The College of Agricultural Sciences has sponsored Art About Agriculture since 1983, as a source for education, inspiration, and research enabling people to understand and value agriculture and natural resources through the universal language of visual arts. The program, in part, recognizes regional artists for investigating agriculture and natural resources themes as content and subjects for creating their works of art. It also enables the college to acquire art for a permanent collection of contemporary fine art now representing more than 150 artists with their more than 300 works of art. The Art About Agriculture permanent collection, selected through peer review, comprises fiber arts, mixed media assemblages, paintings, sculptures, watercolors, and works on paper including drawings, photographs, and prints. Many distinguished artists are represented in the Art About Agriculture permanent collection, including Harrison Branch, Sally Cleveland, Betty Feves (1918–1985), Sally Finch, Sally Haley (1908–2007), Carl Hall (1921-1996), Yuji Hiratsuka, Manuel Izquierdo (1925-2009), Analee Fuentes, Mary Josephson, Betty LaDuke, Marjorie McDonald (1898–1995), Jay Stratton Noller, John Henry Rock (1919–1993), Laura Ross-Paul, Nelson Sandgren (1917–2006), Robert Schlegel, Robert Weller, Phyllis Yes, and Renée Zangara.
Since the program began the college has collaborated with more than 50 galleries, primarily in Oregon, and also Washington, and British Columbia, Canada, for presenting the permanent collection, invitational art exhibitions, and regional art competitions. In 2006 the college cosponsored in partnership with the Oregon Historical Society a retrospective exhibition of the entire peer-reviewed Art About Agriculture permanent collection. The late Brenda Hood, in memory of her husband, the late Gordon Hood, sponsored This Bountiful Place: Art About Agriculture, the Permanent Collection, the exhibition catalog published in association with the Oregon Historical Press, 2006.
Accessions to the Art About Agriculture permanent collection are made possible from patron-donor partnerships. The College of Agricultural Sciences is grateful for support from the deans of OSU Extension Service, College of Agricultural Sciences, and College of Liberal Arts; Mark Abrahamson; Dan and Wanda Arp; Betty Brose; Gene and Cande Buccola; Capital Press; James and Stella Coakley; Marybeth Collins; William Cook and Gwil Evans; The Ford Family Foundation; the Carl Hall Family Collection through Bill Rhoades; the late Margaret Hogg; the late Brenda and Gordon Hood; E. R. Jackman; Larry and Sherry Kaseberg; Betty LaDuke; the Lamb Foundation; Ed Ray; Scott Reed; and the late Gayle Strome. All gifts made to the OSU Foundation-Art About Agriculture qualify as contributions under current state and federal tax codes, including the Oregon Cultural Trust, and may be made at any time.