Wallowa County welcomed “home” its new OSU Ag Extension Agent Thursday evening at the Extension Office in Enterprise.
Peter Schreder (pronounced Shrader) and his wife Marci have generational ties in the county and have spent many years here. Denny and Ivalou Johnson are Marci Schreder’s aunt and uncle and she spent summers in Wallowa County, and may be recalled from her days working at Pete’s Pond Restaurant as a teen.
After she and Peter married, the couple worked at the Johnson Ranch on Upper Prairie Creek while also working for the U.S. Forest Service.
Schreder joked that a local had called him a “retread” –– meaning it as a compliment.
The couple owns property on the divide and will most likely live there when the snow is gone — at least for a time, Schreder said.
In addition to generational Wallowa County roots and experience working in the county, Schreder viewed Wallowa County’s former OSU Extension agent, John Williams, as a mentor for many years.
Williams was excited about how well Schreder would fit in the county and astonished at the speed at which the county was able to find a qualified agent.
“This usually takes up to 18 months,” Williams said. “I congratulate Sam Angima, (Agricultural and Natural Resources program leader for the OSU Extension agency) for the speed at which the agency moved.”
Angima said that when they conducted a needs assessment and looked at the agents already in the eastern Oregon area, they concluded Schreder would be a very good fit.
“Pete’s very well versed in natural resources and livestock management,” Angima said. “Combined with NE Oregon Extension Agent John Punches with his background with the College of Forestry and Tri-county agronomy specialist Extension Agent Darrin Wallenta, we should have a good team for the area.”
Schreder has a vision for Wallowa County that includes embracing the work Williams has undertaken over the past 25 years while incorporating new ideas and processes he has developed throughout his own 18-year career.
He won’t get out of some farm chores now that he’s back, either. The Johnson’s are expecting him to show up for branding, they said.
“Branding was one of the selling points for a job in Wallowa County,” Schreder said with a laugh.