This is an interview of Leon Garoyan, Ph.D. Specialist in Cooperative Extension, Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, who died on March 26, 2022 at age 96. Dr. Garoyan grew up in Fowler, CA, near Fresno. He attended Fresno State and then Cal Poly graduating with a B.S. degree in horticulture in 1944. His first job was as a farm advisor in Oregon. Soon, it became apparent to him that additional skills in economics were needed. Consequently, he furthered his training in economics at the University of Wisconsin, earning a Ph.D. in economics in 1960. At the start of his career, he served in the Kennedy Administration as a staff economist in the US Department of Agriculture. He then returned to Oregon and continued working in extension. He moved to Davis in 1970 with an appointment as an extensionist in Agricultural and Resource Sciences. At Davis, he wrote and advised extensively in several areas of marketing, particularly about the role of cooperatives and independent individual farming-related and commodity activities. He was also very active in The Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics. He retired in 1983.
Moreover, he worked and consulted with many farming-related cooperatives in the U.S., Chile, several Eastern European countries, and the Republic of Armenia. His Eastern European activities also involved service as a consultant for the CIA on the food production and marketing systems in Eastern Europe and Russia before Perestroika. Finally, at Davis, his work culminated in serving as the founding director of the Statewide Center for Cooperatives, located at UC Davis. This activity was initiated following his retirement from Agriculture and Environmental economics. He served as director for five years.
Leon Garoyan ws interviewed by his colleague and friend, Richard Howitt, Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Resource Economics.
Name: Leon Garoyan
Interviewer: Richard Howitt
Date Interviewed: 5/13/2010
Date Appointed: 1970
Date Retired: 1983
Department: ARE/ Coop/Ext.