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Flood Recovery, Christmas Trees, World Book Wheat, Organic Ag

Posted by | December 12, 2007

Wake of the Flood

As the waters rose, WSU Extension extended a hand to those in need. Once they dug themselves out of the mud, extension educators in affected counties aided residents, farmers and ranchers with practical flood-recovery advice. We’ve assembled some of the collective wisdom and experience of extension personnel and others on a central Web site. If you or someone you know needs information about food safety, cleaning up in the wake of the flood, or dealing with lost or downed livestock, please visit: http://ext.wsu.edu/.

A series of public service announcements are available for radio stations who want to do their part in the recovery. To download our PSAs, please visit: http://cahnrsnews.wsu.edu/multimedia/podcasts.html.

Photo by Don Tapio, area extension educator, Grays Harbor County, showing the barn where he was stranded during the worst of the floods.

Photo by Don Tapio, area extension educator, Grays Harbor County, showing the barn where he was stranded during the worst of the floods.


O Tannenbaum

Despite last week’s devastating floods, Christmas tree growers in southwestern Washington have plenty of trees for those interested in choosing and cutting their own, according to Don Tapio, WSU Grays Harbor Extension educator.

“The tree farmers are concerned that the news coverage of the flooding and road closures may keep the public from keeping what for many is a family tradition of coming out to the farms to cut their own trees,” Tapio said. “But the roads are opening, and most farms have fields well above the flood plain and are open for business.”

Tapio says there is one major benefit to those consumers who come out to get their Christmas tree at a local farm. “They can be sure that their tree has been well watered.”

Christmas tree farms in Washington state can be located through the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association Web site: http://www.nwtrees.com/aboutframe.htm.

U-pick Christmas trees are widely available despite the floods.

U-pick Christmas trees are widely available despite the floods.


W Is for Wheat

Stephen S. Jones, winter wheat breeder and professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, wrote the “wheat” entry for the 2009 edition of World Book encyclopedia.

“It was very flattering to be asked, kind of a big deal and, of course, a popular source of information for school kids,” said Jones. Aside from updating and reviewing existing information, Jones contributed discussion on the positive environmental aspects of wheat breeding and making wheat farming more environmentally friendly.

An editor at World Book said that contributors to the encyclopedia are chosen for their expertise, experience and for their “current thinking and activity.”

Jones’ research has been covered in Audubon, Newsweek, The New York Times, Gourmet, The Wall Street Journal, and on National Public Radio, Bill Nye the Science Guy’s PBS show The Eyes of Nye, CBS News, the documentary film Not For Sale, and other national and international news journals.

Adapted from an article by Debra J. Marsh, http://css.wsu.edu/.

WSU wheat breeder Steve Jones. Photo courtesy Rodale Institute/newfarm.org.

WSU wheat breeder Steve Jones. Photo courtesy Rodale Institute/newfarm.org.


Far Away, So Close: Organic Ag Education Available Online

WSU’s major in organic agriculture, the first in the nation, couldn’t have come at a better time. Organic food is one of the fastest growing segments of the agricultural market, with retail sales rising 20 percent annually, according to the USDA. As of 2005, all 50 states have some certified organic farmland.

To address the intense nation-wide demand of education in organic ag, WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences has teamed up with the Center for Distance and Professional Education to offer online classes in organic agriculture.

Training in organic agricultural systems is desperately needed, confirmed Anne Schwartz, president of Washington Tilth Producers and owner of Blue Heron Farms and Nursery in Rockport. “There’s tremendous interest among producers to increase organic agriculture production, but that’s easier said than done. WSU’s programs in organics will provide the link we need between research and practice.”

For more information about online classes in organic ag available through WSU’s Center for Distance and Professional Education, please visit http://www.distance.wsu.edu/courses/catalog/index.asp?newprefix=SOILS

For more information on WSU’s degree program in organic ag, please visit http://afs.wsu.edu/majors/organic.htm

Adapted from an article by Emily Garrigues Marett, CDPE

WSU's organic farm is located just east of the Pullman campus. Thanks to a partnership between CAHNRS and CDPE, organic ag ed is a mouse-click away.

WSU’s organic farm is located just east of the Pullman campus. Thanks to a partnership between CAHNRS and CDPE, organic ag ed is a mouse-click away.