Science, service, and specialized agriculture : the re-invention of the maraschino cherry Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/x346d791b

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  • From 1925 to 1930, Ernest H. Wiegand, a professor of Horticultural Products at Oregon State Agricultural College, developed an improved brining process for cherries. Brined cherries are used in the production of maraschino and glacé cherries, which already had a sizable market in the United States by the 1920s. This thesis examines the scientific, economic, and geographic circumstances that played a role in the development of the new process. The institutionalization of agricultural science in the Land-Grant Colleges and experiment stations in the United States created a favorable context for the development of a new brining process. The scientists associated with these institutions were "service-oriented," both in ideology and practice. They generally tailored their research programs to meet the needs of their agricultural lay-constituency. This service-orientation has been present in agricultural science since its origins in the eighteenth century. Oregon State Agricultural College and its associated experiment station exemplified this dedication to service. In developing a brining process more suitable to large-scale commercial production, Wiegand was responding to the needs of local cherry growers, whose needs were determined by the demands and problems inherent in specialized agriculture. As a result of the improved brining process and tariff protection, Northwest cherry growers were able to successfully compete in the brined cherry market, a market previously closed to them.
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