New WSU USDA-ARS research facility on the horizon

Tour participants visit a greenhouse.
WSU and USDA tour participants view greenhouse-based research at WSU’s Plant Growth Facility.

Collaborating on plans for a new U.S. Department of Agriculture research facility at Washington State University’s Pullman campus, Dean André-Denis Wright and program leaders in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) joined scientists from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) June 20 for a meeting and tour of their partnership’s cooperative research.

USDA-ARS funds more than 800 research projects annually at nearly 100 research locations, many of them jointly operated by universities. At WSU, USDA-ARS scientists work side-by-side with university faculty in labs on campus and at farms and research stations across the state, serving as a model partnership for sites across the nation.

ARS scientists based at Pullman explore and enhance many aspects of Northwest agriculture, including wheat and legume health, quality and genetics, sustainable agriculture, plant germplasm testing and research, and animal disease research. USDA is currently planning for a proposed new facility, the ARS Biosciences Building, which will provide space, resources, and tools for vital work that university and USDA scientists perform in partnership.

On June 20, participants saw at first-hand USDA-ARS and CAHNRS collaborations at the campus’ Plant Growth Facility, learned about research that supports state agriculture, and highlighted areas where the new building can help support science goals. Following the tour, participants discussed the construction timeline and process for the new building.

Part of WSU’s Research and Education Complex (REC), a precinct for interdisciplinary science, this new building could begin construction as early as 2021.

Planning for a proposed new USDA-ARS Biosciences Building at Pullman, partners from CAHNRS and USDA view a campus greenhouse, above, and growth facility workroom.

Visitors gather around a large table in a workroom.