Extension News from the West

CAHNRS Coug Connections: Samantha Beck

Washington State University Extension News - Tue, 10/04/2016 - 2:18pm

Each week, we will showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Samantha Beck, a senior from Richland, Wash.

Samantha Beck

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Agricultural Biotechnology, with minors in Viticulture and Enology, Crop Science, and Horticulture.

What is a fun fact about you?

My first midnight book release and midnight movie premiere was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Why WSU?

WSU is a large, respected, well-known university with many connections and opportunities for students.

What is special about being a CAHNRS Coug?

There are limitless opportunities and connections. The family and home atmosphere we have created makes it easy to make friends.

Where do you want to be (professionally or personally) 10 years after you graduate?


Favorite class you have taken within CAHNRS so far? Why? 

Plant Breeding – Crops 445. This class provided hands-on practice and it applied knowledge from other classes.

What extracurricular activities have you been involved in within CAHNRS (excluding ambassadors)?

AFA Crop Science Institute

Favorite Ferdinand’s flavor of ice cream? 

Chocolate Cookie Dough

Gardening in Small Places: growing fruit at home

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers workshop Nov. 19

Pear tree located in the Demonstration and Test Gardens

Join University of Nevada Cooperative Extension on Saturday, Nov. 19, for a one-day workshop on Gardening in Small Places: growing fruit at home. The class runs from 8 a.m. to noon.

Can you grow fruit trees and berries in the desert? You bet! Figs, nectarines, peaches, apricots, pears, apples, strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes and blackberries are just a few of the fruits you can grow at home. The fruit varieties may be different than what you’re used to but the results can still be spectacular. Let Angela O’Callaghan, social horticulturist, explain what plant attributes to look for when planning your home orchard. Homeowners and other interested parties are welcome to attend.

Class space is limited to 25 and pre-registration is required. To register for this class, held at the Lifelong Learning Center (8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev.), email or call Elaine Fagin at 702-257-5573. To register online visit Eventbrite.com.

Cooperative Extension and Rose Society Nov. meeting

Preparing beds for bare root roses

Bare root rose diagram

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and the South Valley Rose Society are collaborating and offering educational meetings throughout the fall. On Thursday, Nov. 17 learn how to prepare your beds for bare root roses. This is a free workshop and open to the public.

This workshop explains how to prepare beds for the right rose in the right place, replace old plants with new varieties, plus all the important rose care suspension dates. It’s also time to review those 2017 spring catalogues, prepare your orders and request delivery not later than mid-January 2017.

All educational meetings are held at 7 p.m. at the Lifelong Learning Center located at 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev. (I-215 and Windmill Lane). For more information, email or call the Master Gardener Help Desk at 702-257-5555.

Animal scientist part of $9.3 million health effort

Washington State University Extension News - Sun, 10/02/2016 - 3:47pm

Amber Adams-Progar, Dairy Management Specialist with the WSU Department of Animal Sciences, is part of a multi-university team working to prevent illness and injury in the farming, fishing and forestry industries in the Pacific Northwest

Amber Adams-Progar, Dairy Management Specialist

The five-year, joint WSU-University of Washington project is funded by a $9.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Adams-Progar is leading efforts to identify current dairy cattle handling training programs on Washington dairies, gauge their effectiveness, and help design training programs to further minimize dairy employee injuries related to cattle handling. The dairy portion of the grant is for $750,000 over five years.

“The ultimate goal is to determine which types of dairy cattle training programs have the greatest impact on dairy employee learning and safety, so we can then design dairy cattle training programs that are not only educational, but are also practical and easily accessible,” she said. “My input will help ensure that training recommendations are relevant and feasible for Washington dairy farms.”

Adams-Progar’s expertise in animal behavior will help the research team monitor animal learning as well as employee learning.

“I am very passionate about this project,” she says.

The collaboration on the grant is with the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center at the University of Washington.

