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CAHNRS News – December 3

Posted by | December 3, 2010

Stakeholders, Faculty, Staff Gather at R&E Centers for Campaign Kick-off

Even though they knew he couldn’t hear them, applause and cheers went up from the 70 or so people watching at the WSU Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center as Paul Allen announced his donation.

Many of those attending had been part of the fundraising effort five years ago to build the NWREC’s new research facility, which Northwest Agriculture Research Foundation president John Roozen referred to as WSU’s first “big idea” of the 21st century.

Skagit Valley residents Ken and Sue Christianson, both CAHNRS alumni, told the assemblage why they had chosen to serve on the campaign steering committee.

“We’ve been asked to speak on why we give and to sum it up, we had a marvelous undergraduate experience,” Sue Christianson said. “In these tough economic times it’s very heartwarming to be able to help other undergraduates have a good experience and not have to worry as much about money. We give because it’s a priority, and because we can.”

Ken Christianson added that all levels of support will help in reaching the campaign goal.

“It’s important to get support,” he said. “There are not many Paul Allens out there, but there are a lot of us. Whether it’s support at whatever level it’s a big thing to WSU and to WSU alumni to be able to say, hey, we have big support from our alumni and friends.”

About 60 people attended the Campaign for WSU kickoff at the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser. Center director Pete Jacoby remarked on the long history of partnership between Prosser-based faculty and their industry collaborators and cooperators. Jacoby also said that Prosser-based faculty had brought in more than $2 million in grants in the past year.

In attendance were Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission members, as well as producers from around the Yakima Valley.

The campaign kickoff was capped by a gift of $500,000 from the Northwest Farm Credit Bureau. Farm Credit representative Mandy Galbreath said, “It’s important to Northwest Farm Credit that agriculture continue to thrive. We serve agriculture and our customers reply on agriculture for their livelihood. The research conducted by WSU is critical to their success. That’s why it’s so important to us to be involved in this campaign.”

At Wenatchee, West Mathison, a fifth-generation tree fruit grower and owner of Stemilt In., spoke to nearly 40 stakeholders, faculty and staff at the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center.

“We in the tree fruit industry are committed to this capital campaign,” he said, explaining the self-assessment charge the industry is considering over the next seven years to support WSU. “Washington growers have created a world market thanks to the help of WSU research and we with their help we will sustain that global position.”

James Cook, former CAHNRS dean, plant scientist and donor, told the 65 gathered at WSU Puyallup talked about the profound impact of research and linked it to the power of private giving.

“Private giving pays for research infrastructure upgrades and covers the costs of exploratory or preliminary research needed to make WSU research faculty competitive for federal research grants. It fills the gap between the university’s state funds that pay salaries and the extra distance faculty must go just to obtain the federally funded competitive grants needed to bring big ideas into practice for the public good.”

Budget Reduction Announcements

President Elson S. Floyd announced that he and Provost and Executive Vice President Warwick M. Bayly will hold a public forum to discuss ongoing reductions in state allocations and budget proposals noon Wednesday, Dec. 8 in the CUB Auditorium.

This week, the administrative budget team will finalize the results of recent budget discussions. On Friday this week, Dec. 3, the preliminary plan for this round of budget reductions for the academic units on our budget will be posted at

Suggestions and comments on the proposals will be taken through Wednesday, Dec. 15. Read more at:

CAHNRS Teaching Faculty

Fall 2010 Course Evaluations are now open and will close on Monday, Dec. 20.

Please remind your students that they can access course evaluations through under “Official Notices.” We request that you do your very best to encourage students to participate in the course evaluation process.

Instructors will be able to view a list of students who have completed the evaluation through Skylight Dashboard at

If you have any questions, please contact Sean McIlraith (, 509-335-4562) or Anna Whitehall (, 509-335-0462).

Come to the Annual CAHNRS/WSU Extension Holiday Gathering

Pam and Dan Bernardo extend an invitation to you and yours to join all CAHNRS and WSU Extension faculty and staff at the annual holiday gathering on Dec. 7 from 3:30 – 6:00 p.m. in the Ensminger Pavilion.

We’ll gather and enjoy each other’s company, share good food, good music, and good cheer. We are excited to also have a special guest joining us at our party this year… Santa Butch!

Please bring an appetizer or dessert to share; the college will provide non-alcoholic beverages, beer and wine.

The true focus of our annual gathering is giving, especially to those in need in our own communities.

Please bring canned and nonperishable food, toiletries or paper products for area food banks. Dan and Pam are once again happy to match your contributions pound for pound. Last year, we donated over 2,000 pounds to food banks in our communities — let’s set a new record in 2010!

Here’s to celebrating the joy of the season with colleagues and friends!

