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Students learn the ropes of ag education careers at regional conference

Anderson and Duim Ag Education
WSU Ag Education students Ruby Anderson, left, and Morgan Duim share ideas for career development activities during the “Ideas Unlimited” workshop at this spring’s regional agricultural education conference.

Sharing ideas as they learned how to launch their own careers as teachers, nine Washington State University agricultural education students attended the National Association of Agricultural Educators regional conference, April 27-29 in Blaine, Wash.

Students Ruby Anderson, Kathleen Chadwick, Sandra Crook, Morgan Duim, Julia Layland, Kaylee Mcghan, Mackenzie McGary, Michael Ramirez Martinez, and Rachael Shrauger joined peers and teachers from 11 western states at the regional conference.

Engaging with teachers from across the west through industry tours, professional development workshops, business meetings, and networking opportunities, students attended the Future Agriculture Teacher Symposium, which explores topics that help educators enter the profession.

“This experience is an excellent opportunity for our students to engage in the professional community they will be entering, and build a network of peers and mentors who will support them through their career,” said Anna Warner, WSU Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education.
Three WSU students led workshops for teachers: Schrauger led “Mentorship for Success,” while Anderson and Layland led “Designing Course Websites.”

“The goal was to give teachers a way to connect technology to their class,” said Anderson, who will attend the Washington Association of Agricultural Education conference this summer, begin student teaching this fall, and plans to graduate in the spring 2023.

“I am beyond excited to use what I have learned and grow the connections I have made in the next few years of teaching,” she added. “It’s so clear how the older generation of ag teachers want the newer to succeed. There are always people in the profession who want to help you.”

Taking part in a Future Agriscience Teacher (FAST) workshop, Ramirez Martinez shared and listened to innovative ideas that help teachers develop supervised agricultural experiences for their high schoolers.

“A school-based co-op is a great way for students to learn real-life skills,” said Ramirez, who offered the example of a summer rabbit co-operative from his hometown of Elma, Wash.

“This conference has given a lot of information that I can use in and out of the classroom,” he added.

NAAE advocates for agricultural education, provides professional development, and helps recruit and retain educators in the profession. Learn more on the NAAE homepage.

Latest Extension guides: Irrigated agriculture, vineyard pests, and hop farming

Field irrigationThe latest new and revised guides from WSU Extension help agricultural producers understand how to improve irrigated farming in south-central Washington; manage vineyard insect pests; and learn how to establish a strong hops farm.

New publications

Overview of Irrigated Agriculture in Benton County (TB81E)

Intended for farm producers, agencies, and partners, this publication is part of a series exploring irrigation system efficiency across five Washington counties.

Irrigated agriculture in central Washington is limited by the semiarid climate and water competition. A data-based approach can help farmers optimize crop yield and farm profitability, while efficient irrigation management can help reduce water waste, save energy, and maintain healthy soil.

Authors include Sylvi Thortenson, Don McMoran, Abdelmoneim Mohamed, Kate Seymour, and R. Troy Peters.

Revised guides

Field Guide for Integrated Pest Management in Pacific Northwest Vineyards (PNW644), $33.

In the second edition of this 160-page guide, experts update pest management practices for established pests and provide new information on emerging pests and diseases.

To produce high-quality wine and juice grapes, effective pest management is essential. The heart of the guide describes individual pests and disorders including insects, diseases, nematodes, and weeds, and share recommendations for management.

Hop bud2020 Estimated Costs of Establishing and Producing Conventional and Organic Hops in the Pacific Northwest

One of the key ingredients in beer, hops are grown commercially in the Pacific Northwest, the hub of U.S. production. Authored by economist Suzette Galinato, this study is a general guide for evaluating the feasibility of establishing and producing conventional and organic hops in the Pacific Northwest, with a capital and machinery endowment suited to a 660-acre hop farm.

See all recent new and revised WSU Extension Publications here.

April 23: Insect Expo event teaches public about bugs

WSU’s Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) hosts their annual public Insect Expo to introduce and educate the community about insects. The event features live insects people can handle, a pollinator table, hissing roach races, and other fun activities. This is free event for both kids and adults. Come learn more about bugs!

Two students sit at a table with cockroaches crawling on their hands. A sign on the table says  'cockroach derby'.
Madagascar hissing cockroaches are a popular attraction at the Insect Expo.

