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CAHNRS News – October 30, 2009

Posted by | October 30, 2009

WSU Tukey Orchard Fruit and Potato Sale

We will continue to have already harvested fruit and potatoes for sale Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

SALE prices on some items:
Organic Bartlett Pears for $1.00/pound.
We now have smaller Jonagolds for $1.00/pound.
Small, tree-ripened peaches for only 50 cents/pound.

Please see our web site for additional varieties, prices, and directions to the orchard.

November is National Career Development Month!

In recognition of National Career Development Month, Washington State University’s Center for Advising and Career Development is organizing a week-long series of workshops focused on green careers from Mon., Nov. 2 – Nov. 6. In addition, the Green Careers Informational Fair will take place Nov. 4 from 2 – 4 p.m. in Lighty 180.

This is your chance to visit with experts in the field, hear how they obtained their position, and begin your own path to a green career.

Mark your calendars and attend these sessions:

Monday, Nov. 2–WSU Assistant Professor Mark Swanson will present on Landscape Ecology and Silviculture. WSU Alumna Beth Erdy will talk about her career as a forest ranger in the Nez Perce Historical Park, 2-4 p.m., in Lighty 180.

Tuesday, Nov. 3–Eunice Stime is the founder and president of the Board of Directors for RenegAid, a VISTA volunteer, and works in the Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement at Spokane Falls Community College. Her presentation is 2-4 p.m., in Lighty 180.

Wednesday, Nov. 4–the Green Careers Information Fair, 2-4 p.m. in Lighty 180.

Thursday, Nov. 5–Rick Finch, manager of WSU’s Facilities Operations Waste Management, will share information about his work, noon-2 p.m., in Lighty 180.

Friday, Nov. 6–Drop in at the Center for Advising and Career Development and get help preparing your resume and cover letter, 2-4 p.m., in Lighty 180.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan to Host 2nd “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Facebook Chat on Nov. 5

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan will host her second Facebook chat about the “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 3 p.m. The topic of this chat will be farm to school, which involves getting and using fresh produce and other farm products from local and regional farmers for use in local schools. The effort not only supports increasing economic opportunities for local farmers but also helps school children make healthy food choices.

The “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative emphasizes the need for a fundamental and critical reconnection between producers and consumers. The effort builds on the 2008 Farm Bill, which provides for increases and flexibility for USDA programs in an effort to promote local foods.

Merrigan hosted her first Facebook chat on the initiative on Oct. 1. Questions were submitted from people across the nation about beginning farmer and rancher programs, interest in school nutrition, food safety and supporting local and regional food systems. During the 30 minute session, more than 115 questions and comments were submitted.

Details are available at and people can submit a question in advance of the chat or watch the conversation on the USDA website.

The website, at, features social media tools to help focus the public conversation about farming and food, while engaging American agriculture and linking producers to customers. The public will be able to send their stories, ideas or videos to the ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ team at The public can become a fan of USDA on Facebook at

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Surf Report

The many years of work by Juming Tang and his team and collaborators has paid off with FDA approval of new microwave technology that could revolutionize how we preserve and process food. Read the story and check out the video here:

Ever seen a “fruitbot” in action? Check out this short video for a glimpse of the future of orchard mechanization:


Dr. Juming Tang recently received FDA approval for a new microwave-hot water based technology for processing low-acid foods. For the first time ever, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of microwave energy for producing pre-packaged, low-acid foods, a major milestone that clears the way for its commercialization. The technology developed at WSU could revolutionize how food is preserved and processed. Tang, a professor in the WSU Department of Biological Systems Engineering, led a team of university, industry and U.S. military scientists to develop the technology. The outcome results in food with a longer shelf life as well as better flavor and nutritional value compared to more traditional food processing methods such as canning.
“New processes for producing shelf-stable, low-acid foods must pass rigorous reviews by FDA to ensure that the technology is scientifically sound and the products will be safe,” Tang said. “Our team patented system designs in October 2006 after more than 10 years of research. We spent another three years, developing a semi-continuous system, collecting engineering data and microbiologically validating the process before receiving FDA acceptance.”

Dr. Murad Al-Holy, who received his doctorate in Food Science in 2003, received a prestigious award in applied science from the Scientific Foundation of Hisham Adeeb Hijawi, established in 1981 in Europe. Dr. Al-Holy is an Assistant Dean and Associate Professor of the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences at Hashemite University in Jordan. He is an expert in food safety microbiology and food processing. His work is widely cited and has led to new methods for detection of food-borne pathogens.

Associate professor and Extension urban horticulturist Linda Chalker-Scott’s 2008 book “The Informed Gardner” was given the gold award for best book writing at the Garden Writers Association conference in September.