Alton H. Finch graduated from Oregon Agricultural College in 1925 with a degree in agriculture, specializing in horticulture. He received a Master's degree from Iowa State College and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1929. He worked in Georgia for a short time and then in 1931 went to the Horticulture Department at the University of Arizona. He was Department Head from 1937 until 1945, when he resigned to manage several large citrus tracts and continue his research on problems with citrus fruiting. He was still an active researcher in 1975 at the age of 75.
James R. Baggett was a faculty member at Oregon State University from 1956 until his retirement in 1995. Baggett earned his BS in Horticulture from the University of Idaho in 1952 and his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State College in 1956. As a faculty member, he continued the breeding work on peas, beans, cabbage, and broccoli that he had begun as a graduate student. He became head of the vegetable breeding program in 1973 when his mentor and colleague, William A. ("Tex") Frazier retired. Baggett concentrated on breeding and testing of vegetables for processing, fresh market, and home garden use, primarily in western Oregon. He developed more than 45 vegetable varieties during his career, and is especially well known among home gardeners in Oregon for the tomato and pea varieties he developed.
William A. Frazier was born in Carrizo Springs, Texas, and attended Texas A & M College (BS, 1930) and the University of Maryland (MS, 1931 and Ph.D., 1933). He was on the faculty of the University of Maryland (1934-37), University of Arizona (1937-39), and the University of Hawaii (1940-1949). As professor of horticulture at OSU from 1949-1973, Frazier did pioneering work in developing improved varieties of bush beans and tomatoes. He was a member of the American Society for Horticultural Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.