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MEDIA ALERT: Historic Olson House to be Dedicated Saturday

WHAT:
Dedication of the refurbished historic Olson Heritage House in Mount Vernon to serve as housing for graduate research students and visiting scientists.

WHEN:
2 p.m., Saturday, June 12

WHERE:
Washington State University’s Northwest Washington Research and Extension Center, 16650 State Route 536 (Memorial Highway), Mount Vernon.

WHY:
Dedication of the Olson Heritage House is a significant step in WSU’s plans for a major renovation and expansion of its Mount Vernon agricultural research facility. WSU has committed to spend $6 million to significantly upgrade and expand the facility to support agriculture throughout Northwest Washington. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in June 2005.

WHO:
Participants in the dedication will include Allan Osberg, president, Osberg Construction Co. and grandson of Anders and Maria Olson; Bob Rose, executive director of Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland; and Ralph Cavalieri and Pete Jacoby, associate deans of the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

BACKGROUND:
In 1999 the Skagit Farm Bureau purchased the 1914 Olson family farmhouse and surrounding eight acres as part of a community effort to ensure the future of agricultural research at the WSU facility. Prominent Seattle businessman Allan Osberg donated $100,000 to Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland to renovate the house, which had been built by his grandparents. In 2003 the property was transferred to WSU and the home was remodeled for use as housing for graduate research students and visiting scientists.

MEDIA:
Media representatives are invited to cover the dedication and reception. In addition to the Olson House, the research facility, surrounding farmlands and Master Gardener discovery garden offer excellent photo backdrops.

CONTACTS:
Bob Rose, executive director, Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland, 360-336-3974. Debra Inglis, interim director, WSU Northwest Washington Research and Extension Center, 360-848-6134. More information about the research facility and its programs are available at http://www.mtvernon.wsu.edu.

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