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CAHNRS News – November 13, 2009

Posted by | November 13, 2009

Extension-CAHNRS Integration Update

The Extension-CAHNRS Integration Task Force continues to aggressively work on its three areas of focus: (1) improving internal communication, (2) enhancing opportunities for faculty interaction, and (3) defining and communicating faculty expectations. The purpose of this correspondence is to update you on some of our accomplishment to date and provide some insights as to where we might be heading.

Some of the key outcomes from the work of the Integration Task Force to date are: Administrative Integration. Through the fall, we began implementing a set of administrative meeting that provides the opportunity for key administrators across the organization (department chairs, district directors, subject matter center directors, associate/assistant deans and directors) to participate in planning sessions by program area. Separate meetings are held for human sciences, natural resources, and agriculture. These meetings have already proven to be valuable forums for program planning, sharing program content, and brainstorming opportunities.

  • Integrated Program Planning. Substantive integrated program planning retreats are being held involving faculty and administrators within program areas. Program planning retreats have been held in the areas of livestock management and Western Washington agriculture, and a retreat is scheduled for irrigated agriculture. Future retreats will be held for human sciences, natural resources, and dryland agriculture.
  • Team-based Initiatives. One of the shortfalls identified early on was that much team-based planning and program delivery is occurring, but information on these activities has not been collected or distributed across the organization. This makes it difficult for faculty and staff to connect to these ongoing activities. An inventory of all formal and informal working teams across CAHNRS and WSU Extension is near completion. In addition, three initiatives will soon be released to provide funding to catalyze teams focused on integrated research and extension program planning and delivery.
  • Mentoring Committee Composition. We have implemented a policy that all mentoring committees for county faculty must include a departmental faculty member, and mentoring committees for departmental faculty with extension appointments must include a county faculty member.
  • Search Committee Composition.Likewise, search committees for county faculty must include a departmental faculty member with a similar subject matter specialization, and search committees for departmental faculty with an extension appointment must include a county faculty member.
  • Affiliate Status in Academic Units. Currently, 15 county faculty have affiliate status in CAHNRS departments. We would like to increase this number significantly. Departments within CAHNRS are defining roles, responsibilities, and privileges of affiliate faculty and will distribute these to county faculty. New county faculty will be encouraged to immediately seek affiliate status. Affiliate status could also occur outside of CAHNRS.
  • Integrated Hiring Plans. This year’s hiring plans (and future plans) for CAHNRS and WSU Extension were developed in an integrated manner. This process allows us to avoid duplication in expertise across departments and counties and recruit   greater subject matter specialization into county and department Extension faculty positions.
  • Faculty Expertise Data Base. Work is nearly complete in developing a searchable data base to locate faculty with particular expertise across CAHNRS and WSU Extension. This tool will be of significant value in helping all of us identify relevant expertise across this vast organization.

Some other areas we are currently addressing include:

  • Integrating the Extension and ARC Federal Plan of Work
  • Developing materials and tools to assist teams and help team leadership be effective.
  • Connecting undergraduate and graduate student training opportunities to county faculty.
  • Better understanding tenure, promotion, and faculty expectations across the organization.
  • Developing common business, finance, and hiring procedures.

If you have questions or suggestions for the Task Force, please contact one of the members. Task Force members are:  Drew Betz, Whatcom Co.; Dan Fagerlie, Ferry County; Rita Hummel, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and Puyallup Research and Extension Center; Randy Baldree, Extension agricultural programs director; Rich Koenig, department chair, Crop and Soil Sciences; Jim Kropf, Western District extension director; Kim Patten, Southern District; Linda Fox, associate dean, CAHNRS and associate director, WSU Extension; and Dan Bernardo, dean and director.

HEC Board Officially Approves New Integrated Plants Sciences Degree

Washington State’s Higher Education Coordinating Board this week formally approved CAHNRS’s new Integrated Plant Sciences degree.

The new degree in Integrated Plant Sciences takes an integrated, inter-disciplinary approach. It is offered jointly by crop and soil sciences, horticulture and landscape architecture, entomology, plant pathology and food science. Focused on the science of plant life from molecule to market, the new IPS degree prepares students for careers in a variety of agricultural professions.

Majors within IPS include agricultural biotechnology, field crop management, fruit and vegetable management, nursery and greenhouse management, landscape design and implementation, turf grass management and viticulture and enology. The V&E program is the only four-year wine education program offered in the Pacific Northwest.

Wilcox Family Members to Share Lessons Learned in Century of Farming at WSU Nov. 20

Since 1909, four generations of the Wilcox family have lived and worked at the main farm’s location at Roy, just outside Tacoma. Today, Wilcox Family Farms is one of the leading egg producers in the country and a leader in organic agriculture. That journey is the topic of a public conversation at Washington State University.

“Wilcox Wisdom: 100 Years of Know-How,” featuring Andy and Jim Wilcox, will begin at 3 p.m., Friday, Nov. 20, in the Atrium of the Vogel Plant Biosciences Building. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

“The Wilcox family’s story is one of hard work, innovation and overcoming challenges,” said Kim Kidwell, associate dean for academic programs in the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences and moderator for the Nov. 20 event. “Their willingness to share the lessons learned in those years is an incredible benefit to students, both undergraduate and graduate, working toward a career in agriculture. That insight is invaluable for anyone interested in where their food comes from.”

