The Victory Horticultural Portal - A Community for Historical Research

Seedsmen Hall of Fame
Honoring Horticulturalists

Dr. James "Jim" Ronald Baggett

Dr. Baggett and his tomatoes. James R. Baggett was born on April 24, 1928 to James and Laura Baggett in Boise, Idaho. As a child in the depression-era, early life was hard but full. After his mother passed away due to complications in pregnancy when he was four years old, he moved to his paternal grandparents farm with his father and younger brother. He was reportedly, "well loved."

Growing up, work was hard, the tasks varied, but always centered around agriculture. He worked at a feed mill, raised livestock, gardened, hayed, harvested potatoes, milked cows, and excelled in school. After high school, he enlisted and served in the Navy for two years and upon returning home, enrolled in the college in 1948.

He graduated with a bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Idaho in 1952.  He completed his doctorate in 1956 at Oregon State University.

Dr. Baggett - 1993After becoming a faculty member at OSU, he continued his work on breeding peas, beans, cabbage, and broccoli that he had begun as a graduate student.

Upon the retirement of his mentor and colleague, William A. ("Tex") Frazier in 1973, Dr. Baggett became head of the vegetable breeding program at OSU.

Dr. Baggett had a productive and fruitful, 30-year career as a vegetable breeder. His contributions were made through improvement and adaptation of many varieties of garden peas, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, sweet corn, tomatoes, carrots as well as other vegetables with a concentration on breeding and testing of vegetables for processing, fresh market, and home garden use, primarily in western Oregon. Home gardeners all over Oregon are familiar with his tomato and pea varieties, some of which are listed below.

He has published many articles and has been recognized nationally by a variety of food and agriculture organizations.  Awards include the Award for Meritorious Service (1989) from the National Pea Improvement Association, the National Food Producers Award for Raw Products Research (1978), the Agricultural Service Award (1986) and the Distinguished Service Award (1990) from the Northwest Food Processors Association.

Dr. Baggett retired in 1995 and was a professor emeritus of horticulture at Oregon State University. He, "completed an epic life on Jan. 21, 2016."

You can read more about his accomplishments, interests and hobbies in his obituary by clicking here.

Variety Introductions:  Here are some of the more that forty five vegetable varieties that Dr. Baggett introduced during his career.


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