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April 11, 2014

Posted by l.meyer | April 10, 2014

Mom’s Weekend wine event expands to ‘Taste of WSU’

pouringA Mom’s Weekend wine tasting has expanded into “Taste of WSU” with heartier food, a larger location and silent auction access to more student clubs for fundraising.

The Viticulture and Enology (V&E) Club will join the CAHNRS Student Senate to host the wine tasting 1:30-5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12, in Ensminger Pavilion.

All ages are welcome. Tickets for non-tasters (includes non-alcoholic beverages and appetizers) cost $10; wine taster tickets cost $25 (includes wine, appetizers and wineglass). Learn more.

CAHNRS Cougs sweep at 2014 Showcase

Thirty-nine awards were presented to 45 WSU students at the third annual Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) 2014 on the afternoon of March 28.

Executive Associate Dean Kim Kidwell and Luke Vannice discuss his senior research project, “Cultivating a Grass Garden through Texture, Color, and Form.” Photo by Nik Grimm.

The work of 192 students WSU-wide was detailed in 11 oral and 145 poster presentations open to faculty, staff, students, and guests. More than 100 judges evaluated the presentations. The judges included WSU emeriti faculty and retirees, faculty, staff, and post-doctoral students as well as experts from companies outside of WSU.

The SURCA awards span eight different categories, and the number of awards in each is partially determined by the number of students competing in it. The highest-level award is the crimson award; the second highest is the gray award. Fourteen crimson and 14 gray awards were presented. Novice awards are restricted to students who have worked up to two semesters on their project and were judged to show “exceptional promise;” eight novice awards were presented. Congratulations to all the CAHNRS Cougs who participated in this year’s Showcase! To see more photos from the event, click here.

  • Crimson award: John Kuhn, agricultural biotechnology major, for “Effect of the Gpc-B1 Allele on Grain Protein Concentration in Hard Red Winter Wheat (Tritcum aestivum L.) in the Pacific Northwest of the US;” mentor Arron Carter
  • Crimson award: Lucas Vannice, landscape architecture major, for “Cultivating a Grass Garden through Texture, Color, and Form;” mentors Rick Knowles and Caroline Pearson-Mims
  • Novice award: Nicholas Rivera, food science major, for “Occurrence of Mycotoxins in Light vs. Dark Peanut Kernels;” mentor Dojin Ryu
  • Crimson award: Janelle Badger, wildlife ecology major, for “The Effect of Previous Herbivory and Virus on Aphid Fitness;” mentor David Crowder
  • Gray award:  Ky Christiansen, interior design major, for “Design Perspectives of Shared vs. Displayed Culture;” mentors Kathleen Ryan and Phil Gruen
  • Novice award: Kelsey Moss, animal science major, for “Polymelia in Holstein Cattle;” mentor Holly Neibergs
  • Gray award: Vanessa Rose, environmental science major, for “The Interactive Effects of Phosphorus and Planktonic Grazers on Harmful Algal Blooms in Vancouver Lake, Washington;” mentors Steve Bollens and Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens
  • Novice award: Josh Gefre, field crop management major, for “Breeding Amaranth;” mentor Kevin Murphy

New online decision tools aid wheat, barley growers

varietyselectionlogoUnsure of what wheat variety to plant this year? There’s a tool for that. Need help measuring the nitrogen levels in your field, before or after harvest? There’s a tool for that too, thanks to Washington State University.

The dynamic online tools, available on the WSU Extension Small Grains website, help growers make informed decisions based on WSU research. Learn more.

Get ready for Pulse! 2014 Mom’s Weekend Fashion Show

pic-4-495x328[1]On Friday, April 11, enjoy an exciting, fast-paced fashion show featuring almost 100 original designs by Apparel, Merchandising, Design & Textiles students. Crowd favorites include mini collections designed by senior students and sustainable designs made from unique materials such as recycled wine corks, bicycle tires and CDs.

Who needs New York Fashion Week when you can find inspired apparel right here in Pullman? This is the 31st Annual Mom’s Weekend Fashion Show. Tickets are available now through the Beasley Coliseum Ticket Office and for $12; the price at the door will be $16. Visit for more information.

Read the first batch of Extension anniversary stories

PrintThe first batch of stories from students, faculty, staff, alumni, volunteers and friends of WSU Extension is now available at for all to enjoy. We hope they inspire you to join the centennial celebration by sharing your Extension experience.

For more information, visit Connect for updates on Extension celebrations at CAHNRS Facebook or Extension 100 Years on Facebook.

