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New from Extension Publications: Sheep-shearing biosecurity, poison ivy controls, cultural awareness

Man shearing sheep using shears; Photo shows the sheep partly sheared and man's hands and shears.Extension scientists work with Northwest farmers, families and industries to create knowledge that improves our crops and livestock, powers our economy and develops communities.

Extension faculty are also authors, who every month share the results of their work through peer reviewed online publications.
Newly published WSU Extension guides include:

• A free guide on Biosecurity for the Sheep Shearer (FS311E), by Sarah Smith, Regional Extension Specialist with the Department of Animal Sciences. Learn to mitigate and protect against diseases that affect both sheep and human beings.

• A Notebook (MISC0573) and Cultural Awareness Booklet (MISC0579) for use in WSU’s Navigating Difference Cultural Competency Training, by Extension Diversity Director Mary Katherine Deen, Professor and Family Development Extension Specialist Louise Parker, and Melynda Huskey, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at Western Washington University.

• A free Pacific Northwest Extension Pacific Poison-oak and Western Poison-ivy: Identification and Management guide (PNW108). By Oregon State Horticulture researcher Brooke Edmunds and OSU Extension faculty members Alicia Christiansen, Andrew G. Hulting, and Lauren Grand, this guide shows how to identify and control these plants, and prevent exposure to their oily substance, urushiol, which can cause a painful allergic reaction.

You can find the latest publications at the WSU Extension Online Bookstore.

Find the newest monthly listings here.

CAHNRS Talk Tuesday: Maya Wahl

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Maya Wahl, a senior from Lind, Wash.Graphic of student's interests with a formal portrait photo.

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Agricultural Education.

Favorite Show/Movie:

The Big Bang Theory

Favorite Cougar Tradition:

My favorite tradition as a Coug is when they play the iconic “Back Home” video at the beginning of football games and the entire stadium comes together to sing the chorus of the song. It gives me chills every time and it never fails to remind me how lucky I am to be a Coug. There’s a reason Pullman is referred to as the “promised land”: we always manage to find our way back home and come together as a Coug family.

Favorite CAHNRS Commodity:

Wheat! I am part of the fifth-generation on wheat farm here in Washington where we have grown WSU varieties for many years. The researchers and breeders on campus work hard to make sure that farmers have successful crops and high yields to support families like mine. From playing in the wheat as a little kid to working in the field as an adult, I love gluten for more than its delicious breads and beers. I love the connection it has to my livelihood and my future.

Why be a CAHNRS Coug?

CAHNRS is comprised of a beautifully diverse group of individuals who are coming together to create something great. I am lucky to call myself a CAHNRS Coug for many reasons, but one is the simple fact that I have been given the opportunity to work and learn alongside people from all over the world. People who have shared their culture and traditions with me and have taught me more about the world around me than any class could. We all share common passions, but the way we have manifested those passions is different and that is why I love being a CAHNRS Coug.

Best Student Experience:

I am a senior in Agricultural Education and over the last three years at WSU, I have had the immense honor of working with the next generation of Washington’s agriculture teachers. Not only are they my future colleagues, but they have become my close friends. By getting involved with the Agricultural Education Club and CAHNRS Ambassadors, I have built relationships with future agriculture professionals that will last a lifetime. We all love what we do and support one another in our goals. I genuinely look forward to seeing my friends each year and working with them on things like volunteering at FFA events to recruiting new CAHNRS Cougs. Becoming involved in the clubs within CAHNRS was one of the best decisions I ever made in college and I will never regret the time that has spent working with my peers to make CAHNRS and Washington Agricultural Education better.

CAHNRS Taught Me:

Agriculture Future of America’s Leader’s Conference (AFA) has been a driving force in my professional development during my time at WSU. CAHNRS supports AFA members and always seeks out ways to ensure that students are getting the experience they need to excel after graduation. Attending AFA conferences has connected me with mentors, industry representatives, and future colleagues from across the country. I have learned about so many of the different facets of agriculture through AFA and it has sparked my interest in areas that I hadn’t considered before.

For example, I value food science much more now after attending the AFA Food Science Institute in Chicago. Not only did I gain knowledge in the food processing industry, but it also opened my eyes to the many different career paths that are available for my future students. It is important to understand the agriculture industry, from field to fork, so that my students truly see the opportunities that agriculture holds for them.

