WSU Ag Research Center, WSU Extension Break Record for Grant Awards

PULLMAN, Wash. – Fiscal 2009 was a record-breaking year in terms of grant awards to faculty members in the Washington State University College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences and WSU Extension.

The WSU Agricultural Research Center, housed in CAHNRS, topped its fiscal 2008 total for grant awards by nearly $6 million, jumping from $27.7 million to $33.4 million for fiscal 2009, which ended June 30. WSU Extension grant awards grew from $25.5 million in fiscal 2008 to approximately $29 million in FY09. In both cases, it is the largest dollar amount of grant dollars awarded in recent history.

“Achieving this kind of success in the current economic environment speaks volumes about the quality and initiative of our faculty,” said Dan Bernardo, CAHNRS dean and director of WSU Extension. “We use the state dollars we receive to leverage even more to fund projects that directly benefit the state in agriculture, natural resources and the human sciences.”

Ralph Cavalieri, associate dean of CAHNRS and director of the WSU Agricultural Research Center, agreed.

“The bulk of the credit here goes to the faculty who recognize the increasing need for additional resources, especially in light of declines in state appropriations,” he said.

Linda Kirk Fox, associate dean of CAHNRS and assistant director of WSU Extension, said the grant awards for Extension programs reflect the increasing strength of partnerships between WSU Extension faculty and organizations throughout the state.

“With a presence in each of the state’s 39 counties, there are numerous opportunities to partner at the local level to make a difference in the lives of Washingtonians,” she said. “Even in tight economic times, our county partners and others continue to funnel scarce dollars into Extension programs.”

In WSU Extension, grant dollars support programs for agriculture, but also for child nutrition, low impact development, improved water quality and rural economic development.

In CAHNRS, the majority of the grant awards will go toward agricultural research on everything from integrated pest management in vineyards and automated orchards to drought resistant wheat and breaking down biomass for biofuels.