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CAHNRS News – Feb. 27, 2014

Posted by l.meyer | February 27, 2014

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Celebrate 100 years of Extension: Share your story

PrintIn 2014, WSU and fellow land-grant universities are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the federal Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service. As part of the year-long celebration, WSU Extension is asking students, faculty, staff, alumni, volunteers and friends to share their experiences of how Extension programs, services and people have enriched their lives. The goal is to collect 100 stories. To share yours, visit

For more information, visit Connect for updates on Extension celebrations at CAHNRS Facebook or Extension 100 Years on Facebook.

Dick Dougherty retires after 23 years of service at WSU

For 23 years, Dick Dougherty has been the “go-to guy” for food safety issues in the state of Washington. In January, Dr. Dougherty retired as Professor Emeritus from WSU’s School of Food Science.

His years of service as a professor and Extension specialist will be remembered for the invaluable help he provided to people and companies in the food industry. A retirement celebration was held for Dr. Dougherty in February, when faculty, staff, students and family joined to reflect on his time with the school.

Students release second wine from Blended Learning

Studentwine-200x300The second wine from the WSU Blended Learning student-made wine series made its debut this month. The new red blend is a combination of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc that was produced by students in the WSU Viticulture and Enology program in partnership with Wine Boss from Horse Heaven Hills grapes. The new tradition of blended learning is bringing together students, alumni, winemakers, growers and wine enthusiasts to “uncork the possibilities.” The students made 200 cases of the wine and it is now available at the WSU Brelsford Visitor Center in Pullman and WSU Connections in Seattle.

To complement the latest Blended Learning wine release, a new seasonal Cougar cheese is recommended. Rainbow Pepper, also now available at the Brelsford Center, is described by the WSU Creamery as a “mélange of white, green, pink and black peppercorns.” What better pairing for the new red blend?

For more information about wine education opportunities at WSU, visit

Juming Tang named ASABE Fellow

Juming_Tang (2)Food engineer Juming Tang has been named a fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, an award granted to just 2 percent of members worldwide. The highest honor awarded by ASABE ( is reserved for outstanding qualifications and experience in agricultural engineering and at least 20 years of membership in ASABE.

Tang is the distinguished chair of food engineering and associate chair of biological systems engineering at WSU, where he has taught and conducted research for 19 years. A pioneer in food engineering, he has led development of two novel technologies commonly referred to as “microwave-assisted thermal sterilization” ( and “microwave-assisted pasteurization” ( Read more.

Remembering Broderick Gant

broderickBroderick Gant, 45, of Kennewick, Wash., passed away Feb. 20, 2014. He was born Nov. 4, 1968, the son of Wanda Faye Harris in Baton Rouge, La. Broderick graduated from Baker High School in 1987. He completed his master’s degree in reproductive physiology from WSU in 1996.

Broderick served as the recruiter for CAHNRS and advisor for the CAHNRS Student Ambassadors from 1998 to 2008. He married Keeley (Duft) Gant from Pullman, where they lived with son Ashton until 2008. He moved to Kennewick to work at Yakima Valley Community College before becoming a natural resource specialist with the U.S. Forest Service in Walla Walla. Broderick found his dream job with the city of Kennewick as the parks and maintenance coordinator, which allowed him to develop true leadership by positively motivating his employees and colleagues. Broderick will be missed for his kindness and warm, infectious smile. Read more.

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We’re giving away some Ghost Pepper Cheese this weekend on CAHNRS Facebook! Enter to win.

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Masters student Zachary Cartwright (major advisor Charlie Edwards) won first place in the graduate division of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers (WAWGG) research poster competition. The title of his poster was “Brettanomyces bruxellensis Survival in grape pomace at various temperatures.” Ph.D. candidate Allison Baker (major advisor Carolyn Ross) took second place in the same division. The title of her poster was “Sensory evaluation of the impact of wine matrix on red wine finish.”

Ting Chi, a professor in the department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles, has been granted tenure and a promotion. His research includes strategic and supply chain management in changing business environments, sustainability and corporate social responsibility, international trade, outsourcing and exporting issues, and statistical modeling and analysis.

Ron Mittelhammer will receive the 2014 Eminent Faculty Award during the Celebrating Excellence Recognition Banquet at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 28, as part of the annual WSU Showcase celebration of faculty, staff and student excellence. Showcase reservations will be accepted at through Wednesday, March 19. The prestigious award was created in 2000 to honor career-long excellence within the WSU academic community. Mittelhammer is the 14th recipient of this highest honor the university bestows on a faculty member.

