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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 wsuamdtfashionshow.squarespace.com.

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 amdt.wsu.edu.

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.

New from Extension: The economics of potato production

Potatoes in foreground, in a row. On a farm, farmworkers in the distance.Washington is the second largest producer of potatoes in the United States, growing more than 5 million tons annually.

Head shot of Galinato
Suzette Galinato

In the WSU Extension online bookstore, Suzette Galinato, economist with the School of Economic Sciences’ IMPACT Center, and co-author Carrie Wohleb, Potato, Vegetable & Seed Crops Extension Specialist, share a new, free guide to help growers explore the feasibility of potato production in Washington’s Columbia Basin.

This study helps growers create an economic budget to evaluate farm viability, providing a general guide to estimate the fixed, variable and opportunity costs of production.

You can download it from the bookstore here.

Find other Extension guides online.

Thoughts of campus during online education

CAHNRS faculty and students share their thoughts about online education

Summarizing the impact of WSU President Kirk Schulz’s announcement earlier this spring about moving from in person to online courses isn’t easy. From students to faculty, the response to online learning due to Covid-19 varied greatly and emotions ran high in the days that preceded spring break. During this time, students rushed to say goodbye to their friends, seniors tried to soak up the last few days on their beloved WSU campus, and faculty and staff worked tirelessly to adjust their classes for online learning and gave their best advice to their students one last time in person for the semester.

Now, with the end of the spring semester, there is a chance to look back on the last seven weeks and analyze just how online learning compares to in-person education, and how we reacted as a university, a family, and as individuals.

Chalk message "Congrats 2020 Grads" written on pavement on WSU campus.
Inspirational message on a near-empty WSU campus.

The student perspective

After the announcement of online learning, students had to make a variety of decisions. Some stayed in Pullman, others went home, others started full-time jobs early, and yet others began part-time jobs to support their families. The transition wasn’t always smooth and balancing these responsibilities became difficult for some.

“We had to create an entirely new schedule,” explains Hallie Galbreath, a Agricultural Food and Business Economics major who just graduated. “For me, it’s been interesting because now I’m at home working for my dad on the farm. Trying to work and fit in classes at certain times, sometimes that means sitting in the tractor on my class.”

The students had to adapt. Whether that was with their schedules or their learning styles, they had to figure out how to learn in different ways. They no longer had their classmates to learn with and many did not have as easy access to professors.

While it was tough for some students to adjust, they have been able to thrive once their schedules were adjusted and set. For many like Hallie, this meant working on a family farm while taking classes. For other others, this meant rising to the challenge and learning how to balance their various priorities.

For Luke Williams, senior Agricultural Economics major, he found success by constructing an entirely new schedule that fit in his work, classes, and extra free time. While he adjusted to this balance, he still missed his walk to campus and the structure that comes with in-person education but was excited about the prospect of setting his own timeline every day.

“It’s hard without a rigid schedule,” Williams says. “It’s nice because I am able to be more flexible in my personal life but it’s tougher because my focus is not 100% on school like it would be in a regular school year.”

Williams, who just graduated, understood the importance of staying focused and managed to do so even during tough stretches. He and Galbreath are excited to enter the workforce over this summer. This experience has shown them that they can adapt and push through the challenges that life may throw at them, a skill that will be invaluable during their future careers.

For younger students, this transition caused concern for their classes next semester. Julia Layland, freshman in Agricultural Education, said her welding class and lab were originally to help set her up for her advanced welding class next semester. Now, she does not know how she’ll do in the advanced class when she doesn’t have the basic skills normally taught in her current class.

“Several of my classes are so lab heavy that I have to go back and compound on those skills that were supposed to be learned,” Julia explains. “I think it’s going to be a big challenge.”

Sophomore Agricultural Education major Nicole Snyder shares Laylan’ds concerns, and agrees that the transition back to in-person education may be difficult in the fall. She has felt the loss throughout this semester in her Biology 107 class, where she was unable to perform experiments which are well known by students who have taken this class.

The largest impact felt by students falls with being unable to learn alongside classmates and friends.

“I am a super social learner and the social aspect of school is motivating to me,” Galbreath said. “I learn better from other people and not being able to have that has made it difficult to stay motivated, but also trying to relearn how to learn new information on my own has been tough.”