Ag education student takes on national role

By Sarah Appel, CAHNRS Academic Programs

Megan Whited’s love for agricultural education shows with her service as one of the 11 National Teach Ag Ambassadors for 2018-2019. The National Teach Ag Ambassador program encourages high school and college students to consider teaching agriculture, celebrate the contributions that current Agricultural Educators make in their schools and communities, and increase awareness for the demand for Agricultural Educators.

Formal portrait photo of Megan Whited
Megan Whited

Nine years ago, Megan’s heart and focus belonged to sports. As life happens sometimes, however, she changed course after taking three agricultural education classes at White River High School. A broken ankle took the current WSU senior Agricultural Education major out of sports, and two determined FFA Advisors propelled Megan into agriculture’s infinite world of possibilities.

Four years of FFA competitions, agricultural classes, and a year of serving as the Washington FFA State Treasurer passed, and her love of agriculture grew into the dedication that it is today. As one of the 11 National Teach Ag Ambassadors, her enthusiasm and passion are shared across the United States.

Megan strives to use her ambassadorship to share her passion and encourage others to consider teaching agriculture. She has seen firsthand the impact that an agricultural advisor can carry for a student. While her Father, who served in the United States Army, was deployed in Africa, Mr. and Mrs. Miller – the high school advisors – supported Megan and constantly built her up. They believed in her even when she didn’t. They helped create a strong family-type atmosphere in the FFA program which made everyone feel like they belonged.

Fast forward to now, and Megan wants to return the favor with her own teaching. She believes that Agricultural Educators inspire future generations of Agricultural Educators and without these teachers, many students miss out on opportunities to grow in areas like: leadership positions, competitions that range from animal science to public speaking, and working with future industry partners.

Megan is now in her senior year at Washington State University and will be student teaching at Oakesdale High School next semester. She hopes that she can impact students and encourage them in the same way she was encouraged all those years ago.

Learn more about the National Teach Ag Ambassadors.

Learn more about the National Association of Agricultural Educators.


WSU economist receives variety of professional acclaim

PUYALLUP – WSU economist Karina Gallardo has had a banner year with a prestigious professional organization. She has served as a co-editor of the Journal of the Food Distribution Research Society (FDRS), was elected incoming president of FDRS, and received the Patrick J. Byrne Award for Emerging Leadership.

Formal portrait photo of Dr. Gallardo
Karina Gallardo

“I’m truly honored by the trust my colleagues have put in me, both as an editor and now as the president elect,” said Gallardo, an associate professor and Extension specialist at WSU’s Puyallup Research and Extension Center. “And I was so happy to hear I was even nominated for the Byrne Award. It’s gratifying that people recognized the work I’ve done with FDRS.”

Gallardo’s day job at WSU is to lead an Extension program that helps the Washington agriculture industry remain competitive in products around the world. To do that, she focusses on two things that add value to the state’s ag industry

First, she looks at technology adoption, producing cost/benefit studies of new technologies.

“Not everyone can afford every new advancement,” Gallardo said. “So when there’s a new development, we talk with growers to show them the costs and benefits of adopting something different.”

That can range from purchasing mechanical harvesters for blueberries or using a new form of pest control, she said.

The second focus for her program is understanding consumer demand of food products.

“We anticipate the value of a new variety of apple, for example,” Gallardo said. “We find out if consumers are willing to pay a premium for a new variety with certain characteristics.”

Her team also estimates investment costs in a new variety. With those two pieces of information, each grower can make an informed decision about what would work best for them.

“Every grower is different, every farm is different,” she said. “We provide general results that are as representative as possible for Washington farmers.”

Gallardo has a bachelor’s degree in food science and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics, giving her a broad knowledge base of the industries she serves.

“Consumers react to produce with different characteristics,” she said. “I can explain those reactions using science. That’s very rewarding.”

She works primarily with the apple industry, but also has worked with blueberry and sweet cherry growers. And recently, she’s added peaches and strawberry industries to her repertoire.

“They aren’t necessarily the largest crops in the state,” Gallardo said. “But advancing industry knowledge can have a big benefit for Washington growers.”

That professional work along with her service to FDRS are what lead her to being voted incoming president and winning the award. She takes over as president of FDRS at their September 2019 conference in Seattle, which she is also organizing.

