Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Cattle Boot Camp, 4-H Impact, Sharing the Harvest

Posted by | November 7, 2007

Cattle Boot Camp Coming to WSU

The American Angus Association announced Monday that, in collaboration with the Angus Foundation and WSU, the association will conduct a Cattlemen’s Boot Camp in Washington state in January 2008. The Boot Camp is open to all cattle producers and will offer an overview of the various segments of the beef industry as well as provide perspectives on emerging technologies.

“The Cattlemen’s Boot Camps are designed to be interactive sessions that will benefit all cattle producers,” said Shelia Stannard, director of communications and events for the association. “Boot Camp is a great refresher course for long-time producers and gives beginners an insight to the industry.”

On Solid Ground will bring you more information as it becomes available.

On Solid Ground is a weekly, electronic newsletter for the friends and stakeholders of the Washington State University College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS), WSU Extension and the WSU Agricultural Research Center.

4-H Has Positive Impact

Young people who participate in youth development programs like 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Boys & Girls Clubs do better in school, are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college, and are less likely to drink, smoke or use drugs, according to a national study recently released.

“These are characteristics that we always knew reflected our 4-H members,” said Pat BoyEs, director of WSU Extension 4-H, “but research evidence is beginning to pile up that proves what we have always known.”

The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development is the first-ever longitudinal study to measure the characteristics of positive youth development programs. Led by Richard M. Lerner, a professor at Tufts University, the study involved more than 4,000 young people and 2,000 parents from 25 states and measures the impact personal and social factors have on a young person’s development. The National 4-H Council sponsored the study.

Kids work on a science project with Phil Linden, an Extension Coordinator in Nespelem, Wash.

For more information on 4-H, please visit

WSU Potato Research Impacts the Dinner Plate

Every season, approximately 350 tons of potatoes are produced through research trials conducted by the WSU Potato Variety Development Project on the Othello research farm. The potatoes are produced as part of a long-running program that helps keep Washington growers competitive by developing new management techniques and varieties with desirable traits, such as good flavor, quality, eye-appeal, disease resistance and storability.

But what to do with all those tons of potatoes come season’s end? A small number are kept for post-harvest evaluation by scientist Rick Knowles. For the rest, the WSU research team has been donating potatoes to local food banks. Now, Second Harvest is taking up to 10 tons per month off the group’s hands and distributing them to food banks and meal centers throughout the Inland Northwest.

“This gave us an opportunity to donate to a good cause and not let the potatoes go to waste,” said Mark Pavek, an extension horticulturist specializing in potato agronomy. “We still hold back some potatoes for local food banks. We also invite local community members to come pick their own potatoes after our trials are complete. We have enough potatoes with the number of trials we run so that everyone can get some. We have a range of varieties, from red and specialty types to russet varieties.

“The beauty of working with Second Harvest is that they can take so many at once,” Pavek added. “That puts the potatoes to good use and keeps a portion of them from going to waste in our on-site cull pile.”

Growers and processors already knew they benefited from WSU’s agricultural research, which is why, among others, the Washington State Potato Commission has been a long-term supporter of the project. But it’s clear that all strata of society benefit from the research. As Second Harvest recently reported in their newsletter, “[We’re] grateful for the partnership with WSU, which will provide a viable source of fresh produce that will continue for many years.”

Potato research at WSU produces about 350 tons of spuds per season; researchers share the bounty with food distribution organizations such as Second Harvest.

For more information on potato research at WSU, please visit

Second Harvest is on the Web at