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Wine alum credits WSU education, creates popular vintage port

Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, Leah Adint wanted to travel someplace new for a science degree. After graduating high school in 2005, she enrolled at WSU to pursue a degree in Viticulture & Enology.

She said when it came to studying wine, WSU ticked all the boxes.

Adint received the Château Ste. Michelle scholarship her first two years, a merit-based scholarship for a WSU student seeking a degree in the V&E program. She was also awarded a Les Dames D’Escoffier scholarship in 2007, a scholarship for WSU women studying agriculture.

A woman with brown hair smiles in front of a large green vineyard in France.
Adint in the Burgundy region of France, 2012.

“When I first met Leah in class, it was clear that she would eventually become a respected leader within the wine industry,” said Charles Edwards, a WSU food scientist and professor for the V&E program. “We are quite fortunate that she chose to return to Washington to continue her journey.”

Adint enjoyed the immersive, hands-on nature of her V&E degree, learning how vines grow, how tree fruit ripens, and the role of soil science and bugs in fruit production.

“Every winemaker says it starts with great fruit,” she said.

Upon graduation, Edwards suggested she pursue a master’s degree, and travel the wine world.

“I ended up doing both,” she said.

Adint traveled to a seasonal harvest in Australia, working with grapes on the Southern coast in the Adelaide Hills, where she pursued her master’s degree in Enology at the University of Adelaide.

After five years in Australia, it came down to deciding whether to stay down under, or come back to the United States. Adint noticed a job posting from Château Ste. Michelle.

Adint started out as the Assistant Traveling Winemaker in 2015.

When she arrived, she noticed the winery had four traditional red varieties of wine, and one white.

“Ste. Michelle immediately let me start playing around with the wines,” she said.

A woman with curly brown hair stands in front of a barrel with a glass of red wine.
Adint now works at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, and continues to collaborate with WSU wine science students.

She blended four traditional Portuguese varieties to make her first wine. Called the Whidbey’s Reserve Vintage Port, it was released before Christmas last year and sold out in six weeks.

“That was a great feeling,” she said.

One of Adint’s biggest challenges in working for such a large wine company is trust.

“If you worked at a winery that had 50 barrels, you could probably look at them every week. We have over 80,000 barrels. You have to trust a lot more what other people are doing, and that they’re going to catch the details.”

Adint said the partnership between industry and WSU’s program continues to strengthen. Whenever she sees Cougar students out in the tasting room or for class discussions, she advises them on research projects, talks about fruit, and encourages them to travel.

“See how many wineries, how many regions you can get to, how many different wines you can taste,” she said.

She is now working at the Canoe Ridge Estate, Château Ste. Michelle’s red wine making facility, and continues to tweak and experiment with new wine blends. She finds ways to give back, sharing knowledge with students and other professionals from her travels and career.

“It’s a great feeling to join that company and begin working with students on the other side,” she said.

Adint’s advice to aspiring winemakers is that there are a billion ways to make wine.

“You should never be satisfied with just one.”

To learn more about WSU’s degree program in Viticulture & Enology, visit

American Society of Animal Science honors Mark Nelson with Fellow Award for Teaching

Portrait photo of Nelson.
Mark Nelson

The American Society of Animal Science presented Mark Nelson, retired associate professor with Washington State University’s Department of Animal Sciences, with its Fellow Award for Teaching, during the society’s Virtual Annual Meeting and Trade Show in July.

The Fellow Award recognizes a long-serving society member’s distinguished contributions to animal science and the livestock industry.

A faculty member at WSU for 34 years, Nelson taught or partnered to deliver dozens of different courses ranging from introductory lectures and laboratory courses to a graduate nutrition course, as well as numerous Extension short courses, workshops, and field days.

In his courses, Nelson emphasizing critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, scientific and information literacy, communication skills and integration of learning. He trained 22 graduate students, wrote more than 225 publications and presented more than 150 talks.