EGSA students will also be selling honey, t-shirts, hats, stickers, and more. Bring your kids, roommates, partners, and friends to play with some bugs. All the insects are non-biting and pretty cute. The Palouse Conservation District will be there talking about their upcoming City Nature Challenge.

The event is Saturday, April 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in WSU’s Ensminger Pavilion.

Keep your lawn green, bring community to the farm with new WSU Extension guides

Farm Walk
A Farm Walk in action.

The latest new guides from WSU Extension explain how to hold a Farm Walk, and help Washington homeowners save water while maintaining a healthy, green lawn.

Revised guides offer detailed crop protection and pest management advice for tree fruit and grape growers.

The WSU Extension bookstore offers a searchable library of knowledge on agriculture, 4-H, natural resources, 4-H, family and home, apparel design, and more.

New publications include:

Learning Agroecology on the Land: Holding a Farm Walk (FS371E)

WSU Extension worked with the Tilth Producers of Washington to launch a series of interactive farmer-to-farmer workshops, called “Farm Walks,” on the state’s leading organic farms. After 15 years and more than 150 Farm Walks, experts draw on evaluations and organizers’ experiences to develop guidelines and share insights with others who may want to offer these programs. Authors include Anne Schwartz, Katherine Smith, Doug Collins, and Marcia Ostrom.

Manage Water by Adjusting Lawn Sprinkler Run Time: Instructions for the Columbia Basin of Washington State (FS372E)

Irrigating to maintain a lawn while also reducing water use is a challenging task. Compared to a uniform farm field, lawns are often a mixture of grass, shrubs, and trees, with shaded and sunny areas that vary by season, slopes, and soil types—all of which affect the water that plants need. Seasonal adjustments with an automatic controller will save money on water bills, maintain your lawn, and conserve water; easy-to-follow steps are included. Authored by WSU Extension Agronomist Andy McGuire.

Revised editions

Pest Management Guide for Grapes in Washington (EB0762)

This newly revised guide covers control of diseases, insects, weeds, and vertebrate pests on commercial grapes. Weed controls are outlined for new and established plantings, while disease and insect controls are coordinated to pest and crop stage. Authored by WSU/Extension, WSDA, and USDA scientists; section coordinators include Rachel Bomberger, Wendy Sue Wheeler, Tim Miller, Doug Walsh, Gwen Hoheisel, Inga Zasada, Michelle Moyer, Naidu Rayapati, and Prashant Swamy. Cost is $9.50.


Crop Protection Guide for Tree Fruits in Washington (EB0419)

Revised for 2022, this publication outlines examples of pesticides registered on orchard insect, disease, and weed pests in Washington state, and includes efficacy charts. Cost is $21.50.


See all recent new and revised WSU Extension Publications here.

Photo gallery: Vital creations snag awards at 2022 AMDT Fashion Show

Skelton collection
Pepper Family Best in Show Award Winner Grace Skelton with her models and collection: “Ephemeral Autumn.”

Showcasing dozens of collections themed around life, renewal, and change, students in the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles presented the 39th annual WSU Fashion Show to a live audience, April 1 at Beasley Coliseum.

The show featured 14 senior designers from the Class of 2022, junior and sophomore class-created designs, as well as fashions by one 2021 senior who was not able to show works in last year’s virtual event.

Titled “Vitality,” the fashion show was organized by an all-AMDT student production class, and featured roughly 50 models recruited from the community and trained to walk on the runway.

Senior collections explored dozens of ideas: personality, exuberance, elegance, breaking limits, utility, humanity, mental health, Pacific Northwest trails, and the colors of the dawn.

Nine seniors won show awards for their creations:

  • Rising Star Award: Angelique Attalah
  • Social Awareness Award: Ciara MacDonald
  • Craftsmanship Award: Stone Duran
  • Diversity Award: Sydney Jensen
  • Visual Impact: Joseline Davila
  • Most Innovative Designer and Department Chair’s Choice Award: Keyondra White
  • Cutting Edge Award and Associate Dean’s Choice Award: Gene Brown
  • Most Marketable Collection and Dean’s Choice Award: Colby Van Dyk
  • Mollie Pepper Family Best of Show Award: Grace Skelton

View an album with more photos on the CAHNRS Flickr photostream.


Keyondra White
Keyondra White comes on stage for her collection, “All You: Unlocked.”

Model in white gown
A model shows one of the 2022 AMDT student-designed fashions.

