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CAHNRS News – Summer 2015

Posted by | September 2, 2015


Mittelhammer-Kidwell slimWSU Interim President Dan Bernardo has named Ron Mittelhammer, dean of CAHNRS, as interim co-provost of the university. Mittelhammer, in turn, has named Kim Kidwell, executive associate dean of CAHNRS, as acting dean for the college. Kidwell filled in as leader of CAHNRS last winter when Mittelhammer was out for medical reasons. Read more.


Walking tour of Colfax brochure

RCDI logo smallThe Rural Communities Design Initiative in the School of Design and Construction recently published a Colfax Historic Walking Tour brochure. WSU faculty Kathleen Ryan and Robert Krikac lead the project, with special thanks to the Colfax Downtown Association, Kristie Kirkpatrick and Patti Cammack of the Whitman County Library District, Washington Rural Heritage, and Ed Garretson of the Whitman County Historical Society.

Colfax downtown has a rich architectural history and this self-guided tour highlights many aspects of Colfax’s history that shaped the town you see today. This brochure features sites selected for their prominence in history, their well-preserved architecture or their location. The brochure is available at the Colfax Library and in business locations in downtown Colfax.

Mr. and Mrs. Holmes of the Alexander A. Smick Scholarship, through CAHNRS, provided funding for the project. Learn more about the history of Whitman County.

Awards and Grants

Congratulations to recent Entomology Department grant awardees:

  • Betsy Beers was awarded a $16,000 grant from Nichino America and a $55,020 grant from the Washington Tree Fruit Commission
  • Vince Jones was awarded a $78,000 grant from the Washington Tree Fruit Commission
  • Laura Lavine was awarded a $200,000 grant from NSF/IOS
  • Steve Sheppard was awarded a $140,000 grant from COSTCO
  • John Stark was awarded $5,000 grant from the Greater Tacoma Commission
  • Doug Walsh was awarded grants of $6,794 and $8,253 from the Washington Mint Commission and a $15,010 grant from the USDA/ARS/APRI
  • Lynell Tanigoshi is the recipient of a $6,250 grant from the Specialty Seed Growers of Western Oregon

2015 National Association of County Agricultural Agents conference awards

nacaacolorlogo_100_revLast month, WSU Extension faculty submitted posters, conducted presentations and submitted for national awards in multiple categories at the annual NACAA conference in South Dakota. WSU faculty received the following awards:

National Awards

  • Distinguished Service Award: Michael Bush
  • Achievement Award: Don Llewellyn
  • Agriculture Awareness & Appreciation Award-National Finalist: Gary Fredricks: “Dairy Days: Farmers Teaching Students about Cows and Milk”
  • Learning Module-National Finalist: Linda Chalker-Scott, Catherine Daniels, Tim Lawrence: “Scientific Inquiry and Method: Becoming a Literate Citizen”
  • Computer Generated Graphics-National Finalist: Sheila Gray: “It Takes a Community: On-time Graduation for at-risk Students”

Western Region Awards

  • Factsheet: Steve Van Vleet: “Control of Common Barberry to Reduce Stem Rust of Wheat and Barley”
  • Team Newsletter: Susan Kerr and Chris Benedict: “Whatcom County Ag Monthly”
  • Publication: Susan Kerr: “Parasite Control in Youth Market Hog Projects”
  • Published Photo/Caption: Steve Van Vleet: U.S. Canola Digest, “Old draft horse barn near Colfax WA by a field of spring canola”
  • Website: Linda Chalker-Scott: “The Garden Professors”

Poster-Extension Education Program

  • 2nd Place National: “Regional Youth Livestock Field Days: A Successful Extension Model Educating and Adults from Multiple Counties and States”
  • Janet Schmidt: “4-H and F.I.R.S.T. Partnership: Synergistic Opportunities for Science Education”
  • Don McMoran: “Hands-on Worker Protection Standard Training”
  • Michael Bush: “In Search of Invasive Bugs”
  • Steve Van Vleet: “Investing Through a Pest and Beneficial Insect Train-the-Trainer Short Course Program”

Poster-Applied Research

  • Steve Norberg, Don Llewellyn, Steve Franson: “Intercropping Irrigated Corn with Soybean to Increase Biodiversity and Protein Content of Silage”
  • Don McMoran: “Experimenting with Growing Ulluco as a Niche Crop”
  • Don Llewellyn: “Feed Quality and Ensiling Characteristics of Corn Silage with or without Soybean Intercropping”
  • Frank Hendrix: “In Search of the Perfect Steak”
  • Paul Carter: “Soil Survey to Identify Stratification Degradation”
  • Aaron Esser: “Value of Sweep Application in No-till Fallow”

Journal of NACAA Published Article

  • Michael Bush: “Recommendations for Extension Professionals and Volunteers Regarding Individuals with Delusional Infestation”

National award honors Tidal Leadership launch

CAHNRS communicators won a second-place award at the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association’s annual conference, held in June at College Station, Texas.