Nelson was also active in the WSU Writing Program, and in extracurricular activities included advising the WSU Block and Bridle Club, Ceres Women’s Agriculture Fraternity, Cougar Cattle Feeders, and numerous undergraduate research projects. Numerous awards recognized his integration of teaching, research, advising, and Extension programs.

He retired in 2018.

The virtual meeting was held jointly with the Canadian Society of Animal Science and the Western Section of the American Society of Animal Science, July 19-23, 2020.

Back-to-back award for Economics professor

Gregmar Galinato, associate professor in WSU’s School of Economic Sciences, recently received the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics Best Paper award for the second consecutive year.

Outdoor portrait photo of Galinato w/trees in the background.
Greg Galinato

He received the award at the recent Western Agricultural Economics Association (virtual) annual meeting.

Galinato received the award this year for his paper Revenue-Neutral Pollution Taxes in the Presence of a Renewable Fuel Standard.

“I was shocked because I haven’t heard of anyone winning this award twice, let alone consecutively,” said Galinato, who is a former editor of the journal. “I’m extremely grateful and proud that my peers feel this paper is worthy of being honored.”

This year’s winning paper looks at how to best use revenue neutral tax money to incentivize the purchase of cellulose-based biofuels to include in gasoline, while trying to move away from the relatively more polluting crude oil. Revenue neutral taxes means a new tax is added, but it is used to reduce another revenue stream.

In this case, a tax is added on a polluting input like crude oil, while the overall sales tax rate is reduced, so that taxes collected from crude oil offset the losses in sales tax revenue.

The higher price in crude oil would reduce demand for this input and incentivize the purchase of other types of inputs that are relatively cheaper (and less polluting), like bio-ethanol. One type of bio-ethanol is cellulose-based biofuels, which come from products like switchgrass or tree residues. They don’t include biofuels produced using corn.

He and co-author Tristan Skolrud, who earned a doctorate at WSU in economics and is now a tenure track assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan, created a model that looked at the impacts on cellulose-based biofuels sales when taxes on carbon-based non-sustainable fuels are increased and sales taxes for consumers are reduced.

“Our model found that this only increased biofuel sales a very small amount,” Galinato said. “The hope for these policy plans is to reduce crude oil use, which becomes more expensive, and to increase demand for cellulosic ethanol.”

Money saved from reduced sales tax would help compensate consumers for any increase in overall gasoline prices that they might face.

“We did not see any substantial increase in demand for cellulosic ethanol,” Galinato said. “However, overall welfare increased for the state.”

The results of the paper surprised the authors, who expected a larger benefit for the biofuel industry.

“If you reduce sales tax, you help a lot of people, which explains the overall increase in welfare,” Galinato said. “But it doesn’t directly affect cellulose-based biofuel producers much at all. Revenue neutral taxes are helpful, but it depends on who you want to help.”

The authors also wrote a companion paper that used their models to look at using revenue neutral taxes to directly subsidize cellulosic biofuel producers using the money raised from the crude oil tax. Not surprisingly, that paper found that method had major benefits to the cellulosic biofuel industry, but significantly lower impact on overall welfare.

Galinato hopes the papers will help policy makers as they work to help boost the biofuel industry.

“Since 2007, policy makers have wanted the biofuels industry to grow and reduce reliance on non-renewable energy sources,” Galinato said. “We’re still working on that. With a revenue neutral tax policy, we identified one instrument that can affect overall welfare for society or be more focused on helping a particular industry in the state.”

New from Extension: launching an online food market; managing weeds in wheat

Every month, the WSU Extension Publications Store shares free guides that support better farms and businesses. The latest publications help farmers identify and manage a troublesome weed, and assist community groups and business owners in choosing software to run an online food market.