This lack of connection has been slightly lessened with the help of Zoom, Facetime, phone calls, texts, and other long-distance activities. For every student who misses their friends and classmates, there is another student to pick up the phone and call them. What this time has showed us is the importance of personal connection; the ability to bounce ideas off another person, the chance to ask questions in class, the opportunity to struggle through homework together, and the simple act of being in the same room as friends to learn about something. Regardless of distance, Cougs will find a way to still connect and thrive in whatever situation they find themselves in.

"Go Cougs" written in chalk on the Terrell Mall on campus.
More inspiration on campus.

From the faculty’s eyes

 Students are not the only ones who faced transition this spring, faculty had to adjust as well. After spending eight weeks teaching in classrooms, getting to know their students, and hosting office hours that were well used, faculty had all this taken away and felt the strain just as much as their students did.

“I love teaching, I love my students, I love my content – but teaching and learning in the middle of a global pandemic has been one of the most challenging aspects of my academic career,” said Caitlin Bletscher, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Human Development. “As faculty, this is the time when our rubrics, our grading, our assignments are not the bottom line: compassion, grace, and understanding is our bottom line.”

Bletscher was one of many faculty throughout CAHNRS who felt the shift in their teaching styles and in the way they helped their students. Holly Henning-Yeager, a clinical assistant professor in CAHNRS who teaches a senior capstone classes in Agricultural and Food Systems, saw a variety of successes and difficulties as she strove to serve her students.

“I had some anxiety about how to manage the technology, specifically helping students who are not able to join during class time,” Yeager said. “The transition to online teaching offered new challenges and a quick learning curve with the technology. It also offered new opportunities to work with each of the student teams to find ways to work remotely.”

Yeager taught her class of seniors to be adaptive with the changing situation and to stay focused at the tasks at hand. While Yeager worked directly with her students, CAHNRS Associate Dean of Academic Programs Rich Zack did his best to help students and faculty transition in this time and had a bird’s eye view of all that was happening within his department. He helped facilitate trainings for faculty and encouraged them to do their best.

“We have had to learn new ways of doing things and we have had to learn fast. For some, they had to change how they teach in ways that they never would have considered,” Zack said. “Most have risen to the challenge and have done a magnificent job at it.”

On a human level, regardless of success or failures with the transition, the one-on-one atmosphere and tight-knit community of WSU cannot be replaced over the internet. Faculty miss their students, and students miss their teachers. Overall, however, the situation has taught us how to be flexible, to communicate better, and to appreciate all that we have in front of us.

“I do think that this experience will make a lot of us stronger and will make us realize that life and our times together are very precious and should not be squandered,” Zack said.

Some things can’t be replaced

Despite the challenges, our Cougar nation has rose to the task at hand and, while there have been hardships, students have still been able to learn, and faculty have been able to teach. CAHNRS is proud of the way faculty and students have adjusted, and there are things both have learned this semester that can be implemented to better in-person education. There are, however, some things that simply cannot be replaced by online education.

For Layland, the simple ability to see people from around the world is something she cannot replace in her small logging community in western Washington. She loves walking across campus to her classes seeing people from around the world, from different cultures and different walks of life. This college has not only given her the chance to pursue a great major but has expanded her horizons in ways she never thought possible.

Through all these ups and downs, our faculty and staff has found ways to make it through. Communication about expectations has increased, students have learned how to prioritize their time, and faculty has gained invaluable skills that can be taken back to the classroom. Maybe this semester didn’t turn out as expected, but we have finished the school year stronger and more resilient than ever. If anything, our community has been brought closer together while being miles apart.

“Our students are strong, our faculty are strong, our staff are strong, Bletscher said. “We are resilient, Coug Nation – let us lift one another up in support, empower those who are struggling. For me, the end of the semester is not the time to stay silent, not the time to throw our hands up in the air and say ‘Thank God that’s over! Instead, it is the time to check up on our most vulnerable. Check in on your friends, colleagues, and peers. Check in on those living alone, check in on those who had to grab an extra job, check in on those that had to move home with their families, check in on those that lost a loved one. Now is our time to be proactive.”

Promising minds, strong hearts: 2020 student award winners named in CAHNRS

Award-winning students in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Science are changing the world.

Every year, CAHNRS recognizes outstanding students in a range of fields—from agriculture to family and consumer sciences, as well as promising undergraduates and clubs.

