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MEDIA ADVISORY: New Dean at Spillman Field Day July 7

Map to Spillman Agronomy Farm in PDF format.

Daniel J. Bernardo, who will begin duties as the new dean of Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, later this summer, will be available for interviews after the noon luncheon of the Spillman Agronomy Farm Field Day on Thursday, July 7.

Two important milestones will be marked at this year’s field day: the 100th anniversary of the university’s first wheat variety release and the 50th anniversary of the purchase of the farm. Experimental lines of grain and legume crops are tested at Spillman before they are released to Northwest farmers to grow.

Early wheat varieties dating back to the early 20th century will be on display alongside breeding lines that are being tested.

Robert Allan, retired USDA-Agricultural Research Service geneticist, will be the featured speaker at noon. Allan harvested his predecessor’s plots at Spillman when he began work in Pullman in the fall of 1957. He still has plots at Spillman Farm to this day, nine years after retiring from the USDA-ARS.

Registration for the free event will begin at 7:30 a.m.

Laurie Winn Carlson, author of the biography “William J. Spillman and the Birth of Agricultural Economics,” will speak briefly at 7:55 a.m. Spillman was the university’s first wheat breeder (and first football coach). Spillman Farm was named for him.

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris of Spokane is expected to make brief remarks shortly afterward.

Plot tours will begin about 8:15 a.m. and end at noon.

Spillman farm is located at 1452 Johnson Road, southeast of Pullman. The event is free and open to the public. (See map.)

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Reporters are welcome to attend. Dennis Brown in the Information Office will be happy to arrange interviews with any field day speaker. You will be able to reach him at (509) 335-2930 (office) before the field day or (509) 432-4548 (cell) on July 7.