Letter from the Director
We are pleased to present the 2003 Annual Report of the Washington State University Agricultural Research Center (ARC) on the Worldwide Web. Projects found in this report represent the scholarly efforts of our faculty, staff, and students who have been funded by the ARC with additional funds from the USDA-CSREES Formula Funds (Hatch, McIntire-Stennis, Animal Health) and numerous extramural grant sources. We are also the fortunate recipients of funds from our state commodity commission partners. In addition, this past year, our Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources received a three-year $3.75 million award for its "Climate Friendly Farming" project from the Paul G. Allen Foundation. Notably, the WSU Agricultural Research Center was the largest recipient of grant funding within Washington State University this past year, having received new awards totaling over $55.9 million.
The portfolio of the WSU ARC remains large and diverse with over 360 projects addressing the economic needs and overall well-being of the people of Washington and the nation. These projects are directed at:
- ensuring that our farms and industries are competitive in the global economy,
- protecting the security of our food and fiber systems,
- ensuring a healthy and well-nourished population,
- protecting natural resources and the environment, and
- enhancing economic opportunity for all citizens.
A snapshot of some of the projects in this diverse portfolio reveals a number of projects emphasizing integrated pest management and promoting conservation biological control and diminished use of pesticides; studies of solar UV-B rays that may change ecosystems; projects designed to apply precision agricultural technologies to the tree fruit and asparagus industries; raspberry breeding programs to develop more varieties that are machine-harvestable; epidemiological studies of pathogens that threaten our food supply; and a number of efforts to improve water quality and protect the environment. Among the projects in the human sciences, we have one that discovers important socializing behaviors in children and another project that studies how social scientists might acquire more accurate survey data. Also featured are the projects that have been prominent parts of the WSU ARC research portfolio for several decades including the wheat breeding program and the economics of transportation in Washington.
New efforts in plant and animal biotechnology, value-added agriculture, food safety, viticulture and enology, organic agriculture, and agricultural biosecurity are moving forward. The WSU ARC retains its commitment to its focus on the food system and to the Strategic Plans of Washington State University and College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.
I am confident that you will find this report interesting and useful. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me by email at AgResearch@wsu.edu or by telephone at 509-335-4563.