Spring cleaning and updates to Extension Publications

ExtOnlinesStoreForMay2 PubsInvAncmtOn May 2, 2014, the inventory of printed publications created in 2008 and before will be greatly reduced. This is part of an effort to ensure the relevance and accuracy of educational materials in the WSU Extension Online Store as well as reduce costs and be more environmentally conscious. More about the new web-first distribution model is available at

Sweet new development by WSU getting attention

wa38Excitement is building around WA 38, the newest apple developed by WSU’s tree fruit breeding program. Although the apple will not be available to growers until 2016-17, the recent press release about the upcoming WA 38 drawing was picked up by more than 30 media outlets, including The Seattle Times, Capital Press and Good Fruit Grower.

Funding for Extension professional development available

Applications are now being accepted for SARE Professional Development Program (PDP) mini-grants for hosting ($800 max) or attending ($500 max) professional development events. For hosted events, the primary audience must be Extension educators or other agriculture professionals. For more information about the SARE PDP program and application instructions, visit Applications will be screened Apr. 15 and Aug. 15, or until funds are exhausted.

March delivers mostly wet, mild weather

The lion quickly surrendered to the lamb in March as a brief shot of early cold rapidly yielded to mild weather for most of the month. The transition to generally wetter and more active weather that began in February continued in earnest. Although Green Bluff’s high was 19 degrees on March 1, Vancouver climbed to 62 degrees just two days later. Many areas dropped only into the low 50s by the morning of March 5.

March 2-8, Montesano received nearly 8 inches of rainfall by averaging more than 1 inch per day. The remainder of the month was characterized by alternating periods of unsettled and drier weather. Western Washington was generally wet, as Long Beach recorded only five dry days in the month.

“Unfortunately, the devastating March 22 landslide that struck Oso led to significant loss of life,” said AgWeatherNet Director Gerrit Hoogenboom. “This tragic event serves as a sobering reminder of the negative side of the recent active weather pattern.” By contrast, rain fell on only three days at Prosser. Read more.


A student team-designed display at Neil’s Flowers in downtown Pullman radiates spring as part of Mom’s Weekend Chocolate Decadence.

Congratulations to the Visual Merchandising and Promotions class for their economic development service project with Pullman merchants that culminated in the Spring Edition of Chocolate Decadence, hosted by the Pullman Chamber of Commerce. Twenty teams made promotions and displays for their client-merchants and helped host the event on Thursday, April 10. Celebrating experiential learning with chocolate!

Entomology graduate student Robbie Zinna’s work was cited in a National Geographic-Phenomena LOOM article titled The Mystery of the Sea Unicorn, by Carl Zimmer.

The UCORE Award Selection Committee announced that Rich Zack was been selected to receive a 2014 Richard G. Law Excellence Award for Undergraduate Teaching. He will be formally presented with the award at the Office of Undergraduate Awards Ceremony this coming Tuesday, April 15. Congratulations to Rich for this impressive honor. For more info about the award, go to

The Entomology Graduate Student Association has been selected for the prestigious WSU President’s Outstanding Organization Award for Leadership. All are cordially invited to the Leadership and Engagement Awards of Distinction (LEAD) Program on Thursday, April 24, 2014, from 5-7 p.m., in the Senior Ballroom of the Compton Union Building on the WSU Pullman campus. Call 509.335.LEAD if you have any questions.

Congratulations to Elias Bloom for earning an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship!

Food Quality and Safety Magazine has featured the WSU Online Master’s in Agriculture: Food Science and Management. Hear from Program Director Dr. Barbara Rasco and current MS Ag FSM student Fangliang Carpenter in the magazine article here.

WSU students Helen Florens, Jessica Levy, Kevin Gavin and Hannah Symonds placed second in their group at the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge last weekend. The top 2 teams in each group were recognized and awarded scholarships and plaques of distinction. John Swain and Larry Fox coached the Dairy Challenge team and traveled to Indiana for the contest.

Sushan Ru, Ph.D. graduate student in Horticulture, has been selected for the prestigious WSU President’s Award for Leadership. She will receive the honor at the Leadership and Engagement Awards of Distinction (LEAD) Program on April 24. She is studying under the direction of Dorrie Main and Cameron Peace.

Congratulations to the following Integrated Plant Sciences (IPS) majors who received awards from the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS): Sarah Brewer (Agricultural Biotechnology) is the 2014 ASHS Outstanding Undergraduate Horticulture Student (award criteria: academics, leadership, participation in campus/club activities, and service to department); and Jonathan Abarca (Fruit & Vegetable Management), Sarah Brewer (Agricultural Biotechnology), Adam Bright (Viticulture & Enology), Austin Christensen (Landscape, Nursery and Greenhouse Management), Cody Dean (Agricultural Biotechnology), Roxann Swank (Viticulture & Enology), and Karissa Wood (Landscape, Nursery, & Greenhouse Management) are 2014 ASHS Collegiate Scholars (juniors and seniors in the top 15% of their class).

