Skip to main content Skip to navigation

CAHNRS News- November 27, 2013

Posted by l.meyer | November 26, 2013

Join us for the Annual CAHNRS/Extension Holiday Gathering

holidaypartyRon and Linda Mittelhammer extend an invitation to you and yours to join all CAHNRS and WSU Extension faculty and staff at the annual holiday gathering on December 12th from 3:30 – 6 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 once again have a special guest joining us at our party… Santa Butch!

The college will provide hearty hors d’eouvres, non-alcoholic beverages, beer and wine. If you wish, please bring your favorite holiday treat to share.

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. Ron and Linda plan to carry on Dan and Pam’s tradition by matching your food donations.

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

Horticulture club’s holiday poinsettia sales coming up soon

The Horticulture Club will hold its annual Holiday Poinsettia Sale on Friday, December 6th and Tuesday, December 10th from 11 am to 2 pm in the greenhouse near Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe.  Come visit our greenhouse and choose several of these beautiful, locally grown poinsettias for your holiday celebrations!  ‘Snowcap’, ‘Prestige Red’, ‘Prestige Maroon’, ‘Freedom Pink’, and ‘Jingle Bells’ varieties will be available.  Plants are $11 each.  For more information, contact club advisor James Holden (

Still time to nominate an outstanding CAHNRS colleague

We encourage administrators, faculty, students, and staff to nominate deserving candidates from your department or program in as many categories as possible, but request nominations be limited to one person per award category per department. As always, people must be nominated to have an opportunity to receive these awards.

Acknowledging people for “beyond the call of duty efforts” creates a celebratory moment for deserving awardees. We often spend our time focusing on what we are concerned about or frustrated with in this environment. The award process creates a rare opportunity for all of us to acknowledge what we value and appreciate about people that work tirelessly to do their best to make a positive contribution on a daily basis.

Please carefully consider making an effort to acknowledge those among us who have made extraordinary efforts to contribute to the CAHNRS experience, because they deserve to be commended for their efforts. For more information about these awards and instructions on how to nominate deserving individuals, please click on Advising, Extension, Research, Staff, Teaching and Team Award Nomination Process.

If you have any questions, please contact Alanna Ellis (509-335-4562, in the CAHNRS Academic Programs Office.

Friendship between researcher, teenager benefits honey bees

Miller and Cobey

At just 16 years old, Sheridan Miller is already a veteran fundraiser. The Mill Valley, Calif., teenager recently donated $1,400 she raised to help support Washington State University’s honey bee stock improvement program. Over the past six years, she has raised more than $5,000 to help fund research aimed at combating colony collapse disorder (CCD) and saving the honey bee.

A bee ally is born

Miller first became interested in honey bees when she was 10. She heard her mom talking about how bees were disappearing and became concerned.

“I remember being incredibly worried, because she said most ice cream flavors would be gone along with their disappearance,” said Miller, referring to the vital role bees play in agriculture through the pollination of about 100 crops, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, pears, apples, cranberries and almonds.

About the same time, Miller had a school assignment to create a presentation on the topic of her choice. She chose to research honey bees and CCD. What she learned was far more disturbing than the disappearance of ice cream flavors, she said. Read more>>

AgriCorps seeking student volunteers

AgriCorps, a newly formed organization, is seeking volunteers to support its mission of reducing hunger and poverty in developing countries through agricultural education. The non-profit group is reaching out to college students or recent college graduates (former 4-H and FFA members) who are interested in teaching students and sharing their passion for agriculture.

With a degree in agriculture from an accredited United States university, selected volunteers will teach agriculture at primary and secondary schools in developing countries for one year. AgriCorps’ core values of humility, compassion, community, self-awareness, and trust will allow young adults to play a major role in distilling knowledge to future agriculturalists of the world.

Visit for more information on the organization or contact Trent McKnight to learn more about volunteer opportunities at

WSU’s Casavant appointed to state economic board

The Washington State Department of Commerce recently announced the appointment of Ken Casavant, professor of economics at Washington State University, to the Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB).

“I’m excited about the opportunity to help direct resources to areas where they are most needed and prioritize decisions based on cost and benefit analysis,” Casavant said.

“CERB will benefit from the deep knowledge and expertise Ken brings in economics, as well as his relationships and accomplishments with local and regional economic development officials,” said Brian Bonlender, director of the commerce department.

Appointed to a three-year term as the board economist, Casavant will bring an analytical eye to decisions about funding priorities for limited budgets. His long and distinguished academic career as an agriculture and rural economist at WSU has focused on transportation issues and impacts to rural communities in Washington. Read more>>

Funds for professional development events available

We are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for SARE Professional Development Program (PDP) mini-grants for hosting ($800 max) or attending ($500 max) professional development events. For hosted events, the primary audience must be Extension educators or other agriculture professionals. For more information about the SARE PDP program and for application instructions, please view our PDP page HERE. Applications will be screened Dec. 15, Apr. 15, and Aug. 15, or until funds are exhausted.


Durum wheat, which is used primarily for pasta, has the potential to contribute to global food security and expand wheat production into areas impacted by global warming. However, the culinary uses of durum have been historically limited by its very hard kernels, which are milled into coarse ‘semolina’. Craig Morris and colleagues have developed soft kernel durum wheats with broad application to baked goods such as bread and pizza crust, while still making excellent pasta. Morris and WSU colleague Dr. Patrick Fuerst will lead a USDA NIFA AFRI grant entitled, “(Re)-Evolution of Durum (Tetraploid) Wheat.” The award is for 4 years, $500,000. Morris holds adjunct appointment in Crop & Soil Sciences and the School of Food Science.

Kevin Murphy recently received a Fulbright Specialist Fellowship to work with the University of the Philippines on alternative crop development and curriculum development for their online and face-to-face agroecology and organic agriculture programs.

In eNewsletters

Nov. 27 – WSU’s Voice of the Vine- Wine Science Center, Viticulture vs. Winemaking, Tannins This edition features a story about Jim Holmes who was the first to plant grapes at Red Mountain, holiday wine and food pairings, the 2014 Australia Winery Trip and Raise the Glass scholarship season.

Nov. 20- WSU’s On Solid Ground-Warm Fuzzy, Guava, Cider This edition features a story about high-school student Sheridan Miller’s fundraising to help WSU researchers save honey bees, tannins in cider, and clearing guava’s good name.

Nov. 13- WSU’s Green Times- Organic Ads, Compost, Poplars This edition features a story about organic advertising strategies, closing the loop on garbage by bringing local compost to local farms, and using poplar trees as bioenergy.

Connect with CAHNRS and WSU Puyallup on Facebook


Check out the latest updates on the CAHNRS Facebook page:

Be sure and friend the NEW WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center on Facebook at

Have an item to share for the next CAHNRS News? E-mail