MEDIA ADVISORY: Valentine’s Day News Tips from CAHNRS


The following are Valentine Day feature story ideas from the Washington State University College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

Can you imagine Valentine’s Day without chocolate? WSU bioinformaticist Dorrie Main can’t, but points out that pests, diseases and other factors are endangering the planet’s chocolate supply. Main’s love of chocolate is just one reason why she’s been contributing her expertise to sequencing the cacao genome to safeguard the future of chocolate. For more information, contact Main at 509-335-2774 or

Chocolate and flowers are a perennial Valentine’s Day gift. The Skagit Valley boasts thousands of acres of fields and greenhouses dedicated to bringing the beauty of flowers to people across the country and beyond. Scientists at the WSU Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center provide the research to help flower farmers grow beautiful, healthy flowers. NWREC and local flower farms are teaming up to present a two-day class, Feb. 18 and 19,for those starting in the business of growing and selling high quality cut flowers. The class will cover both good farming practices and the business side of being a flower farmer. For more information go to and click on “Events,” or contact NWREC director Steve Jones at 360-416-5210 or

Despite its complex chemistry of aroma and flavor and its possible health-benefiting compounds, such as resveratrol, wine and Valentine’s Day have a simple, straightforward relationship. “Most people still consider wine to be a beverage for special occasions,” says WSU enologist Jim Harbertson. “So, on special romantic occasions, such as Valentine’s Day, we turn to wine, and especially sparkling wine, to heighten the mood.” For more information, contact Harbertson at 509-378-7214 or

Just because you and your Valentine argue doesn’t mean your relationship is in trouble. Just because there’s no fighting, doesn’t mean your relationship is perfect. Matthew Bumpus, associate professor of human development at WSU, says the latest research takes a second look at the role of conflict in romantic relationships. For more information and tips on how to keep your relationship real and romantic, contact Bumpus at 509-335-3816 or