Edeza-Rodriguez collection and models
Kasandra Edeza-Rodriguez with her model team and collection, “Nuestro Nivel.”

Gomez fashion group
Senior designer Luis Gomez, center in black, with his untitled collection, referencing earth tones, military silhouettes, and plenty of pockets.

Van Dyk with models and bouquet
Colby Van Dyk and her floral, pink-inspired collection, “Dianthus.”

Models with Mercedes Pinnell
Mercedes Pinnell joins models for her collection, “Sole.”

Stone Duran group
Stone Duran with his fashions, titled “Chrysanthemum.”

Sydney Jensen collection with models
Sydney Jensen with her collection, EOS, or “Of the Dawn.”

All You: Unlocked
Keyondra White’s full collection.

Gene collection AMDT Fashion Show
Gene Brown with her modeled collection, “Quiet Opulence.”

Brooks, center, with five models
Amiah Brooks, center, with models showing her bright, rhinestone-jeweled collection, “No Limits.”

Fashion models with Silva, standing
Isaac Silva shares his collection, “Broken Trails.”

Models with designer, on stage.
Ciara MacDonald with her designs, “Saving Grace.”

Joseline Davila and her collection, “The Starter Pack,” fashionable utility wear for females.

Production Crew
The AMDT Fashion Show Production Crew is thanked on stage.

Crimson Spirit Award honors Horticulture advisor Ade Snider

Ade Snider
Ade Snider, Department of Horticulture

Going the extra mile to help students grow career and research opportunities in the Department of Horticulture, Academic and Internship Coordinator Ade Snider is a newly named 2022 Crimson Spirit Award winner.

Washington State University’s Crimson Spirit recognition honors employees who provide exceptional service and surpass expectations while representing WSU. Honorees receive a plaque, pin, and university-wide acknowledgment at the annual Employee Recognition Reception.

Sharer and solver

Snider was nominated for outstanding assistance to Horticulture students, faculty, and staff.

Peers say she combines the advising process with technical skills, and generously shares her knowledge of IT, programs, and systems to solve technical challenges.

When COVID-19 impacted teaching, she found solutions that would enable virtual learning to run as smoothly as possible. And, when the pandemic precluded an important in-person fundraiser, she helped set up a virtual plant sale for the Horticulture Club.

“Ade loves a challenge,” one nominator wrote. “If something seems too difficult to work out, she sticks with it and usually comes up with a solution. She says she looks at challenges like a jigsaw puzzle and brilliantly is able to pull things together.”

Ade “likes helping us because that’s just who she is, but she also loves working for all of WSU’s students,” another testimonial stated.

Snider has been a WSU staff member since 2008 and part of the Department of Horticulture since 2014.

Read more about the award and what nominators had to say about Snider at the WSU Crimson Spirit homepage.

WSU student finds internship opportunity through AFA

By Carmen Chandler, CAHNRS Academic Programs

At her first in-person Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Leaders Conference, WSU student Della Paloy met representatives from a well-known food company. She turned in a resume for their summer internship program and, a week after the conference, Della received an internship interview offer from Land O’Lakes.

Della Paloy stands in front of a glass pyramid on the WSU Pullman campus.
Della Paloy

“It was probably the most life-changing email I’ve ever gotten,” Della said. “I had to reread it several times!”

Della is a second-year Agricultural and Food Business Economics student and AFA ambassador. She recently accepted an internship offer with Land O’Lakes following her involvement with AFA.

Last year, as a first-year student, Della had a vision for her post-college career but did not know how to make that happen. After discovering AFA through her college advisor, she applied to participate in an AFA conference without knowing the full benefits of AFA involvement.

AFA is a nonprofit organization aimed at helping college students network and develop their professional skills. AFA works to build leaders through various programs and events that foster positive engagement within the agriculture industry.

Della attended her first AFA Leaders Conference last year, virtually meeting with industry leaders in her fields of interest. After hearing from professionals, Della began to see the different possibilities in an agriculture career.

Della’s favorite part of each AFA Conference is attending the final opportunity fair, where students can discover graduate schools, internships, and opportunities abroad. Major agriculture employers showcase their student employment opportunities and engage with students to help them discover possible career paths. AFA provides other resources such as resume building and personal goal setting to help students excel in their professional careers.

“Every area that a student could need help in, AFA had resources for it,” Della said.