The College’s 2020 Student Award winners include students who are addressing agricultural, animal, and societal health, seizing opportunities for involvement on campus and across the state, and aspiring to make positive impacts in their future careers.

Selected students include:

Head and shoulders photo of Lochridge wearing graduate's sash.
Daniel Lochridge

Family and Consumer Scientist of the Year

Daniel Lochridge, senior from Missoula, Mont., is an economics major and business minor studying financial markets.

Involved in many organizations across WSU, including Student Affairs, ASWSU, the WSU Alumni Association, the WSU Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Lochridge volunteered at the Pullman Food Bank, wrote for the Daily Evergreen, and helped lead a group of students in ASWSU’s Environmental Sustainability Alliance committee to teach children at Franklin Elementary School about local sustainable issues.

Lochridge was also a peer mentor for the Terry Sparks Entrepreneurship Program, helping fellow students get the most out of their college experience. He plans to attend law school and found his own legal consulting company for entrepreneurs.

“Daniel’s interest focuses on ways to improve societal functions, not just profits,” said Economics Professor Alan Love.  “With his ability to balance demanding course work, leadership experience, and motivation to give back to the community, Daniel is an outstanding candidate for this award.”

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Katie Doonan

Aggie of the Year

Exploring how to keep people healthy through sound agricultural practices, 2020 Aggie of the Year Katie Doonan graduates this spring with a double degree from WSU’s Organic and Sustainable Agriculture program and in basic medical science, part of the university’s biology program.

A 13th generation farmer and rancher who can trace her lineage back to 1640, Katie Doonan works summers as a volunteer firefighter and EMT while helping her family with harvest.

“I aspire to be a physician and farmer that connects food production with long-term societal health,” Doonan says. “My goal is to create a cohesive system where sides aren’t pitted against each other.”

Working closely with Regents Professor John Reganold, director of WSU’s organic and sustainable agriculture systems program, she took part in research in his lab, and worked on the 30-acre Eggert Family Organic Farm. She most recently worked as an undergraduate research assistant in Crops & Soils, where she studied the effects of a fungal infestation on wheat growth and roots.

Doonan goes beyond the classroom, applying what she is learning to her family’s farm, Montgomery Creek Ranch in California. Here, she is working to expand the farm’s cropping systems of alfalfa and forage crops to small-grain and integrated livestock production.

“What’s most notable regarding Katie is the passion she exhibits in whatever she is doing,” commented Reganold. “Katie is one of the most conscientious students I have known. She is highly self-motivated, a diligent worker, and an independent thinker.”

Head shot of Nalbandian
Elizabeth Nalbandian

Outstanding Junior in Agricultural Sciences

Elizabeth Nalbandian, a Food Science major seeking a second degree in hospitality business management, hails from Jerusalem, Israel, and is fluent in four languages, Armenian, Hebrew, Arabic, and English.

She serves as lead chocolatier at Crimson Confections, teaching students about production and sparking interest in the world of chocolate. An active member of Food Science Club, Nalbandian was also part of her school’s food product development team, joining peers from diverse cultures in preparing an innovative idea in food. She helped develop Palouse Power Soup, a whey-based lentil and rice soup.

Last year, she had the chance to study in Italy and France, participating in a pastry class, furthering her knowledge of gastronomy, and learning about European cultures.

“I will use the knowledge and inspiration gained to create products containing diverse ingredients that help underprivileged populations with nutritional deficits,” she says.

Nalbandian plans to work in company research and development, producing food solutions for nutrition in developing countries.

Head shot of Taylor
Emma Taylor

Outstanding Junior in Human Sciences

Emma Taylor is an economic sciences major from Gig Harbor, Wash., minoring in mathematics and French. She plans to become a PhD economist.

Involved in student government, she served on ASWSU’s Issues and Forums Committee, helping provide educational programming around civic engagement, public policy literacy, and political communication. She assisted in hosting debates between campus political groups, and met with state lawmakers during Cougar Lobby Day in Olympia.

Taylor also worked as a teaching assistant for Prof. Vicki McCracken in the School of Economic sciences, helping students through lab assignments, while assisting Honors College faculty with translation of 16th century works.

“I am so passionate about education and student success, so the opportunity to help students succeed was so fulfilling,” she said.