“It’s a lot of work, but also rewarding,” Gallardo said. “I’m looking forward to growing participation in FDRS and helping get the word out about what we do.”

CAHNRS Talk Tuesday: Kayleen Fredrickson

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Kayleen Fredrickson, a senior from Lake Stevens, Wash.Graphic of student's interests with a formal portrait photo.

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Animal Science.

Favorite Show/Movie:

Anything Disney

Favorite Cougar Tradition:

My favorite tradition as a Coug is Cougar Football Saturday! My parents met here, so I was raised on Cougar Football starting at a very young age. There was no question whether I would be a Coug or not! The feeling of being in the stadium and standing together as one big team is a feeling like none other. We will always find our way back home at WSU!

Favorite CAHNRS Commodity:

Cougar Gold Cheese is my whole life. I put it in everything. My family loves it so much that is has become a family tradition to give a can of Cougar Gold Cheese as a gift. So, everyone looks forward to getting cheese for Christmas. We have even made our hardcore UW Husky family members fall in love with it. As an added bonus, being an Animal Science major, I have extensive knowledge about how this delicious treat is made!

Why be a CAHNRS Coug?

I have always loved animals and vet science, so I fell into Animal Sciences and CAHNRS knowing it was the best decision I ever made. While I love what I am studying, the people I get to study with make this major amazing! Everyone is nice and welcoming and ready to help me grow both as a student and as an individual. We all know who we are and what we want so we can all grow and learn together.

Best Student Experience:

Following in my parents’ footsteps by coming to WSU is something I appreciate every day. It’s awesome knowing that I am making my own friends and memories in the same places my parents did years ago. Even though my parents went here, it was still hard to go to such a large university without knowing anyone. It’s a hard realization when you have to make new friends in such a large arena. Even though I was nervous, I stuck my neck out my freshman year and met lifelong friends.

CAHNRS Taught Me:

While it is easy to get swept up in rush of college, CAHNRS taught me to take control of my own destiny and to always ask for help. Take a chance to stop, breathe, and realize that you don’t have to go through college alone. No one is perfect, and we are all here to help. Through learning opportunities, and the people ready to support you, there are countless chances to find and follow your calling.


Deeply involved parenting means better meals for preschoolers

Portrait photo of Power in blue shirt in front of foliage.
Tom Power, emeritus professor in Human Development, has researched healthy behaviors and parent-child relationships for more than 15 years.

Parents’ attitudes at the dinner table affect the quality of meals for their young children, according to new research by a nationwide team of scientists including Thomas Power, emeritus professor in the Department of Human Development.

Their discoveries were featured this fall in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in a new paper by lead author Katherine Arlinghaus, doctoral student at the University of Houston.

Researchers studied the relationship between parents’ feeding styles and the dietary quality of dinner meals served to preschoolers in Head Start.

Parents filled out a questionnaire on their level of responsiveness at mealtime, and how often they provide their children with guidance about what and how much they should eat during meals. Researchers also documented the type and amount of food served and eaten by their children using digital photos.

Scientists found that children received the highest dietary quality from parents who are both highly responsive, and rigorous about providing guidance to their children at mealtime. They see a need for efforts that promote these types of mealtime practices to boost diet quality for preschool children.

This work is part of a series of studies that Dr. Power has conducted in collaboration with Sheryl Hughes, associate professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, over the last 15 years.

“This research supports a growing number of studies showing the benefits of directive, responsive feeding practices in the prevention of childhood obesity,” Power said. “Research shows that parents who are involved and attentive at dinner, but also support their child’s developing autonomy, can help their children get more nutrition and grow up healthier.”

A researcher, teacher and former chair of Human Development, Power studies parent-child relationships and the development of healthy behaviors in young children.

Read more about the journal article, “Authoritative parent feeding style is associated with better child dietary quality at dinner among low-income minority families,” here.

Advisor connects with students in their fraternity home

By Sarah Appel, CAHNRS Academic Programs

When asked to give a motivational talk at the WSU Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity (AGR), Dr. Colette Casavant was surprised and delighted at the opportunity to connect with her students outside her advising office.

A group photo of the fraternity members standing outside their house.
The members of the WSU Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.

Dylan Baty, the scholarship chair for the fraternity, took the initiative and asked Dr. Casavant to speak to AGR. This was the first time that the WSU AGR invited someone in to offer a motivational talk, according to Dylan, something their speaker noticed.

