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New from Extension: Healthy fruit trees, soil, peonies; fight puncture weed

Puncture vine pod on the ground
Learn about how to manage weeds like puncturevine with help from new Extension publications.

Every month, WSU Extension scientists write and share free publications that help Northwest gardeners, farmers, and communities solve challenges and improve homes, landscapes and local agriculture.

Newly published guides include:

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

Cosmic Crisp(R) apple, creators honored in Governor’s State of the State address

A Cosmic Crisp(R) apple crowned every desk in the Washington State House during the Governor’s address.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee recognized Washington State University’s achievements in creating the popular new Cosmic Crisp(R) apple in his 2020 State of the State address.

A delicious WSU-bred apple crowned every desk in the Washington State House of Representatives, as Inslee delivered the address Tuesday, Jan. 14, to a joint session of the House and the Washington State Senate in the Legislative Building in Olympia.

“One of the best things about being the governor is shining the light on how great Washington is,” said Inslee. “I’m inspired by many Washington stories… I’m inspired by the development of Washington’s newest apple, the Cosmic Crisp(r). These Washington apples adorn your desks.”

Inslee went on to recognize André-Denis Wright, Dean of CAHNRS, and Kate Evans, interim director of the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee, who took over selection and release of the Cosmic Crisp(R) apple variety, WA 38, following retirement of WSU’s previous apple breeder, Bruce Barritt.

Launched commercially in December 2019, Cosmic Crisp(R) is the result of a 20-year effort at WSU to develop juicier, better storing and higher quality apple for growers and consumers. More than 11 million trees of the variety have been planted.

Learn more about Cosmic Crisp here.

New from Extension: Guides to smart, sustainable ranching, farming, and community programs

Cattle graze in a pasture with a pond, with a mountain range in the far distance.Every month, WSU Extension experts publish new knowledge that helps agricultural producers, scientists, and communities solve challenges and use better practices.

Available for free online at the Extension Publications bookstore, the latest guides include:


Washington high school student runner up for national 4-H award

Mayyadah Zagelow of Seattle is a runner up for the 2020 4-H Youth in Action Pillar Award for Civic Engagement. Zagelow is recognized nationally for her leadership as a champion for equity for all youth. The National 4-H Council announced Zagelow’s achievement last week.

Headshot of Mayyadah Zagelow
Mayyadah Zagelow

Zagelow struggled with anxiety and selective mutism at a young age and was bullied by peers at school. By joining 4-H, her journey to overcoming anxiety and developing positive, healthy relationships with her peers began. Through 4-H, Zagelow learned to turn difficult experiences into empowering opportunities as she learned to speak up and speak out for herself and for others who feel voiceless.

Passionate about addressing social inequities, Zagelow is a founding member of a grassroots youth movement in Washington state called the Washington State 4-H Teen Equity and Inclusion Taskforce. Here’s a news story about that taskforce.

Through this program, she works with fellow 4-H’ers to educate adults and teens alike through workshops and grassroots efforts about gender identities, expression, orientation and biological sex, as well as the challenges facing the LGBTQ+ community in hopes of creating a world of inclusion for all youth.

Zagelow is a senior in high school and hopes to attend Central Washington University to pursue a career in the medical field.

The 4-H Youth in Action Awards, sponsored in part by Bayer, began in 2010 to recognize 4-H’ers who have overcome challenges and used the knowledge they gained in 4-H to create a lasting impact in their community. To learn more about the 4-H Youth in Action program and the 2020 runners up, please visit

Washington State 4-H is part of Washington State University Extension.


Alison White, Extension 4-H Assistant Professor,, 509-962-7507

Brown-Hayes judges outdoor innovations at national awards show

Highlighting the latest advances in outdoor goods and apparel, Patrick Brown-Hayes, instructor at Washington State University’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles, has been selected as a judge for the second annual Outdoor Retailer Innovation Awards, Jan. 29-30, 2020, in Denver, Colo.

Head shot of Brown-Hayes
Patrick Brown-Hayes

Part of Outdoor Retailer’s Outdoor + Snow Show, the Innovation Awards recognize cutting-edge achievements in outdoor products, materials and retail services, including apparel and accessories, electronics, camping and climbing gear, and much more. Brown-Hayes is part of a 19-member panel evaluating submissions based on design, function, impact, and spark.

At AMDT, Brown-Hayes teaches courses in visual merchandising, omni-channel retailing, Adobe, 3-D design, product development, fashion photography and advertising, illustration and rendering, portfolio design, aesthetics and fashion styling. He also works in creative, design, leadership, and strategic roles in the private and public sector.

An active fly fisherman, runner, backpacker, back country skier, snowboarder, kayaker, mountain biker, and wakeboarder, he can often be found spending time outdoors with his wife and three daughters. His love for the outdoors, photography, culture, and travel has allowed him to visit and work around the United States and Europe.