Last year, Taylor interned with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in Olympia, managing the Washington Crop Weather survey and providing estimates for acreage in Washington and Idaho.

Taylor “has great potential to be successful in her graduate program, and have a successful career in research to inform policy makers,” said McCracken. “She is a committed leader who will finish what she starts.”

head shot of Prins
Abbi Prins

Emerging Undergraduate Leader in Agricultural Sciences

Abbi Prins, a sophomore from Tulare, Calif., exploring pre-veterinary studies in the Department of Animal Sciences and minoring in Agribusiness Economics, holds a 4.0 GPA at WSU and is an up-and-coming leader in dairy nutrition.

A new CAHNRS Ambassador team facilitator, she was part of the IGNITE student research program as a freshman, exploring dairy genomics with Professor Holly Neibergs. Prins is a member of the California Junior Holstein Association, and helps young people attend the association’s national convention, winning the National Dairy Bowl Champion title.

She aspires to help dairy producers make their animals more profitable, more efficient, and stronger genetically.

“I strive to encourage the next generation to get involved in agriculture, educate the public about where their food comes from, and why food grown by farmers has a stronger nutritional value,” says Prins in her award application.

“Food doesn’t appear in the grocery store,” she says. “A variety of people put in a lot of hard work for it to finally get to the grocery store and eventually to your home. As a leader, I have the opportunity to have some power in my words in why nutritional food is so important, and to explain how it is produced.”

Portrait photo of Sikora
Michelle Sikora

Emerging Undergraduate Leader in Human Sciences

Michelle Sikora, an economics major and political science minor from San Diego, Calif., is a CAHNRS Ambassador and teaching assistant in Human Development who is involved in many campus organizations. She holds a 4.0 GPA at WSU, and has engaged in undergraduate research on water laws in the west, mentored by Dr. Jon Yoder.

Passionate about the study of law, she loves being able to combine that study with economics and hopes to focus on corporate law in her career.

Sikora seeks to make significant impact in the world of human sciences.

“I hope to help corporations make smart, as well as ethical, decisions for their businesses and companies,” she said.

“In her time at WSU, Michelle has proven not only her academic potential, but also her leadership and willingness to be involved in university life,” commented School of Economic Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor Alex Prera.

Superior Club

The Horticulture Club provides opportunities for students to participate in plant production, plant sales, workshops, service activities, and social events. The group is advised by Horticulture Plant Growth Facilities Manager James Holden and Instructor Carol Kawula.

The club hosts work parties, a fall apple picking and cider pressing, a floral centerpiece workshop, an annual holiday party to recognize faculty in the Horticulture department, and many plant sales. The club also donates a tree to be planted by the WSU president in the campus arboretum.

From start to finish, students are responsible for success of the club, says Holden.

Every spring, students earn students earn scholarship credit hours by participating in weekly work parties involving all aspects of greenhouse crop production. In 2019, 39 members received $13,367 in scholarship funds raised through club activities.

Active members included Luke Benton, Drew Bowdish, Zeke Brazinton, Erin Chatel, Justene Deubel, Matt Donovan, Michael Dolieslager, Faith Ellsworth, Paola Flores, Alexa Hintze, Julie Justiano, Austin Lenssen, Caitlin Madden, Kaylee Perich, Morgan Riley, David Lay, and Thomas Synoground.

 

Outstanding Seniors

Agricultural Economics: Vanessa Giramata

Business Economics: Isabella Cristelli

Economics, Policy and Law: Ashley Knauf

International Economics and Development: Jaehun Jeong

Quantitative Economics: Owen Thompson

Agricultural and Food Business Economics: Gracie Dickerson

Viticulture and Enology: Bernadette Gagnier

Agricultural Biotechnology: Grace Murekatete

Landscape, Nursery and Greenhouse Management: Julie Justiniano

Animal Sciences: Jessica Guske

Environmental and Ecosystems Sciences: Brenden Campbell

Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Sciences: Eli Loftis

Earth Sciences: Keita Hasegawa

Forestry: Julia Behling

Human Development: Amelia Van Meter

Human Development: Leanna Totten

Apparel Design: Sara Liddy

Apparel Merchandising: Rachael Tang

Fermentation Science: Sarah Harkins

Financial Markets: Logan Dziuk

Food Science: Sullivan Nevada