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CAHNRS News – September 7, 2012

Posted by | September 7, 2012

Homecoming Tailgate Reunion and Morrill Act Celebration

Morrill Act Celebration logo

Join us on September 22 for an all college tailgate reunion! Our CAHNRS & WSU Extension Homecoming Tailgate Reunion will bring together alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students for a day of music, Butch and the Spirit Squad, BBQ catering, and fun times catching up with new and old friends.

That day, we are also celebrating the sesquicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Morrill Act, one of the most important pieces of legislation in the history of American agriculture. The Act created the land-grant colleges system and stipulated that these colleges emphasize teaching and research in the practical arts — agriculture, science, and engineering.

Plan to attend our pre-game tailgate BBQ and watch the new-look Cougars take on the Colorado Buffaloes (football tickets for our CAHNRS block are no longer available). Get tickets for our Tailgate Reunion here » Tickets are only available until September 14.

Cougar Nation Invited to Select WSU’s Official Tartan

Just a few days remain to show your support for the global Cougar family by helping select WSU’s Crimson and Gray tartan. With three designs vying for the official blessing, WSU needs you to help make the final decision. Voting concludes on Sunday, September 9. See More »

Pullman Plant Pest Diagnostic Service Website

WSU’s Pullman Plant Pest Diagnostic Clinic has launched a website at Focusing on eastern Washington, the clinic offers fee-based diagnosis of plant diseases and disorders, insect and arthropod identification, and plant/weed identification. Identifications and diagnoses are accompanied by management recommendations when appropriate. The website lists hours and location, fee schedule, sample submission guidelines, and a list of other diagnostic resources. For western Washington, WSU also has a plant and insect diagnostic lab in Puyallup, with a website at

Perspectives on Sustainability

By Chad Kruger

In the United States, there is a storied tradition of connectivity between the agriculture industry and land grant university science. While that connection has been both praised and criticized, there is no question that it has been massively influential in the development of both commercial agriculture and agricultural science. Over the past couple of decades the land grant universities, including Washington State University, have responded to long-standing demands to conduct more science relevant to farmers’ agricultural sustainability questions and challenges. This research has addressed such things as integrated pest management, organic production, no-till, composting, alternative crops, and environmental protection, to name a few. In fact, the Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources (CSANR) was established 20 years ago to facilitate this kind of science at WSU.

CSANR has come a long way since its inception, engaging more than 150 different WSU faculty members from multiple scientific disciplines (and numerous collaborators from other institutions) in producing a lot of science relevant to improving the sustainability of Washington’s farms and ranches. Over the past 4 years that I have served as Director of CSANR, one thing has become increasingly clear to me … there are a lot of people who are NOT actively farming who want to know more about what our science has to say about agriculture and food system sustainability in the state, region, nation and globally. I know this based on the number of inquiries and requests that I personally receive to come present our science to non-farming audiences.

In fact, most of the agricultural science funding programs and opportunities are changing to ensure that agricultural science is not only providing research results relevant to production agriculture, but also relevant to major societal issues  such as climate change, energy, environmental services, and human health and nutrition. CSANR and WSU have been extremely successful in securing funding as these programs have shifted – I think because of our strong connection to a broad stakeholder base in the state and region that is thinking “beyond the farm” when it comes to issues of sustainability. CSANR is now actually conducting as much agricultural science relevant to the big societal challenges as we are to production ag (though I’m also happy to report that we are doing more production ag science than ever before).

What this means to me is that we need some new approaches for sharing our research findings and scientific insights on these questions with a much broader audience that doesn’t participate in the “traditional” ag-science education venues (i.e. field days, producer meetings, technical bulletins, etc.).

So, with this message, I am formally announcing the new CSANR blog entitled “Perspectives on Sustainability.” What you’ll find here is an assortment of perspective articles from me, other CSANR faculty and staff, and occasionally guests on issues related to the science of sustainable agriculture and food systems. Like all science, this is a grand experiment that we are not certain of the ultimate outcome. So, if you’re interested in the science of agriculture and food system sustainability, bookmark this page and check back often. You can like our Facebook page to subscribe to our announcement feed when new articles are posted. We’d love to have your comments and input – and if you have specific suggestions of topics or issues you’d like us to address, please leave us a comment hereRead the blog.

