Jacks named OSU Diamond Pioneer
By Tracy Wilson
Ag literacy coordinator
Clint Jacks, of Madras, was recently inducted into the College of Agricultural Science's Diamond Pioneer Registry for Agricultural Career Achievement at Oregon State University.
Jacks was recognized for the many years of dedicated service to OSU, agriculture, leadership, and a continued life of service to his community.
Jacks served in the Peace Corps in Cameroon, Africa, for five years, and upon returning, he attended OSU, where he earned a bachelor's degree in farm crops and a master's degree in soil science.
He then joined the OSU Extension Service at Warm Springs in 1971. At Warm Springs, Jacks was responsible for agricultural and natural resources programs in addition to 4-H youth development.
In the late 1980s, he coordinated the development of the Agricultural and Range Management Plan that was long used in the management of Warm Springs Tribal Natural Resources.
In addition to providing educational programs about natural resources, Jacks developed programs to cultivate leadership skills among youth and adults of the Warm Springs Reservation.
On a broader scale, Jacks provided leadership to the Central Oregon Cattle and Natural Resource Tour, an annual educational event that spanned 10 years in the late '80s through the '90s.
He also cooperated with all of the Central Oregon Ag Extension agents in planning and delivering the "Living on a Few Acres" series that started in 1986 to target new farmers just getting started in agriculture.
Thirty-three years later, though the educational format has changed, this program continues to be very successful and remains a vital resource for new farmers in Central Oregon.
Jacks became the chair of the Jefferson County Extension Office in Madras in 1982 and was tasked to bring about better coordination and cooperation with the Warm Springs Extension Office.
The cooperation he fostered continues today, and the model he used for interaction with his colleagues at Warm Springs has been adopted for use in OSU interactions with other Oregon tribal groups.
In 1993, Jacks was awarded the Cooperative Extension System Award for Diversity, which honored his long history of effort in promoting an environment where diversity is valued and appreciated both in Jefferson County and Warm Springs.
His dedication to celebrating diversity in his community extended to developing programs for the Hispanic population of Central Oregon, and he encouraged faculty and staff to take Spanish classes to better help with education and outreach efforts.
Jacks spent time chairing the Extension Offices at Warm Springs, Jefferson, Deschutes and Crook counties as well as serving as superintendent of the Central Oregon Ag Research Center, sometimes serving in multiple roles at once.
One of the secrets of his success is that he believed "it is imperative to engage special expertise and viewpoints of a wide range of individuals representing diverse interests."
Jacks' dedication and involvement in his community did not end after his retirement. Following retirement, he continued to support diversity through his 13 years of work with the Bean Foundation and other organizations.
His advocacy and financial support through the Bean Foundation helped to support the fledgling Open Campus Juntos program in Jefferson County, which has grown exponentially across the state.
George Neilson, who serves with Jacks on the Bean Foundation Board of Directors, said "Clint is one of those rare citizens who is intelligent, well spoken, discerning, reserved, yet, a profound force in building this community in which he lives."
Neilson also said, "Clint's contacts with the youth and adults of the agricultural community, from his experience as the county Extension agent and his work with 4-H leaders and students, give him a breadth of relationships that are very uncommon for the average citizen. While the foundation goes about its business, often we will hear the response, 'What does Clint think?' The by-product of his deeply ingrained relationship and work within the community is the acceptance of his judgement and wisdom, both within the community and on our board. Clint is a quiet giant!"
Arelene Boileu, a past 4-H agent at Warm Springs, said that a core group of Extension faculty and staff turned her life around.
"I learned so much from Clint and am so thankful to have him in my life. He let me do things with 4-H and learn, so I could then help my people," she said.
Rosanna Sanders, an education program assistant with Warm Springs Extension, grew up in Warm Springs and remembers attending 4-H meetings with Jacks as a leader.
"I remember my older sister and I being in the Warm Springs Rocking 4-H Club growing up. I remember a lot of camping trips with Clint Jacks. We would hike forever with packs on our backs. … We had to learn how to navigate using a compass, we learned survival skills, hiking skills with weight on our back, how to set up camp, and we always had a blast with Clint. He did so much for the Warm Springs community," Sanders said.
Jacks' lasting impact on the world around him is a testimony to his dedication to a life of service to Oregon State University and to his community.