After experiencing her first AFA conference, Della decided that she wanted to expand her involvement with AFA at WSU. Last year, Della was selected to become an AFA ambassador for the 2021-22 school year. She is currently searching for other WSU students who need help getting involved in their agriculture careers. In her ambassador position, Della has been able to connect WSU students with AFA opportunities. This year, Della aims to focus on name recognition to spread awareness of AFA.

Della jokes how “AFA is the best-kept secret in the agriculture industry, but we don’t want to be!”

Della plans to spend the coming summer as a supply chain and sourcing intern doing research with Land O’Lakes. She will be presenting a final research project to the internship program leaders at the end.

Della intends to continue her work next school year as an AFA Campus Ambassador. She hopes to connect with more WSU students to show them the opportunities that can be found through AFA.

Gordillo to be honored with Interdisciplinary Catalyst award

Luz-Maria Gordillo
Luz-Maria Gordillo

Luz-Maria Gordillo, CAHNRS Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence and an Associate Professor in the WSU College of Arts and Sciences’ (CAS) Department of History, has been selected to receive a CAS Interdisciplinary Catalyst Award.

The award recognizes faculty with exceptional ability to bring their colleagues together across disciplines and institutional boundaries in service to shared research, scholarly, and creative accomplishment.

Based at WSU Vancouver, Gordillo divides her time between research in CAS, where she explores 20th century United States history, Chicanx, Latinx, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the history of medicine, and leadership in CAHNRS, where she oversees college-spanning efforts to encourage and educate for diversity and provides opportunities to underrepresented groups.

Gordillo hosts monthly CAHNRS Get Together events that build a supportive community for people of color, LGBTQIA+, and other underserved communities in the college. Recent Get Togethers have honored Black History Month in February, and Women’s History Month in March.

Gordillo will be recognized at the tenth annual CAS Appreciation and Recognition Social, to be held Thursday, April 21, at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Pullman.

“I like to think of myself as an interdisciplinary thinker, researcher, and leader,” Gordillo said. “I have found that interdisciplinarity not only opens venues for collaborations that are unimaginable, but also it opens and creates new opportunities for traditional disciplines to be more unique and to expand their breadth and depth.

“It’s this approach that has led me to be in the different career positions that I’ve had,” she added. “Wearing different hats as it were in teaching, research, and my approach to leadership positions has allowed me to learn a constellation of approaches to academe, but also to empathize with people who come from different places and different cultural ideals.”

Cross-disciplinary experiences

A Chicana feminist historian with degrees in history, media studies, and film and photography, Gordillo has been a passionate advocate for and practitioner of transdisciplinary academic production throughout her career. Her scholarly publications include books, journal articles, book chapters. Other major interdisciplinary projects include a documentary film, monthly short story segments for Portland’s community radio station, as well as a photographic exhibition and book project at WSU Vancouver on a Cuba visit supporting student exchange with the University of Havana.

Gordillo has extensive administrative experience linking scholarship, creative production, and activism with a commitment to diversity and inclusion. From 2016 to 2018, she served as program leader for the WSU Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies (CCGRS), while also creating and overlooking the interdisciplinary Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor at WSU Vancouver.

Gordillo also served for four years as chair of the Council on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, during which she supported local, national, and global topics including environmental justice, artistic collaborations among students of color, films on indigenous rights, Latinx and Chicanx conference presentations, curriculum development, and collaborative projects with Native American allies and the League of United Latin American Citizens.

In Vancouver, Gordillo is the Campus Director for Faculty Equity and Outreach. In her current position as assistant dean in CAHNRS, she works for sustained, long-term inclusive excellence in recruiting, supporting, and retaining faculty, staff, and students of color. She also collaborates and advises Extension leaders in Community and Economic Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Youth and Family Development units to increase effective outreach and engagement with communities of color and underserved populations.

Learn more about her work at Gordillo’s research website.

Learn about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence efforts in CAHNRS at the DEI website.

Diverse, Equitable, Inclusive projects receive funding in new program

Small grants can have big impacts, and big impacts are the goal of the first round of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence Mini Grants recently announced by WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS).Graphic logo with words CAHNRS For ALL: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion. The word ALL is centered and dominant, in block letters with over 20 mini logos inside. The logos represent aspects of college, including  paws, fruits, trees, bees, microscopes, and much more.

“I’ve learned that when you provide funding for DEI projects, they tend to have a large effect on a community,” said Luz Maria Gordillo, CAHNRS Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). “And not just the college or university community, but local communities around us.”