NADA awardThe campaign division award, for NAADA’s Publications and Projects Competition, recognized the team’s 2014 Tidal Leadership course launch campaign for the WSU Center for Transformational Learning and Leadership.

Tidal Leadership builds people’s innate, personal leader qualities. The 16-week online course launched with a package of emails, a video and a new website where visitors could join webinars and attend a free class.

Acting Dean Kim Kidwell and CTLL faculty members Denise Yost, Mary Kay Patton and Anna Whitehall worked with communications team members Josh Paulsen, Gerald Steffen, Darrell Kilgore, Phil Cable, and advertising partner UDS on the campaign. Watch the video, and learn about Tidal Leadership.


August 14: 2015 Washington State Viticulture Field Day

From weed management to irrigation systems to a table grape tasting, this Field Day is shaping up to be a must-attend event. Pesticide credits will also be available. Event runs from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. and costs $15. It will be held at the WSU-IAREC Roza Farm in Prosser, Wash. Registration deadline is August 10. For more information, click here.

August 15: Family Forest Field Day

Chainsaw safety Forestry Field Day smallWhether you own a home in the woods or many acres of land, this “out in the woods” educational event is packed with practical how-to information that you need to know. Event runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is held at Custer Creek Tree Farm in Raymond, Wash. Registration is $20 per person, $30 per family, and add $10 for day-of registration. For more details, visit the WSU Forestry website and click on the event on the right side of the page.

August 17: Poplar for Biofuels Field Tour

Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest invites you to a day out in the field at the project’s Pilchuck Demonstration Site. The hybrid poplars near Stanwood, Wash., will be showing much of  their full re-growth potential as they continue into their first growing season after being initially harvested last fall. The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Click here to register. Contact Betsy Fradd ( with any questions.

August 26: “Introduction to Evaluation” webinar

Rebecca Sero from WSU Extension will present a free webinar covering the basics of evaluation, including why and when to conduct evaluations, as well as commonly used evaluation methods. In addition, an introduction to logic models will be covered. The webinar starts at 10 a.m. and is scheduled to last an hour. Register here by August 25.


CAHNRS News is published monthly (except for this one seasonal summer edition). Please submit items for the September issue by August 24.

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Congratulations to Chad Kruger,Chad Kruger who assumes the position of Director of the WSU Mount Vernon Northwestern Research and Extension Center (NWREC) beginning August 17, 2015. Chad will continue in his role as director of CSANR with Georgine Yorgey assuming the role of assistant director. Steve Jones began as director for the NWREC Bread Lab beginning May 1, 2015. Thank you to Debra Inglis for stepping in as interim director of NWREC.

Congratulations to John Haugen, John Haugenwho took over managing the WSU Creamery on Aug. 1. He has been assistant manager since 1999. Haugen replaces Russ Salvadalena, manager since July 2000. Salvadalena plans to retire in 2016 after overseeing the construction of the new whey production facility. That project is slated to break ground this fall.

Marina Heppenstall,Marina Heppenstall Extension Coordinator with the Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest team, gave a presentation at the WSU Extension 2015 Teen Conference event in Pullman. Marina demonstrated how to make biodiesel to a group of 25 high school students interested in learning more about sustainability and reducing carbon emissions. Marina completed her M.S. in Environmental Science with a focus in soil science and sustainable agriculture at WSU, where she researched greenhouse gas emissions and the potential for carbon sequestration on organic farms.

A new patent (patent number: US 9,074,005 B2) was issued on July 7, 2015 entitled “Compositions and Methods for Modulating Plant Disease Resistance and Immunity” to B.W. “Joe” Poovaiah and Liqun Du of the Department of Horticulture. Joe is a Regents Professor and Interim Chair of the Department and Liqun is a Research Associate Professor. This is the sixth U.S. patent based on Joe’s research on calcium/calmodulin-mediated signaling in plants.

John McNamara, emeritus professor in animal sciences, has been awarded the 2015 Zoetis Physiology Award recognizing outstanding research in dairy cattle physiology from the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA).

The Spokesman Review ran a story about the Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB) field tour of the Hayden, Idaho poplar site. AHB is a consortium of educational and industry partners, including WSU, working to prepare Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Northern Idaho for a sustainable hardwood biochemicals and biofuels industry.