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National Organic Center Supports WSU Research

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Organic Center, a national non-profit organization supporting research and education on the consumer and environmental health benefits of organic food and farming, has donated another $30,000 to support organic agriculture research and programming at Washington State University.

This latest donation brings the total in gifts and grants to WSU from the Organic Center to more than $150,000.

“The generous support of organizations like The Organic Center makes a significant contribution to our ongoing efforts to better understand the science and outcomes of organic agriculture and to educate the organic farmers of the future,” said Dan Bernardo, dean of the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. “We appreciate the partnership.”

Charles Benbrook, chief scientist for the Organic Center, said the center supports WSU because of its commitment to expanding the science behind organic agriculture.

“We applaud the commitment of WSU to organic farming education training at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” he said. “We eagerly anticipate the contributions of the young scientists and practitioners graduating from these programs.”

In 2007, WSU became the first institution in the country to offer an academic major in organic agriculture. The following year it was the first to offer an online certificate in organic ag.

The Organic Center has supported several specific projects with WSU, including research with Regents Professor of Soil Science John Reganold on the long-term benefits of sustainable agricultural systems, with Associate Professor Neal Davies in the School of Pharmacology on phytochemicals in food and with Professor Preston Andrews on the relative nutritional benefits of organic food.