Brown-Hayes judged more than 170 entries this fall in the run-up to the competition. New product and marketplace entries are challenging to judge, he said, adding that his diverse background gave him an advantage in weighing the merits of the many different categories.

“It was great to see what will be entering the marketplace next year, and where technology, product development and the retail service industry is heading,” said Brown-Hayes. “It was also refreshing to see who and what is entering the retail and outdoor sector.

“Being a judge has given me a deeper understanding of how companies are currently trying to join the marketplace, and what trends are going to be mainstream in 2020 and 2021. Attending open-market shows is an incredibly valuable asset that allows me to stay updated on industry standards, establish new relationships, and encounter new content for my courses.”

Two AMDT students, Bridgette Bacon and Tara Kelly, have been selected to attend the show along with Brown-Hayes. He has been hired by Cotton Inc. as a private consultant to provide market research during the show.

Innovation Award winners will be announced during a live ceremony on the second night of the show. Learn more about the event here.

New from Extension: Information and ideas for ranchers, farmers, cooks and communities

Red combine harvesting wheat straw.Every month, WSU Extension experts publish guides that help farmers and communities solve challenges and improve practices.

Available for free online, the latest publications help ranchers address grazing management and water quality risks; inform gardeners and farmers about diseases in potatoes, tomatoes, watermelons, zucchini, pumpkins and cucumbers; share production and performance at WSU’s Wilke Farm; introduce products made from straw to help deal with soil acidification; help home cooks safely prepare queso fresco; and more.

Recent Extension guides include:

You can find all Extension publications at the WSU Extension Publications store.

Find the newest monthly listings here.

Khot, Zhang share ideas at CIGR Next Leaders Program

Lav Khot, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering and faculty member at WSU’s Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems, and Qin Zhang, director of CPAAS, joined colleagues from around the world at the International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (CIGR) Next Leaders Program, Nov. 5-11 in Germany and France.

Participating scientists shared their research activities, visited agricultural machinery manufacturers, took part in the Landtechnik International Conference on Agricultural Engineering, Nov. 8-9 in Hannover, Germany, and attended the 2019 Agritechnica machinery show, also in Hannover. On the sidelines of this trip, both also visited Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bio-economy at Potsdam to share WSU CPAAS research efforts and explore collaborations in niche areas related to precision horticultural engineering.

Three other participants had WSU connections: Former CPAAS postdoctoral researchers Yiannis Ampatzidis, now an assistant professor at the University of Florida, and Xiaogiang Du, now professor at Zhejiang Science & Technology University in China; as well as Du Chen, an associate professor at China Agricultural University and former jointly trained Ph.D. student at WSU.

Director Zhang is a CIGR Honorary Vice President and co-leader of the Next Leaders Program. Now in its fifth class, the program was created in 2009 to help mid-career agricultural mechanization experts from different part of the world interact and share ideas, and develop future leaders in the field. Participants are nominated by their national organization, then selected by a program committee based on achievements and leadership potential, while maintaining geographic diversity.

Learn more about CIGR here.

Group photo of scientists at show with tractors in background
Scientists take part in the Agritechnica show at Hannover, Germany, as part of a CIGR visit.

Trio posed at ATB building entrance.
Lav Khot and QIn Zhang with M. Zude-Sasse, scientist at the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bio-economy at Potsdam.

Group photo in laboratory.
WSU scientists visit with a group of researchers at the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bio-economy.

WSU Colville Reservation Extension team honored with national teamwork award

Group photo with Wells holding award.
Honored as part of a team award for a WSU Extension food garden and food sovereignty program on the Colville Reservation, Kayla Wells accepts awards from NEAFCS President Karen Munden.


WSU Colville Reservation Extension educators and tribal program partners were honored by a national organization this fall for their efforts in helping tribal communities thrive through food garden education.

Kayla Wells, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator for WSU Colville Reservation Extension and director of WSU Okanogan County Extension, and team members Linda McLean, Director and 4-H Educator with WSU Colville Reservation Extension; Tabitha Parr, Office Assistant with WSU Colville Reservation Extension; and Dorothy Palmer, Program Manager for the Colville Confederated Tribes Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program, were recognized at the 85th annual session of the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences (NAEFCS), in Hershey, Penn.

This team received the association’s second-place National Award, first place Western Region Award, and first-place State Award for Excellence in Teamwork.

Women looking at fruit deliveries on table.
Fresh food items from the WSU Colville Reservation Extension Demonstration Garden are delivered to the Colville Confederated Tribal Food Distribution Program.

The team was honored for their Food Sovereignty/Food Security Garden Program, addressing the needs of the residents of the Colville Reservation, which is designated by USDA as a “food desert.”