  • A wheat field with patches of feral rye weeds.Integrated Management of Feral Rye in Winter Wheat (PNW660). Feral rye, also known as volunteer, or cereal rye, plagues winter wheat growers in low rainfall zones of eastern Washington and Oregon and southern Idaho. This guide examines the biology, characteristics, and management of this troublesome weed. Authored by Drew Lyon, WSU Endowed Chair Small Grains Extension and Research, Weed Science; Andrew Hulting, Oregon State University Extension Weed Science Specialist; Judit Barroso, OSU Weed Scientist; and Joan Campbell, University of Idaho Weed Science Principle Researcher.
  • A variety of produce at a stand.Online Local Food Markets Choosing the Right Software (FS345E). Online local food markets support farms and specialty businesses, increasing access for customers. Starting an online market demands time, planning, and many decisions. Markets are driven by software, and it’s hard to know how to get started. This free guide help businesses, cooperatives, farmers, and organizations identify which software to choose. Authored by WSU Kitsap Extension Director and Community and Economic Director Laura Ryser and Clallam County Extension Director Clea Rome.

Find the latest monthly publications here.

WSU Extension lends expertise to 1890 land grant institutions

A WSU Extension emergency management planning expert gave a presentation to other land grant universities who want to learn more about how they can help with disaster education.

Christina Sanders is the director of both WSU’s Office of Emergency Management and WSU Extension’s Division of Governmental Studies and Services. Last month, she gave a presentation to the 1890-EDEN Advisory Group.

Portrait pic of Sanders standing outside with evergreen trees in the background.
Christina Sanders

EDEN is the Extension Disaster Education Network. 1890 refers to the group of 19 historically black land grant colleges and universities that were part of the Second Morrill Act of 1890.

“The 1890 land grant universities are really interested in expanding the resources and programs they can provide for disaster education,” Sanders said. “These schools are historically underfunded, but still want to do the best they can to expand the positive impacts in their states and communities.”

She talked to the advisory group about the unique way WSU Extension and emergency preparedness work together.

“Extension doesn’t typically play a direct role in emergency management at any of the 1890 schools,” Sanders said. “Here, I’m the Emergency Management director for the university and have an Extension appointment. I shared how we work with other institutions on campus and in the community.”

She talked to the group about ways they can get started, such as doing Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainings.

“There was a lot of interest from those in attendance wanting to learn more following their conference,” Sanders said. “Many attendees don’t have much experience with CERT, and don’t know how to get started, but are eager to build their emergency planning and preparedness capacity. That’s where we are able to help.”

The 1890-EDEN Advisory Group provides guidance for increasing the participation of 1890 Land-Grant Universities in EDEN. The group also leverages resources through partnerships to improve disaster programming for limited resource clientele.

Meet newest leaders of WSU Research and Extension Centers

The WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences is proud to announce the newest group of leaders at Research and Extension Centers across the state, at Mount Vernon, Wenatchee, and Puyallup.

Miles head shot
Carol Miles

• Starting July 1, 2020, Carol Miles is the new interim director of Washington State University’s Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center (NWREC) at Mount Vernon.

A horticulturist who finds solutions for growing better vegetables, Miles has worked for 25 years at WSU.

“I like to say I have soil in my blood,” said Miles, whose father was a Dust Bowler, walking off the family farm in South Colorado at 6 years old “with a suitcase in one hand.”

Read more in the official news release.

Kruger head shot
Chad Kruger

Chad Kruger, current director of WSU’s Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center (NWREC) in Mount Vernon, the Puyallup Research & Extension Center, and the Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources (CSANR), will become the next director of the Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center (TFREC) at Wenatchee, Wash.

This appointment will be a return to familiar territory for Kruger, who started at WSU in 2004: he worked for 11 years in Wenatchee as part of CSANR.

“Although I have generational family farming roots in both sides of the state, I’ve always considered myself an east-sider,” Kruger said.

Read more about Kruger’s role and mission at Wenatchee here.

Murray head shot
Todd Murray

Todd Murray, entomologist and Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program director, will become the next director of the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center (Puyallup REC) on July 1.

A WSU alumnus bringing more than 20 years of service to counties across Washington state, Murray takes over from outgoing director Chad Kruger, who has led the center since 2017.