CAHNRS and WSU Extension Sharing Tree

This year’s Sharing Tree is up and the ornaments are hanging. Help spread the holiday cheer by stopping by the Hulbert Hall foyer and choosing an ornament tag specifying the type of gift needed. Your efforts will help make a merrier holiday season for many in our community. The tags on the tree are from Latah County’s Christmas for Kids, Whitman County Humane Society, Council on Aging and Human Services and Pullman Child Welfare.

Return your unwrapped gift with the Ornament Tag attached to Danielle Engelhardt or Jaimie Dahl in Hulbert 101D by Dec. 14. Gift-wrapping will take place on Dec. 15 starting at noon in Hulbert 3 and all are welcome to help wrap. Please help the Elves spread the word! Thank you in advance for your generosity.

WSU Gear Available

Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles has WSU marching band uniform pillows available for holiday gifts for Cougar fans. Please check out for more information and to download an order form for these limited edition pillows.

A group of Washington State University student entrepreneurs have custom designed a “Go Cougs” blanket that is being manufactured for them by Pendleton Woolen Mills. With crimson stripes on a gray background, the 64-inch square, wool stadium blanket prominently features the WSU Cougar head logo. Pendleton is known throughout the world for their top-quality woolen products. Blankets are available through the students’ class website, The students are in a new animal sciences class focused on entrepreneurship and niche marketing. Funds raised by sales of the blanket will go toward sustaining the class, and class project and activities, in the future.

Latest Report on Enhancing Biological Control in Western Orchards

Enhancing Western Orchard Biological Control (EWOBC) is a collaborative SCRI project between Washington State University (lead institution), USDA-ARS, Oregon State University, and the University of California at Berkeley. The team is focused on ways to improve the stability of IPM programs in apple, pear, and walnut orchards by enhancing biological control, and includes six entomologists, an insect geneticist, an economist, an extension specialist, and a sociologist. For more information, and to view a PDF of the latest report on this project, visit

Nominations for CAHNRS Faculty and Staff Awards

It’s time to nominate our faculty and staff for 2010-2011 CAHNRS awards! We encourage YOU to nominate deserving candidates from your CAHNRS department or program in as many categories as possible.

Details concerning the nomination and selection process are as follows:

Nominations need to be limited to one person per category per department. Please discuss your intention to nominate a candidate with your department chair/director prior to submitting a letter to coordinate the process.

Please submit electronic nomination letters to Jeanne Dahmen ( by Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Jeanne Dahmen (509-335-9115, or Sean McIlraith (509-335-4562, in the CAHNRS Academic Programs office.


Dr. Hollis Spitler, an entomologist at WSU-Mount Vernon Research Center who works with Dr. Lynell Tanigoshi, recently wrote the section “Insecticides” for the 2011 World Book Encyclopedia.

Interior Design student Billy Au one of only three awards in the IIDA Student Sustainable Design Competition. Au took first place, which included a $1,500 cash prize. Visit the link below to view Au’s winning project.

Drs. Byung-kee Baik and Steve Ullrich, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences faculty, were recently recognized by the Journal of Cereal Science for their 2008 (48:2) paper, “Barley for food: Characteristics, improvement, and renewed interest”. The publication was among their top ten cited articles, and each received an award certificate.

Jessica Gigot, a PhD student at the WSU-Mount Vernon Research Center will be giving an invited talk at the joint WSU-UW Conference of Cultivating Regional Food Security: Recent Research in Urban?Rural Food Systems on December 4 in Seattle. Jessica is the only graduate student from either university speaking at the conference.

Carter Clary has been invited to speak to the California Asparagus Commission Dec. 8 in Stockton, CA.

“Urban Farm Magazine” (Jan/Feb 2011 issue) has an article on the 94,000 Extension Master Gardener Volunteers in the USA. (Superheroes of American Horticulture, page 58.) WSU Extension Master Gardener Program is mentioned on p. 61:

”Nowhere is transitional personal growth more visible than in Washington State’s incarcerated youth program. A…collaboration between WSU Grant/Adams Area MG Coordinator Erik Lampi, local pastor Timm Taff, and Laz Garza, a probation officer from the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative, this program allows youth convicted of petty crimes to live at home instead of in jail and serve out their community service by tending a garden for the local food bank.

“This is a triple win,” says Taff. “The church had 7 acres but no money to build on it, Erik mentioned starting a community garden, and then the JDAI happened. These kids were being sent to the detention facility as if they were felons, while only 10% of them are. …This gives them something else to do with their energy; they are harvesting and taking (produce) to the food bank themselves. Their attitudes become more positive as they see things grow with their own hands. It changes who they are.”