Vogel Building Dedication Honors Wheat Breeder

Washington State names structure for dwarf wheat expert.

Washington State University's plant biosciences building is renamed the Orville A. Vogel Plant Biosciences Building in honor of a long-time Washington wheat breeder.

Vogel served as a U.S. Department of Agriculture ARS scientist and a WSU faculty member from 1931-1972. His wheat breeding team developed the first commercial semi-dwarf wheat varieties and complementary production systems in the Pacific Northwest.

His work laid the foundation for the Green Revolution in developing nations.

"Dr. Vogel, arguably WSU's most famous scientist, brought great recognition to the university throughout the world," says Dan Bernardo, College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences dean. "His discoveries had a profound impact in addressing world hunger and stimulating unprecedented economic growth in many developing countries."

The $39 million building, completed in 2005, houses the research programs of scientists from four departments and the USDA-ARS, as well as the plant transformation core laboratory of the Center for Integrated Biotechnology.

In 1973, when Vogel retired, Norman Borlaug, who three years earlier had received the Nobel Peace Prize as father of the Green Revolution, said that Vogel's contribution to world wheat research "changed our entire concept of wheat yield potentials."

Vogel was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1975 by President Gerald Ford for his lifetime work. He died in 1991.

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