“Engage the World” with WSU International Programs

“Engage the World” is a new program where WSU International Programs recruits international students and students who have lived abroad to join a pool of guest presenters available to WSU faculty and instructors. If a WSU instructor wants to bring a lesson home and put a human face to a foreign culture or country, they can invite one or several “Engage the World” presenters to their classroom. This is a free service.

Find more information at


Horticulture Seminars

Stacy Mauzey, Master’s student, WSU Dept. of Plant Pathology, Microbial Forensics: An Emerging Discipline of Plant Pathology, Thursday, September 13, 4:10 p.m., Johnson Hall 343. Arrangements have been made to broadcast to Mt. Vernon, Prosser and Puyallup stations stations.

Plant Pathology Seminars

Dr. Qin Zhang – WSU Prosser Center for Precision Ag, Agricultural Systems and Control, Monday, September 10, 3:10 p.m., Johnson Hall 204, Pullman. Arrangements have been made to broadcast to Mt. Vernon, Prosser and Puyallup stations stations, WECN Dial-up #:5776907.

Shashika Hewavitharana, Graduate Student, M. S., Perspectives of Soil Suppressiveness: Yesterday and Today, Monday, September 17, 3:10 p.m., Johnson Hall 204, Pullman. WECN Dial-up #:5776907

Soil Science Seminars

Kevin Sullivan, USDA-NRCS, The Washington NRCS Soil Program, Monday, September 10, 1:10 p.m., Johnson Hall 204, Pullman. Videoconference arranged for  Mt. Vernon, Prosser, Puyallup, Wenatchee.

Dr. Gennaro Fazio, Research Scientist, USDA-ARS, Plant Genetics Resource Unit, Geneva, NY: Genetics of nutrient uptake and translocation – refining our understanding of what apple rootstocks can do for our orchards. Monday, September 17, 1:10 p.m. Broadcast from Wenatchee.

CSS and Horticulture Graduate Student Seminar

Special seminar:2012 Graduate Student Statewide Tour. Thursday, September 20, 1:25 p.m., FSHN T-101, Pullman. Videoconference arranged for Mt. Vernon, Prosser, Puyallup, Wenatchee.

The Center for the Study of Animal Wellbeing at Washington State University invites you to participate in its first Washington Farm Animal Welfare Symposium on Sept. 15 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the CUE (Smith Center for Undergraduate Education) in Pullman. Read More »

The Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles Department will host an open house to showcase student work and welcome its Industry Advisory Board members. September 20, 2012 from 4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Vogel Plant Biosciences.

Nov. 1 and 2. The School of Food Science is hosting the 2012 Inaugural Distinguished Lecturer Symposium entitled “Probiotics and Prebiotics: Promoting Better Health.” Many renowned professionals will be giving lectures at the event. See the flyer for more details, including the speakers and their lecture titles. Contact Boon Chew ( or 335-1427) for academic credit questions, and contact Angela Lenssen ( or 335-4289) for event coordination questions.


WSU creamery employee Nial Yager was recently named a Certified Cheese Professional™ by the American Cheese Society (ACS). He is now a member of the inaugural class of ACS CCPs™ who have successfully demonstrated their cheese knowledge and skills by passing the rigorous Certified Cheese Professional™ Exam in North Carolina last month.

Three School of Food Science students, Karin Thorsen (WSU), Kate Sweitzer (WSU), and Alex Meldrum (UI) have been awarded IFT Feeding Tomorrow Scholarships for the 2012-2013 academic year.

The Washington State University Team of graduate students Molly Mayer (Food Science), Ellen Bornhorst (Biological Systems Engineering) and Allison Baker (Food Science) took third place in the Idaho Milk Processors Association product development contest on August 9, 2012 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Team advisor is Mike Costello. The team’s product was called Juustioli. Juustioli is a ravioli-like product that substitutes Juustoleipa cheese for the traditional wheat based pasta. The filling was composed mostly of Mozzarella and Ricotta cheeses and was seasoned with dried tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar. The judges described it as the best tasting product that had ever been set before them in this contest.

News Releases

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New in CAHNRS eNewsletters

The Aug. 29 issue of On Solid Ground has stories on AgWeatherNet, grape sustainability, and undergrads in labs. Read the issue in the OSG archives »


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