“I could tell it was a new experience, they were a little out of sorts” Casavant said. “But not in a bad way.”

While it may have been a change from past traditions, the men were warm and welcoming, said Casavant, and paid close attention to what she had to say. As a fraternity striving for a high GPA, according to Dylan, the members, especially the freshmen, were ready for all the encouragement they could get. With midterms coming, Dylan wanted to give the new brothers a warm and motivating welcome.

“They took it really seriously,” explained Dylan. “This was a good motivator for the freshmen. School is getting much more difficult. It’s time to buckle down and take [school] seriously.”

One of the most impactful parts of the evening for Casavant was the connection to the men’s broad network of support. She wanted to highlight the brotherhood that surrounds not only current members, but alumni as well, to demonstrate the people standing behind these men; inspiring them to do their best.

For Casavant, the opportunity struck close to home. She shared her personal story about her father, WSU alum and Agricultural Economist instructor at WSU for 50 years and his college pathway. She could see it struck a chord with the men. Later when she asked them to write down who impacted them, the men deeply considered their responses. This activity demonstrated the amount of support behind the men’s success, and this really brought that to their attention.

“It’s important to get to know your students outside of the major and the classroom,” Casavant said. She encourages other advisors to give motivational talks whenever the opportunity arises. Dylan hopes this will continue to grow for years to come.

As the nation’s leading agricultural fraternity, according to the AGR website, as well as a professional fraternity, the men in this brotherhood promote academic and personal success through hard work and a supportive atmosphere. The initiative that was shown by the WSU AGR Chapter is just one example of this commitment.

CAHNRS Talk Tuesday: Megan Whited

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Megan (Miller) Whited, a senior from Buckley, Wash.Graphic of student's interests with a formal portrait photo.

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Agricultural Education.

Favorite Show/Movie:


Favorite Cougar Tradition:

My favorite Cougar tradition is when our whole family comes out for Dad or Mom’s Weekend and we have our own celebration spending time together playing volleyball, barbecuing, or playing card games. It’s a great combination of both my biological and Coug Family. Along with the celebrations, we love to go to our favorite restaurant together, Old European, and get some delicious Danish Aebleskivers and fresh orange juice!

Favorite CAHNRS Commodity:

My favorite CAHNRS commodity is the Huckleberry Ice Cream from Ferdinand’s! It is sweet and refreshing on a hot day, and I love to support other students in my college pursuing careers that they are passionate about—plus they make delicious treats! It’s the perfect way to end a day of going to class and worth the walk to the far side of campus!

Why be a CAHNRS Coug?

The supportive atmosphere that CAHNRS exudes throughout every facet of our college is one of the greatest parts of being a Coug. Whether it is research, academics, internships, experiences, social events, careers, or community, you will find a family of people within CAHNRS to support you in your dreams.

From the very first time I was a CAHNRS Coug three years ago, I felt like my ideas, accomplishments, and involvement in clubs and activities were always supported by those within CAHNRS. You will find that this is a special place to be; whether you are a student, faculty member, or a professor, there just simply isn’t any other college like it! CAHNRS welcomes all who share a passion for applying science to better the community, country, and world we live in. Go CAHNRS Cougs!

Best Student Experience:

One of my favorite student experiences has been being a part of the Washington Farm Bureau, and the WSU Young Farmers and Ranchers Club where I served as an officer for three years and a state committee chair member for two years. During my freshman year at WSU, I competed in the Collegiate Discussion Meet Competition at the state level, and won, sending me to compete at Nationals. I attended the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Rancher’s National Conference in Kansas City and competed against 53 other individuals in the Discussion Meet.

I had the opportunity to compete in two rounds of the Collegiate Discussion Meet and learned so much about the complexity of issues that American agriculture faces now, as well as possible solutions, alongside some of the brightest young minds in our industry. It was an amazing experience to be able to network with professionals within the agriculture industry, gain a better understanding of how to confront challenges within our industry, and learn how to be a better advocate for agriculture in our changing world. That experience led me to become more involved with WSU’s YF&R and help our club grow, as well as grow more connected with my county and state Farm Bureau chapters.

