By Sarah Appel, CAHNRS Academic Programs
From the California town of Bishop, population 3,863, to the campus of Washington State University, and currently the hills of Ireland, Katie Doonan has found home and success within WSU’s Organic and Sustainable Agriculture major. Her most recent achievement–receiving the 2018 Future Organic Farmer Grant, worth $2,500, to help her pursue her dreams. The Future Organic Farmer Grant is a scholarship awarded to students that are enrolled in secondary education focused on organic agriculture.
As a 13th generation farmer and rancher, Katie appreciates firsthand the effects that agriculture has on her community. She chooses to combine organic and traditional farming with new and upcoming technology to create a food product that is both “nutritionally enhanced and environmentally sustainable.”
“I aspire to be a physician and farmer that connects food production with long-term societal health,” Katie explained in her scholarship biography. “My goal is to create a cohesive system where sides aren’t pitted against each other.”
Katie works towards achieving her dreams through her education, research and extracurricular activities. According to her advisor, Regents Professor of Soil Science & Agroecology John Reganold, WSU’s certified organic farm provides Katie the opportunity to participate in independent research with WSU faculty on various crops that she can take back to her ranch.
“She’s probably one of the most conscientious students I’ve known,” Reganold explained. He described Katie as extremely self-motivated, hardworking, an independent thinker and much more. “[She] gets my highest recommendation.”