while the work has increased four fold.
The appended semi-annual reports of the commissioners and of the secretary show in detail the work that has been done, and how the funds have been expended, and I respectfully call your attention to them for fuller details.
W. K. NEWELL,
OFFICERS OF THE BOARD
BCARD OF COMMISSIONERS
M. 0. LOWNSDALE
Multnomah, Clackamas, Yamhill; Washington, Columbia, Clatsop and Tilla
Lincoln, Marion, Polk, Benton, Linn, and Lane counties
Doug as, Jackson, Klamath, Josephine, Coos. Curry, and Lake counties
FOURTH DISTRICT Morrow, Wasco, Gilliam, Hood River, Crook, Sherman and Wheeler counties
Umatila, Union, Baker, Wallowa, Malheur, Grant, and Harney counties
COUNTY FRUIT INSPECTORS
3, Oregon City.
Lake-A. M. Smith, New Pine Creek.