In 1926, Alf Christianson left his job as fieldman for the Charles H. Lilly Seed Company in Seattle where he had worked for 17 years. He moved to Mount Vernon, Washington and opened his own seed company, which specialized in producing vegetable seed for wholesale to seed warehouses in the eastern United States. Calling his new venture the Alf Christianson Seed Company, Christianson contracted with local farmers to grow the crops. Alfred (A.L.) Christianson, son of the founder of Alf Christianson Seed Company, spent 44 years as Vegetable Seed Production Manager in Western Washington. Over the years, he worked closely with growers and Washington State University researchers to solve weed, insect and plant disease problems in the vegetable seed crops produced in Western Washington. Before his death, Alfred and his wife Lucille established an endowment to support continued research in vegetable seed science. The Alf Christianson Seed Company and the Christianson Family established the Distinguished Professorship in memory of Alfred and his desire that Washington State University researchers continue to successfully meet the needs of seed growers and the vegetable seed industry in Western Washington. Selling more than six million pounds of vegetable seed each year, Alf Christianson Seed Company is one of the largest contract vegetable seed producers in the world.
Uses and Purposes
The Alfred Christianson Distinguished Professorship in Vegetable Seed Science was established to enhance a research position in plant pathology, entomology and/or seed science. Funding preference will be given to faculty working at Washington State University-Mt. Vernon and/or Washington State University-Puyallup, and/or to faculty working at other locations whose work may make a significant contribution to Western Washington agriculture.