Angela Lenssen, Communications Consultant in the School of Food Science, won multiple awards in the Spokane Ag Expo’s recent photography contest. Her photo of her young son in a wheat field with her husband Dwayne in a combine out in the distance took first place, while her photo of her brother Mark cleaning off the combine at dusk received an honorable mention. You can see the photos here. Photos by her 10-year-old daughter Allison took second place and honorable mention in the youth division. (See Allison’s photos here.)

Dennis Gonsalves, creator of genetically-modified papaya that saved the papaya industry in Hawaii, spoke to an Agricultural and Food Systems class on Feb. 27. He  joined by Skype from Hawaii and explained the story behind the development and eventual commercialization of GM papaya, which is resistant to the destructive papaya ring spot virus. The ag production system in Hawaii is unique in that it has conventional, organic, and GM papaya cultivation — all meeting different market segments and consumer demands for domestic consumption and export. The AFS 201 class, Systems Skills Development for Agricultural and Food Systems, is designed to support students in developing a science-based understanding of issues related to integrated agricultural and food systems, while acquiring interpersonal communication skills that allow them to have well-informed, effective discussions with diverse stakeholder groups about complex issues. Dr. Hanu Pappu, Sam Smith Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and one of the instructors (along with Drs. Larry Fox and Kevin Murphy) of the course, arranged the conversation with Dr. Gonsalves.

Nineteen students from the School of Food Science took their annual Portland trip in January, which included visits to 13 different food companies. Funded by the Food Science Club, the trip gives future food scientists a chance to learn about potential employers and careers. This year, the companies they visited provided a strong cross-sectional view of food companies in the industry.

Desmond Layne, Department of Horticulture, was an invited guest speaker last week at the 2014 Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Niagara Falls. The title of his presentation was “The Future of Peach Production – Staying Ahead of the Curve.”


March 1: Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation (WWFRF) Winter Field Day. Taking their cue from honey bees, volunteers at WSU Mount Vernon’s public orchard and display gardens are doing anything but hibernating this time of year. At the annual Winter Field Day, the six-acre orchard will buzz with members of the WWFRF giving hands-on lessons in grafting, pruning and other fruit-growing topics. The event is free for WWFRF members, $15 for individual non-members, and $30 for non-member families. Please visit for more information.

March 3 & 7: The WSU/UI School of Food Science invites you to a Baked Potato Taste Panel in the Food Science and Nutrition Building, Room 146, between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The taste test will take about 15 minutes. Panelists who complete the test will receive a Ferdinand’s gift certificate, so bring your friends!

March 8: A Winemakers Dinner with Sparkman Cellars, one of the top 100 wineries in the world, will be held at the Black Cypress restaurant in downtown Pullman.

March 12-13: E. Paul Catts Memorial Lecture. Dr. H. Frederik Nijhou will present “The developmental physiology of body size: Studies with Manduca sexta” on March 12 at 12:10 p.m. in FSHN 354. On March 13, he will speak on “The biology of butterfly color patterns” from 4:10 to 5:00 p.m. in CUE 203. A reception will follow from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in CUE 518.

March 20: 2014 Western Washington Wine and Grapes Workshop. To be held at the South Seattle Community College Teaching Winery, the workshop will cover must amelioration, color and fermentation management, vineyard nutrient and pest management, and pairing of winemaking styles with western Washington grape varieties. More info.

June 18-July 16: WSU’s Full Immersion Spanish Institute. Anyone wanting to learn or sharpen their Spanish skills and better understand Hispanic culture will benefit from the program, offered through Chelan County Extension. More information is available here.

In eNewsletters

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Feb. 27 – WSU’s Voice of the Vine – Red Debut, Terroir, Greenhouse. This edition features a look at the latest addition to the Blended Learning wine label, plus a discussion of terroir and an update on the WSU Wine Science Center.

Feb. 19 – WSU’s Green Times – Bioasphalt, Fungi, Soil. This edition features stories about paving roads with fryer oil and exploring environmentally-friendly veggie grafting with Carol Miles, while CSANR’s Chad Kruger talks soil quality.

Feb. 11 – WSU’s On Solid Ground – Good Fungi, New Food Tech. This edition features a story about Tarah Sullivan and her work with fungi in agriculture and a profile of new technology developed by Juming Tang that increases food product quality while reducing the chances of contaminated chilled or frozen meals being sold in retail markets.