Three projects received $2,500 in funding during the first round of these grants from a group of nine applications. Originally, only two grants were to be funded but another was added when additional resources were secured. That third proposal also received matching funds from WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC).

The grants are meant to address one of the key themes of the CAHNRS strategic plan: Institutional Diversity, Integrity, Openness, and Accountability, to create and sustain a college community that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable; and to uphold a culture of integrity, excellence, stewardship, and accountability in pursuit of CAHNRS’s goals and economic viability.

Gordillo poses in front of a stock background featuring a Cosmic Crisp apple tree
Luz Maria Gordillo

“We’ll measure the impact of these grants and we plan for more grants to continue over the long-term,” Gordillo said. “They are a great platform for community development, research collaboration, plus engagement of different voices.”

Here are the abstracts for all three funded projects:

Developing Capacity for WSU Partnerships with Local Tribes to Initiate Projects that Merge Science and Indigenous Knowledge

In this collaborative project, proposer Laura Bartley, Associate Professor, Institute of Biological Chemistry, and collaborators Maren Friesen, Associate Professor, Crop and Soil Sciences and Plant Pathology, Tarah Sullivan, Associate Professor, Crop and Soil Sciences, and Affiliate Professor, Center for Native American Research and Collaboration (CNARC), and Ken Lokensgard, Co-Director, Center for Native American Research and Collaboration, (CNARC) take steps to transform the social and intellectual fabric of academia at WSU by creating a network among and between academic researchers and local tribes.

Their goal is to create a WSU-UI network with awareness of Indigenous Knowledge and tribal needs and enhanced capability to mentor and collaborate with Indigenous scholars, establish initial relationships and awareness of local tribe interests, and create a framework for developing proposals to support joint knowledge-generating and nation-building projects.

India Night

The Indian Students Association (ISA) will hold India Night, the biggest event in their portfolio. The event is planned for April 17, 2022 (tentative) and it is a superb confluence of cultures where there will be food, music, dance, and a glimpse of the rich and diverse Indian culture in the region. This celebration of Indian culture promotes diversity, equity, and inclusivity through opportunities and collaborations between different communities on and off campus, who organize and participate in the event.

The Indian Students Association has a deep personal and emotional connection that impacts not only the lives of our student community but also the communities around Pullman, Moscow, and Spokane. India Night offers music, art, and food that connects the audience through culinary and artistic traditions with Indian culture promoting cultural exchange and diversifying our learning communities.

Unity in Diversity: A Holistic Approach for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence at WSU Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center IAREC 

IAREC is a ‘mini cosmos’ where faculty, staff and students from diverse nationalities and ethnic backgrounds work together advancing research knowledge to solve complex agricultural challenges. We propose to expand CAHNRS DEI initiatives and activities at IAREC to advance a culture of inclusivity in professional activities and personal life to respect socio-cultural identity and understand distinct cultures, traditions, and value systems. This proposal aims to bridge the gap between IAREC and Prosser communities by hosting events at local venues for community building, engagement support, and empowerment.

The events will include training DEI courses for IAREC faculty, staff, and students, as well as a series of guest speakers that will address topics related to social justice, Native American Heritage, African American History, American Hispanic/Latinx history, and others to enrich knowledge and understanding of diverse cultures in a globalized world to achieve cultural understanding and enrichment at IAREC.

The CAHNRS Office of Research has partnered with the DEI Committee to fund this third proposal. IAREC is also partnering to match funds for this award.

Webinar: A year in review of eastern Washington forest health

Larvae-damaged tree.
Larval damage to a Washington conifer. Learn about trends from climate, disease, and pests in an upcoming forestry Year in Review co-hosted by WSU Extension.

Curious about the state of forest health in eastern Washington? Want to learn about the impacts of the 2021 drought?

Join WSU Extension Foresters and experts from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources in a Zoom webinar, “Eastern Washington Forest Health Year-In-Review, 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, examining trends over the past year.

Annually, state and federal foresters publish “Forest Health Highlights in Washington,” a year-by-year overview of insect, disease, and other disturbances affecting state woodlands. This webinar discusses early findings, helping landowners and natural resource professionals stay informed about what’s happening in regional forests. It’s a way for small forest landowners to learn about issues they may face in the coming year, says Sean Alexander, WSU Extension Northeast Washington Forester and webinar organizer.

Admission is free. Register at