CAHNRS Taught Me:

CAHNRS taught me to take advantage of professional development opportunities and to be willing to put myself in the growth zone frequently so that I am constantly bettering myself for my future career as an Agricultural Educator and FFA Advisor. Since my freshman year I have been involved with the Agriculture Future of America Organization (AFA) and attended AFA Leaders Conference Tracks 1-3 where I was taught valuable soft skills, effective leadership strategies, and how to effectively manage change. In addition to those, we also had the opportunity to learn how to make sound financial decisions, utilize our leadership abilities and influence to make an impact, and how to network with professionals within our industry.

I have attended many other professional development events and conferences because of CAHNRS that have positively benefitted my college experience and career readiness. These events, and countless others, have given me incredible experience and preparation for my future career as an Agricultural Educator and FFA Advisor.

CAHNRS Talk Tuesday: Amanda Martian

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Amanda Martian, sophomore from Arlington, Wash. Graphic of student's interests with a formal portrait photo.

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Sciences.

Favorite Show/Movie:


Favorite Cougar Tradition:

My favorite Cougar tradition is the Mom’s weekend plant sale in Beasley Coliseum. My mom and I have been going to this event since my sophomore year of high school. Even back then, it wasn’t hard to appreciate all the incredible hard work that went into growing such amazing plants. Going to the plant sale now as a college student brings back so many good memories. I am looking forward to continuing this tradition and creating more memories as well!

Favorite CAHNRS Commodity:

If you know Pullman, you know Paradise Creek Brewery downtown. And if you know Paradise Creek, you know they make incredible mac and cheese using the CAHNRS Smoke Cougar Gold Cheese! This is my favorite commodity, both at Paradise Creek and not.

Why be a CAHNRS Coug?

Being a CAHNRS Coug provides me with a sense of belonging on such a large campus. It is easy to get lost in the crowd while wandering the hills of campus, but CAHNRS helps me feel like I am part of something unique that not many people are a part of. No matter where I am on campus, I am bound to run into one of my CAHNRS family members. This sense of belonging gives me the freedom to be myself without feeling out of place on our incredible campus.

Best Student Experience:

My best student experience has been living in the Honors Residence hall. I lived in a six-person suite last year and, at first, I was really scared to be living with so many people. I quickly found that living so close to so many people provided me with a large group of friends that I am still close with today. My suitemates from last year are some of my closest friends and I wouldn’t have them if I hadn’t chosen to live in the Honors Hall. This decision that may have seemed scary at the time, turned out to be one of my greatest decisions that led to some of the greatest friends.

CAHNRS Taught Me:

CAHNRS has provided me invaluable opportunities to learn how to make new friends and how to handle challenges. Through these opportunities, I have been prepared for issues that I might face during internships and future careers. It is easy to stay in comfortable situations with people that are familiar, however, CAHNRS provided me with opportunities to interact with and befriend unique groups of people that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. These incredible people are constantly encouraging each other to be proud of who they are, especially to be proud to be CAHNRS students.

Extension Integrated Pest Management team helps Northwest residents attract insect predators, pollinators with Hortsense

Image of a tiger swallowtail butterfly amid purple flowers.Through a new upgrade to their popular Hortsense website, a team of scientists at Washington State University are helping Extension agents, Master Gardeners, and Washington residents attract beneficial insects, predators and pollinators to their gardens, farms and landscapes.

Carrie Foss, director of the Urban Integrated Pest Management program, partnering with David James, WSU entomologist, added a new category, Natural Enemies & Pollinators, to Hortsense, Extension’s public resource for managing common landscape and garden plant problems.

Beneficial insects are an important part of integrated pest management, or IPM, an approach that uses natural predators and parasites to sustainably manage pests, conserve resources and protect human health and the environment. The new Natural Enemies & Pollinators resource includes 40 colorful fact sheets sharing descriptions and information about predators, prey, and ways to attract and keep beneficial insects.

James provided content and images for the new Hortsense category, taken from his Extension bulletin, Beneficial Insects, Spiders, and Other Mini-Creatures in Your Garden: Who They Are and How to Get Them to Stay.

Begun as a database in 1994, today’s Hortsense has more than 1,000 fact sheets and 2,400 images to assist in identifying and managing plant problems in the home garden. This latest project is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Extension IPM Implementation Program.

Learn more about WSU Integrated Pest Management in its quarterly newsletter.