Wilcox Family Farms has been recognized regionally and statewide for its agricultural success. The Pierce County Council passed a resolution congratulating the business on its operation, where approximately 770,000 organic eggs are gathered daily and packaged for supermarkets and restaurants throughout the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Alaska and Canada. The farm also produces some 150,000 pounds of liquid eggs every week to bakeries and food service operations.

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire joined with those congratulating the Wilcox family on their century of success in August. “Agriculture represents a significant piece of Washington’s economy, as well as an important part of our state’s history and heritage,” she wrote. “Wilcox Family Farms is a shining example of the quality products our state is known for.”

Join the “Food for Thought” Conversation

This year’s WSU Common Reading program focuses on all aspects of what we eat and where it comes from. “Chew on This” is an interactive blog that offers you and/or your students a chance to weigh in with your opinions and see others’ thoughts about a variety of topics ranging from your personal food traditions to the best ways to feed the world. So, take a big bite and enjoy! You can find “Chew on This” at

“Design as Art and Research in the Community” Exhibit

The Department of Interior Design and the Interdisciplinary Design Institute will be participating in Spokane’s First Friday on Dec. 4. The exhibit is entitled “Design as Art and Research in the Community.” We will be showcasing a large display of student work from the undergraduate interior design program, and the graduate programs in interior design, landscape architecture, and architecture. Faculty work will also be presented. The exhibit will be located at the South Campus Facility (next to the Bookie at 410 East Trent) and open from 5–9 p.m. with a reception from 7-9 accompanied by wine and dessert. All are welcome!

CAHNRS/WSU Extension Holiday Gathering

Greetings, CAHNRS and WSU Extension Colleagues,

Please join the annual CAHNRS/WSU Extension Holiday Gathering, beginning at 3:30 p.m., Dec. 10, in the Ensminger Pavilion.

We’ll gather and enjoy each other’s company, share good food, good music and good cheer.

Please bring an appetizer or dessert to share; CAHNRS will provide plates and utensils. Non-alcoholic beverages, beer and wine will be contributed by the dean and associate deans.

But 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. Pam and I are once again happy to match your contributions pound for pound. Let’s break our own record in pounds of food and other goods donated! Last year, we donated nearly 1,700 pounds to food banks in our communities — let’s go for a ton in 2009!

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


The International Textiles and Apparel Association (ITAA) Annual Meeting was held in Bellevue Nov. 28-31. Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles from WSU had a great presence with seven faculty, four graduate students and two undergraduate students attending. We received the following recognitions:

Tamara Hall (undergrad – sponsored by Carol Salusso), Annie Woo (undergrad -), Erica Iiams (graduate student – directed by Carol Salusso) and Yoo Jin Kwon (faculty) – had pieces exhibited in the juried design completion which had lower than a 27 percent acceptance rate.

Tamara Hall, an undergraduate who received CAHNRS Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship award last year, received the Eden Travel International Award in Design. She will receive travel to/from London, accommodations, and the opportunity to work with Zandra Rhodes for a week in London. In addition she will receive silk fabric from the Queen Sirikit Institute of Sericulture Peacock Standard.

Catherine Black entered a piece in the Queen Sirikit Institute of Sericulture Peacock Standard of Thai Silk Design Competition, which was co-sponsored by ITAA but separate from the entries for the ITAA Annual Meeting – Dr. Black’s piece was selected as one of the top 10 entries and received a honorable mention. This was quite exciting!

Three research papers submitted by AMDT WSU faculty and students were selected as Best Paper Finalists:

  • Best Paper finalist in the Historic/Cultural Track: Dr. Linda Arthur “Artifacts Speak: Material Culture and the Cultural Authentication of Hawaiian Quilts”
  • Best Paper finalist in the Merchandising Track: Sunny Xiao (grad student) and Dr. Ting Chi, “How to Make the Business Competitive? An Analysis of Foreign Luxury Brands in the Chinese Market
  • Best Paper finalist in the Design and Aesthetics Track, Lisa McRoberts, Rinn Cloud, Dr. Catherine Black, & Xiaoting Wang, “Effectiveness of Two Methods for Measuring Postural Alignment Improvement of Postural Support Garments”

The 2009 Dairy Products Evaluation Contest was held at the Kraft Technical Center in Northbrook, Ill., just north of Chicago on Saturday, Oct. 31. Sixteen colleges from the United States and Canada participated in the competition. A total of six dairy products were presented; butter, strawberry flavored Swiss style yogurt, vanilla ice cream, 2% milk, cottage cheese, and Cheddar cheese. The students test their skills against those of very experienced professional judges. Students are scored on how closely their evaluations match those of the professionals. The Food Science Team from Washington State University and the University of Idaho included Patrice Lyon, Karin Thorsen and Amir Golmohamadi. Patrice placed first in butter and second in Cheddar cheese and fourth in the All Products category for the entire contest. Karin and Amir competed, but did not place in any of the categories. Michael Costello served as the team advisor. Congratulations for Patrice Lyon and the Dairy Products Evaluation Team for a successful competition.

Congratulations to doctoral student Renuka Attanayake (whose advisor is Weidong Chen). Renuka received a second place award in the student oral competition held during the biannual meeting of the North American Pulse Improvement Association, Oct. 28 – 30, 2009 in Fort Collins, Colo. Her presentation was entitled “Variation in fungicide sensitivity and mycelial compatibility between two field populations of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum” and was co-authored with Dennis Johnson, Lyndon Porter and Weidong Chen.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Due to Thanksgiving break, the next issue of CAHNRS News will come out on Dec. 4. Enjoy the Holidays!