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CAHNRS News- September 20, 2013

Posted by l.meyer | September 19, 2013

Record-breaking Fall Festival brings together CAHNRS community

Fall Festival, which was held on Sept. 12. has become a signature CAHNRS event to kick off the academic year for our community. Nearly 1,100 people attended this year, which smashed the previous attendance record of 900. We had more student booths and activities on site this year than ever before, which created an outstanding atmosphere for the event. We gave out four $1,000 scholarships this year. The undergraduate scholarships went to Taylor Esvelt (Animal Sciences) and Sara Adams (Ag and Food Systems), and the graduate scholarships went to Robert Zinna (Entomology) and Sean McCotter (Plant Pathology). We also had the opportunity to thank two donors, Chuck Olsen from CoBank and Ken and Sue Christianson, alumni and great friends of CAHNRS, for contributing to an initiative to create a Center for Transformational Learning and Leadership in the college. The ground swell of external support we are receiving to create value-added opportunities for our students to have extraordinary “beyond the classroom” experiences before they graduate has truly been remarkable.

I am deeply grateful to everyone who contributed to this event including our chairs and directors, who advertised for us, showed up in support and served ice cream to many, many people, and our program coordinators who got the word out, organized the displays and put bookmarks in the hand of every CAHNRS student.   I thank all of the instructors who distributed bookmarks to students in their classes and made repeated announcement to encourage students to attend.  The CAHNRS Student Senators, our club advisors, students and faculty did an outstanding job of manning the displays.  I am also extremely grateful to all of the faculty who showed up to talk with students, and to connect with colleagues and friends.  I greatly appreciate the support we received from our Alumni and Friends colleagues not only for supplying the ice cream, but also for making major contributions to planning the event this year.  The essence of CAHNRS is defined by who we are, not just what we do, and it was simply a delight to see so many of us show up in force to support our college, our students and each other.

This event would not have come to be without the dedicated effort of the Academic Program staff, the CAHNRS student Ambassadors and the CAHNRS Student Senate. Thank you to everyone who attended and who helped make this festival such a resounding success!

-Kim Kidwell
Executive Associate Dean, CAHNRS
Associate Dean, Academic Programs

CAHNRS Assistant to the Dean Transitions

I would like to take this opportunity to officially announce that Tatum Weed’s last day here in the CAHNRS Dean’s Office, and in her capacity as Assistant to the Dean, will be October 15, 2013. Those of you who have interacted with Tatum know her to be a magnificently competent, efficient, and all-around pleasant person who will be greatly missed here in the Dean’s office, as well as by anyone who worked with or knows her.  However, I am excited to inform you that she will remain at WSU and within CAHNRS! Tatum will be assuming the role of Assistant Director at the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center beginning November 1st.  We all wish her the best in her new position on the west side!  Please watch your inbox for an announcement regarding an “Appreciation and Going Away Reception” for Tatum.

I am also pleased to announce that Lisa Janowski will assume the role of Assistant to the Dean of CAHNRS effective October 1st. Lisa is a highly skilled and accomplished individual who comes to us with over 18 years of experience at WSU. Most recently, Lisa was the Dean’s Assistant for the College of Liberal Arts for four years and is currently Randy Baldree’s assistant for the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Unit. Lisa and Tatum will work together over the next month to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Moving forward, until October 15th, please be sure to copy Lisa (, and continue copying Tatum ( on any correspondence that you intend the Assistant to the Dean to receive. You will begin receiving emails out of the Dean’s Office from Lisa and she will be copied on all Dean’s Office communications moving forward. Please give Lisa a warm welcome as she transitions into this new important role for CAHNRS.

-Ron Mittelhammer, Interim Dean, CAHNRS

2013-2014 CAHNRS Student Ambassadors
2013-2014 CAHNRS Student Ambassadors

Meet the 2013-2014 CAHNRS Student Ambassadors

The CAHNRS Student Ambassadors is a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. Learn more about each one of this year’s ambassadors and what they love about being a CAHNRS Coug here.

WSU Class Explores Insects’ Impacts on World Cultures

No insect drew more gasps than the parasitoid wasp during a field trip of undergraduate entomology students at Washington State University’s organic farm. But it wasn’t the wasp’s sting that made some step away with their eyes wide. It was the insect’s bizarre attack on an aphid on the underside of a just-picked kale leaf.

Reminiscent of a famous scene in the 1979 horror film, “Alien,” when a baby space creature bursts out of a human’s gut, wasp larvae that had hatched inside the aphid were busting their way out. Read more in WSU News.


The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Department of Animal and Food Sciences annually recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the department and to Kentucky animal agriculture. This year the department awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award to WSU’s Margaret Benson. Benson, who earned a doctorate degree in ruminant nutrition at UK in 1984, currently serves as the chair of the Department of Animal Sciences at WSU. Benson’s nominators said one of her greatest contributions was initiating and steering a conference focused on funding livestock research and outreach for the future. Known as Innovate 2012, it was held in October to discuss novel funding models and to develop a framework for future funding for animal research, education and extension activities.

Michael Neff, director of the Molecular Plant Sciences Graduate Program and associate professor in crop and soil sciences, was recently awarded a USDA-NIFA Foundational Grant for the project “Increasing seed size and plant biomass via manipulation of the AHL gene family.” The award is for $498,000 for three years.

Upcoming Events

2013 School of Food Science Faculty Seminar Series.  This seminar series is to share what research is happening in the SFS, and to foster future cooperative research/teaching/outreach opportunities.  All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend. The seminars will be held on Mondays at 1:10 PM in FSHN 103/155; and a light lunch will be provided to those in attendance. Here is next week’s seminar: Sept 23rd: Carolyn Bohach: “Cattle: The Silent Reservoir of E. coli 0157:H7.”

Visit this link on our website to see a listing of all of our faculty seminars this fall.

WSU Organic Farm on the Mall: Fresh-picked organic produce from WSU’s Organic Farm will be offered for sale at a farm stand on WSU’s Terrell Mall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, running through early October. The farm accepts cash and checks only.

Friday Fruit Sales! The Tukey Horticulture Orchard will begin its Friday “ONLY” and “Already Picked” fruit sales September 6th from 12 to 6 pm.  Friday “ONLY” sales will continue through September. Saturday sales and U-Picks will be added in October. For more information visit the Orchard website (

Recent News Releases 

September 12- Hundreds of Monarchs reared at Washington State Penitentiary take flight during September

September 11- Keeping Seafood Safe

September 19- Washington state summer brings the heat

In eNews

The September 4 issue of Green Times features poplar trees for fuel, quinoa, and harvest dinner updates.

The September 11 issue of On Solid Ground features stories about safer seafood, Chile, and spuds.


“LIKE” us on Facebook!  Our School of Food Science now has an official page on Facebook, so be sure to “like” the page to stay updated on activities here. Also, be sure to invite your Food Science friends and alums to like the page too! You can find the page here:

Check out the latest on the CAHNRS Facebook page, too: 

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