“I see great opportunities to lead a team that integrates watershed science, production agriculture, urban landscape management, and human health in ways that can transform Puget Sound, Washington state, and the world,” Murray said.

Read more about Murray’s WSU career and ambitions for Puyallup in the WSU news release.

New from Extension: Field grafting grapes, rules for micro food companies, community risk prevention, and resilience after wildfire

Mounted cattle ranchers move cattle in the fieldEvery month, experts with WSU Extension share free online guides aimed at helping agriculture, community health, and Northwest industry. In May, scientists shared new information that helps grape growers graft vines, community professionals reduce health risks for youths and families, small food companies adjust to new rules, and shows cattle producers how to make their operations more resilient from wildfire.

  • Building resilience through engagement: Brenda and Tony Richards – Rancher-to-Rancher Case Study series (PNW737). This publication is part of the Rancher-to-Rancher Case Study Series, which helps increase resilience among ranchers in the Pacific Northwest. Learn how owners of a family cow-calf operation responded to a wildfire that burned the majority of their grazing lands, along with accompanying information on invasive annual grasses and fire, post-fire rehabilitation, grazing to improve rangeland health, engagement and resources such as Rangeland Fire Protection Associations, and more. Authors include Sonia Hall, Tipton Hudson, K. Scott Jensen, Shannon Neibergs, Matthew Reeves, Georgine Yorgey, and Emily Jane Davis.
  • Field Grafting Grapevines in Washington State (EM121E), by Eric Gale, viticulturist at Ste Michelle Wine Estates in Prosser, and WSU Viticulture Extension Specialist Michelle Moyer. Learn how to keep pace with market demands in the vineyard with this guide, which includes a field grafting overview, discussion of different types of grafts, and step-by-step how-to’s.
  • Washington State Very Small Food Processors: An Overview of What You Need to Know About FSMA (FS343E). Part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most significant update to food production laws in decades, the Preventive Controls for Human Food rule regulates all companies that process, pack, and hold food for human consumption. This free guide helps very small companies understand how the rule applies to them; by WSU School of Food Science interim director Girish Ganjyal, SFS research associate Ewa Pietrysiak, and WSDA Food Safety Program Manage David Smith.
  • Using NEAR Sciences to Address Community Health: A Primer (FS342E). This guide helps Extension professionals and prevention practitioners use and understand the NEAR sciences—neuroscience, epigenetics, adverse childhood experiences, and resilience—to address risk factors that impact life-long health. Authors are Joy Lile, Kitsap 4-H Extension Regional Specialist, and Laura Ryser, Director and Community and Economic Development Specialist, Kitsap County Extension.

See the latest guides in the Extension Pubs Store.


Crop scientist Cedric Habiyaremye highlights global food security challenge amid pandemic

Portrait of Cedric
Cedric Habiyaremye, WSU research associate, leads projects on crop diversity and nutrition in Africa as part of the Sustainable Seed Systems Lab (Photo credit: Jay Reed/NPR).

Cedric Habiyaremye, a research associate and alumnus with the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, shared challenges and opportunities facing international food security due to the COVID-19 pandemic, speaking with global news organizations this spring.

At WSU, Habiyaremye leads and facilitates research collaborations with farmers in Africa to find ways to improve crop diversity and nutrition.

In April, he was interviewed for the Forbes story, “COVID-19 Is Expected To Be A Key Driver Of Acute Food Insecurity,” examining how existing food crises will worsen, particularly for rural people in poorer countries.

COVID-19 will double the number of people suffering from food crises, increasing to 265 million according to an estimate by the United Nations World Food Programme.

Interviewed by BBC World News, the crop scientist stressed that food security during the pandemic must be viewed “through the lens of public health and nutrition, rather than producing more calories.” Noting challenges in crop diversity, Habiyareme mentioned his work in introducing nutritious quinoa in Africa, and talked about how plant scientists and breeders are working on ways to stop devastating pests.