77-Q15-Craig+George+baling+soybean+haySteve Norberg is Regional Forage Specialist with WSU Extension, for the Columbia Basin. Steve was interviewed by contributors to both Crops and Soils Magazine and by Hay and Forage Grower Magazine. The March-April edition of Crops and Soils Magazine article is titled “Growing soybean for hay in the West.” The title of the article in the March edition of Hay and Forage Grower Magazine is “Terrific Tonnage From Soybean Hay.” Other collaborators on the project include Don Llewellyn, Regional Livestock Specialist; Steve Fransen, Forage Specialist; and Kefy Desta, Soil Fertility Specialist. The research project is funded by the Grant County Crop Improvement Association.

Congratulations to Anthony Mellow, Apparel Design option, Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles, for being named Outstanding Junior in Human Sciences; and to Gordon Stumpo, Apparel Design option, Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles, for being named Family and Consumer Scientist of the Year.

Des Layne, Tree Fruit Extension Program Leader, was featured in a 100th Anniversary Extension article in a recent edition of the Good Fruit Grower. Watch the video and read the article here.


April 13: WSU Horticulture Club Mom’s Weekend Plant Sale. Get your garden off to a colorful start with tomatoes, peppers, flowers, and more! Come out to Beasley Coliseum at WSU Pullman from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

April 13: Seed Saving Basics. Seed saving starts in the spring! Two generations ago gardeners saved and swapped all of their own seed. Turns out, crops do better when they evolve to your backyard through saving your own seed.  In this class, participants will learn the crops that are easy to save from, fundamentals of breeding and selection, isolation for trickier seeds, simple genetics, cleaning and storage techniques, and planning your garden for seed saving. In the fall we will offer Part B, where students will winnow, clean, sort and package their own seed.

April 14: School of Food Science Featured Speaker. Dr. David Mills, University of California Davis, will speak on Monday, April 14, from 4-5 p.m. in WSU’s FSHN T101. His talk will be on “Establishment of a milk-oriented microbiota in infants: New insight into probiotics and prebiotics.” A reception will be held after the seminar at 5 p.m. in FSHN 103/155. The event is open to all faculty, staff and students. For more information, contact Giuliana Noratto at

April 18: School of Food Science Featured Speaker. Dr. Eugene B. Chang, MD will speak on Friday, April 18 from 11:10 am-12 pm in WSU’s FSHN T101. Dr. Chang is from the University of Chicago and will speak on our microbial organ and its role in health and diet-induced disease. A pizza lunch will follow the talk in FSHN 103/155 and is open to all faculty, staff and students. For more information, contact Meijun Zhu at 335-4016 or

CTLL MultiDayImmersion topbanner-1024x432April 20: Registration deadline for Tidal Leadership: Multi-Day Immersion-Based Training. This program is intended for people who want to hone their leadership skills or expand their responsibility level as a leader. The training will help you get more out of your professional and personal experiences. Join our professional leadership facilitators to take your leadeship skills to the next level. Register by April 30.

April 28-30: Northwest Wood-Based Biofuels+Co-Products ConferenceWSU Extension and USDA are primary sponsors of this first-of-its-kind event to be held in Seattle. The conference features a packed agenda with first-rate speakers, including Peter Goldmark, Washington State Director of Public Lands.

View more upcoming events in April on the CAHNRS Events calendar.

In eNewsletters

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March 13 – On Solid Ground – Stink Bug Invasion, Unpalatable Poplars, Ag Forum. This edition features stories about the brown marmorated stink bug, deterring pests among poplars with Jeff Kallestad, and women in agriculture.

Feb. 26 – Voice of the Vine – Clean Plants, Taste Washington, Maritime Grapes. This edition features a look at the Clean Plants program with Michelle Moyer and Ken Eastwell, Taste Washington, and growing grapes in western Washington.

Feb. 19 – Green Times – Bioasphalt, Fungi, Soil. This edition features stories about paving roads with fryer oil and exploring environmentally-friendly veggie grafting with Carol Miles, and CSANR’s efforts to improve soil quality.

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Check out the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources page for event announcements, new publications and blog entries from Perspectives on Sustainability

Also, check out what’s new from CAHNRS on social media:

The Wine Science Center

The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

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