This program helped families learn how to grow, preserve and enjoy healthy, nutritious foods. Wells and her team taught the “Why, How and What Now” of gardening, thus providing reservation residents with the skills and knowledge to plant, maintain and harvest their own food gardens.

“Teamwork was vital to the success of this program,” said Wells. “Without each person’s expertise and contribution, we would not have been able to provide the depth and breadth of education to our participants. This program would not have been as successful without the sponsors, the educators, and the behind-the-scenes person who created the marketing materials.”

Sponsored by the NAEFCS Awards Fund, the Excellence in Teamwork Award was established in 2018 to recognize outstanding Extension Family and Consumer Sciences programs conducted by a multi-disciplinary team. This team is comprised of Extension, Tribal and FRTEP (Federally Recognized Tribes Program) Educators.

In honoring Wells and her team, the Association highlighted their exemplary commitment to meeting the needs of individuals, families and communities.

View of vines in garden planters.
The WSU Colville Reservation Extension Demonstration Garden produced a variety of crops like, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, squash and peppers.

CAHNRS well represented at national leaders conference

By Sarah Appel, CAHNRS Academic Programs

Nineteen students and one faculty member from WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) attended the annual Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Leaders Conference in Kansas City, Mo. earlier this month.

Group photo of conference attendees holding a red WSU flag.
Back Row: Kai Yi Wang, Chase Baerlocher, Leighton Dorman, Luke Wolfisberg, Gracie Dickerson, Nick Schultheis, Ornella Usanase, Aline Uwase, Corey Phillips, Amanda Martian
Front Row: Juliana LeClair, Elea Van Weerdhuizen, Lacey Biemold, Kayla Beechinor, Autumn Miller, Sarah Appel, Juan Martinez, Harrison Moore, Marie Boragine

The students ranged in majors from Animal Science and Agricultural and Food Business Economics to Communication and Field Crop Management and were among the approximately 850 students and over 300 industry leaders from across the nation to attend.

The conference provided students pursuing future careers in food and agriculture a chance to develop their professional abilities and grow as individuals. Students were placed in different tracks and exposed to a variety of different speakers depending on their year in school and previous involvement with AFA.

Track 4, the last and most selective track, included sessions about living an authentic life, respect and inclusion in the workplace, advanced time management, and leadership capabilities.

“AFA encouraged me to use long term thinking for short term decisions: what kind of life do I want to live?” said Gracie Dickerson, a senior Agricultural and Food Business Economics major and Track 4 delegate.

The other tracks also included speakers who focused on money management, professional attire, etiquette, communication, brand development, and handling change in the agriculture industry.

Round table discussions, industry panels, and an opportunity fair with over 80 companies represented provided students with the chance to connect with professionals from the agriculture industry.

With professional development at this caliber, the conference left a different impact on every student.

“AFA had a huge impact on me, and I was able to meet great new friends as well as make connections in the agriculture industry,” said Corey Phillips, a first-year WSU student planning to major in Animal Science. “I actually switched my major because of the impact of the conference. It was definitely a great experience and I would recommend it to all of my friends in the ag program.”

The main goal of AFA is to provide opportunities for college students and bridge the gap between education and industry within the agriculture sector. Leaders Conference is one of the many ways they achieve this and will continue to do so for many years.

“AFA helped me to expand my network of people, professionals, and friends in a way that incorporates our mutual appreciation of agriculture. It put me in contact with people whose opinions and experiences were different than mine, and helped me to broaden my understanding of the American agriculture industry,” said Chase Baerlocher, a sophomore in Agricultural Biotechnology.

New review paper explores global dimensions of plant virus epidemics

Head shot of Rayapati
Dr. Naidu Rayapati

Worldwide, plant virus epidemics threaten livelihoods, food, farms, and the environment.

Naidu Rayapati, WSU plant pathologist and director of the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center at Prosser, co-authored a new review of the impact of viruses on global agriculture, sharing perspectives on virus diseases and possible solutions through emerging technologies, in the September issue of the Annual Review of Virology.

With co-author Roger A.C. Jones, scientist at the University of Western Australia, Rayapati wrote “Global Dimensions of Plant Virus Diseases: Current Status and Future Perspectives.”

A changing climate, growing population, and globalized agriculture are driving fast changes that favor destructive disease outbreaks, the authors relate. Synthesizing their many years of experience in international agriculture, this review takes stock of the current global situation of viral diseases, how viruses spread, the factors influencing outbreaks, disease management, and new and emerging technologies to help understand virus epidemics.

Jones and Rayapati also discuss strategies for defense and future needs, including the need for collaborative global networks to address food security challenges caused by viral epidemics. A paradigm shift toward smart, integrated, and eco-friendly strategies is needed to stop epidemics in their tracks, according to the authors.

“We are playing an active role in addressing viral disease problems of global significance, and bringing knowledge and practical experiences to safeguard American agriculture from viral disease threats,” Rayapati said.

View the paper here.