Contributing to Al Jazeera, Habiyaremye wrote “A pandemic-driven food crisis in Africa can be prevented,” an opinion piece.

Unless speedy measures are taken to support the global food supply chain, he stated, low-income countries in Africa and south Asia will see rapid increases in hunger. That in turn increases vulnerability to disease. Countries should focus on maintaining the market flow of agricultural inputs, food, and feed.

“The protection of food security is inseparable from actions to protect the health, family welfare, commerce and other sectors,” Habiyaremye wrote. “It must be urgently integrated into all COVID-19 planning and policy.

“This an opportunity to reflect on the transformation needed if we want to develop a food system that nourishes all people, regenerates, and sustains the environment, and enables the resilience and flourishing of culture and community,” he told Forbes.

Habiyaremye’s work is supported by the Global Participatory Quinoa Research Fund, which helps WSU’s Sustainable Seed Systems Lab and collaborating farmers develop regionally-adapted quinoa varieties high in protein and minerals.

Virtual collections draw awards for WSU Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textile students

Students in WSU’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles (AMDT) won awards in design, potential industry impact, leadership and service this spring, based on their senior ePortfolios and projects, showcased online.

In AMDT, WSU’s comprehensive four-year apparel and textiles program, students are challenged to understand all aspects of the textile, apparel, and fashion industry, from concept to consumer.

Senior Fashion Awards

Although this year’s Mom’s Weekend Fashion Show was canceled due to the need for social distancing amid COVID-19, students were able to share their designs using photographs, drawings, and mood boards, submitted electronically for virtual judging.

One of the highlights of the annual Fashion Show is a recognition of the work of student designers, as well as the efforts of students that occur less visibly to make the show a success.

“For our design judging process, we had a great panel of eight judges, four from the apparel industry, and each judge reviewed 20 seniors’ ePortfolios,” explained AMDT Assistant Professor Chanmi Hwang, who teaches the Senior Design capstone course. This year, four designers and three students working behind the scenes were recognized. For Senior Design Awards, judges weighed competitiveness, price, quality, and purpose. The ePortfolios showed conceptual drawings and images of progress on physical garments.

Drawing of a jacket on a figure.
Conceptual drawing by Jhon Dimaculangan.


Sovann Robinson was awarded Most Marketable/Ready to Wear. Michael Damaso took home Best Overall Collection Design, and Justin Janke was awarded Most Innovative Functional Design. Best Digital Product Development went to Jhon Dimaculangan.

The Leadership and Service Awards for Behind the Scene Fashion Show Production went to Bridgette Bacon, McKenzie Duquaine, and Tara Kelly.

Shanna Hiscock, academic and internship coordinator for AMDT, said it was difficult to select only three winners for the production crew.

“McKenzie stood out with her efforts, keeping our social media content fresh. Bridgette devoted hours focusing on the art for the show, and without Tara, we would not have had any photos or the amazing videos,” she said.

The challenge of social distancing led to creative solutions by students.

“In the past, we haven’t showcased these garments online,” said Hiscock, “I think that’s something that we can now start doing.” View the senior ePortfolios at

Case Studies and Community Impact

Every spring semester, AMDT partners with industry members in their senior merchandising capstone course, creating experiences for students working on real-world case studies.

The judges evaluated the projects based on seven criteria: visual concept, aesthetic impact, textiles and supporting materials, target market, technical sketches and illustrations, level of difficulty, visual presentation, and creativity.

This year, Bridgette Bacon, Brooke Carson, Camden Clark, Jhon Dimaculangan, Cali Flynn, and Haley Simmonds were awarded first place in the Cotton Case Study, awarded by Mark Messura of Cotton Incorporated for their team design CODDLE; a reuseable cotton diaper.

Yellow, grey, and black collage of different patterns.
Jhon Dimaculangan’s mood board for his collection, ATARAXY.

The second-place prize went to Jess Daher, Julianna Diaz, Justin Janke, Kaley Mozell, Eilish Rising, and Olivia Taylor for their design Toasty, a weatherproof parka for kids.

The KINONA Case Study, awarded by Dianna Jefferies Celuch, CEO and CO-Founder of KINONA SPORTS, awarded first place to Maddie Egberg, Tara Kelly, Kendra Kranc, Regina Pozzi, Jackie Sauvage, and Macayla White for their project featuring extended sizes. Ryan Falk, Mackenzie Hansen, Nicole Ilewicz, Emily Kazmark, and Yeburzing Mengistu were awarded second place as a team for their travel extension. Jennifer Jackman, Economic Developer Manager of the City of Pullman, Aziz A. Makhani of the Washington Small Business Development Center in Pullman, and Adam Jones of Pullman Marketing made up the judging committee.

First place was awarded to the Coug Store Team: Ariana Andino, Jeanette Arellano, Camilla Costa Goetz, Sophie Jacobs, Sarah Parchman, and Gisela Valderrama.

Second Place was awarded to the team representing Lily Bee’s Boutique, Bridal, and High-End Consignments: Hugo Barragan, Olga Berezyuk, Hailey Cribbs, Kyung Lee, Sydney McAvinew, and Donovan Moi.

Due to the challenges facing Pullman businesses regarding COVID 19, the winning teams chose to return the prizes donated by the businesses to show continuous support for the local community.

Judges appreciated the varied methods of online presentation and mixed media, despite not being able to see the actual garments in person, Hwang said.

“They felt the ePortfolio format is the way designers need to learn to express themselves and their ideas in a world of social media and technology, she said.

Learn more about the academic opportunities at WSU’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles by visiting

New guides from Extension: Food, water, energy; apples and pumpkins

Multitude of people at the entrance of the Public Market on Pike Place in Seattle.The latest guides from WSU Extension, available for free online, help Northwest farmers and orchardists, food importers, and agricultural stakeholders learn about new rules, improved practices, and changing conditions.

New publications include:

  • Economic Feasibility of Using Alternative Plastic Mulches: A Pumpkin Case Study in Western Washington (TB68E). Laid in the field for weed control, moisture conservation, soil warming, and improved yields, biodegradable mulches are an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional polyethylene mulch. This guide helps Washington growers estimate the physical and financial requirements of planting pumpkins on a more sustainable product. Authors include School of Economic Sciences faculty member and IMPACT Center Assistant Director Suzette Galinato, University of Tennessee Professor Margarita Velandia, and Shuresh Ghimire, assistant extension educator with the University of Connecticut.
  • Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP): An Overview (FS341E). By scientists Ewa Pietrysiak and Girish Ganjyal in the School of Food Science, this is an overview for the food industry on the Foreign Supplier Verification Program and its rules and terminology covering the importation of food products into the U.S.
  • 2019 Cost Estimates of Establishing, Producing, and Packing Honeycrisp Apples in Washington State (TB70E). This publication, by Karina Gallardo, School of Economic Sciences associate professor/Extension specialist and co-director of the IMPACT Center, and IMPACT Center Assistant Director Suzette Galinato, explores the physical and financial requirements of Honeycrisp production, packing, and establishment.
  • Perspectives from Stakeholders on the Food-Energy-Water Nexus in Metropolitan Seattle (TB69E). Climate change, population growth, urbanization, and dependence on international trade have all increased the demand for food, energy, and water resources, while raising the complexity of management decisions. This publication provides a snapshot of perspectives from stakeholders across the Pacific Northwest. Authors include Liz Allen, Douglas Collins, and Kirti Rajagopalan with the WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources; Brad Gaolach with the WSU Metropolitan Center for Applied Research and Extension; Kevan Moffett with the WSU School of the Environment; Michael Brady with the WSU School of Economics; Julie Padowski with the Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach (CEREO) and State of Washington Water Research Center; and Sasha McLarty with the WSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.