Islands net USDA grant support for new farmers, ranchers

Washington State University Extension News - Sat, 10/01/2016 - 3:22pm

Farming on islands has its challenges, from the high cost of land to isolation among farmers to the difficulty of attending workshops. To address challenges like these, USDA has awarded a collaborative team of agencies and non-profits a USDA Beginning Farmer Rancher Grant for a multi-pronged program on San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Whidbey islands.

There is a rise in the number of individuals choosing farming as a livelihood here in the PNW, and the Northwest Ag Business Center, the Organic Farm School, the Whidbey Island Conservation District, the San Juan Agricultural Resources Committee, and the WSU Extension-San Juan County Agriculture Program have been working to provide farmers with the skills, knowledge base, and resources they need for long-term success.

The USDA grant, totaling over $590,000, will be help expand their efforts. The grant team has pulled together a program that includes:

  • a workshop series for new farmers and ranchers repeated on four islands in San Juan and Island counties.
  • an expanded Organic Farm School curriculum on Whidbey Island, to include training on livestock, mechanics, and financial planning for new farmers throughout the region,
  • one-on-one business development assistance, with attention to technical assistance and development of value-added products,
  • a system and resources to link new farmers to farmland and
  • a mentoring network to help new farmers learn from experienced “elder” farmers

The need for programs such as these has been discussed for years.  The USDA funding will provide benefits for island communities in a collaborative spirit across county lines.

The three-year grant project began in September 2016. For more information, contact the San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild, the San Juan County Agricultural Resources Committee, or WSU Extension in San Juan County.

• Contact WSU San Juan County Extension, 221 Weber Way Suite LL, Friday Harbor, WA 98250; (360) 378-4414; http://extension.wsu.edu/sanjuan/contact/

Crop Science Society honors Dr. Kim Kidwell with Fellow Award

Washington State University Extension News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 3:16pm

Kim Kidwell, Executive Associate Dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, has been elected a Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA).

Kidwell will receive a 2016 Fellow Award at the Society’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., in November.

The Fellow Award is the highest recognition bestowed by the CSSA, an international scientific society that fosters plant science for a better world. Members nominate recipients based on achievements and meritorious service. Fewer than a dozen fellows are named each year.

“Being a fellow validates the efforts and contributions I have made to the discipline and the Society over the duration of my career,” Kidwell said. “It means a tremendous amount to me.”

In 2003, Kidwell received the CSSA’s Young Crop Scientist Award, which recognized her early contributions.

“That award predicted that I would do good things to support agriculture as my career progressed,” Kidwell said.

“Thirteen years later, the society has validated for me that what they predicted was actually true,” she added. “This is an honor that I greatly appreciate and deeply respect.”

Kim Campbell, a USDA researcher and adjunct professor in the WSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, nominated Kidwell for the honor.

“Dr. Kidwell is a great friend who works hard at her craft, and strives to promote excellence among young people in the field of crop science,” said Campbell.

Serving farmers and training leaders

Starting her career at WSU in 1994, Kidwell served for 15 years as the university’s spring wheat breeder, developing more than 20 wheat varieties for Washington farmers.

As an instructor, Kidwell created one of the most popular classes at WSU: Human Development 205, which uses hands-on experiences to build students’ communication and leadership skills.

As executive associate dean and associate dean of academic programs, Kidwell guided efforts to redesign classes to better serve students. She spearheaded development of the WSU Center for Transformational Learning and Leadership (CTLL), which provides beyond-the-classroom experiences for students and leadership development for graduate students and professionals. Kidwell continues to teach CTLL courses.

Kidwell served as acting dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, the largest college in the WSU system, during the 2015-2016 academic year.

• Learn more about Kidwell’s work here.

• Learn more about the Crop Science Society of America here.

In The Garden series continues

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners answer questions

Master Gardeners volunteers working in the Herb Garden. Photo courtesy of Glenda Bona, Herb Garden committee chair.

During their monthly garden work days, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners invite the community to visit the Demonstration and Test Gardens. As part of the In The Garden series, residents may bring their gardening questions on the following days during Oct.:


Tuesdays, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, 9 a.m. — seasonal maintenance of the vegetable and fruit plots.

Saturdays, Oct. 8 and 22, 9 a.m. — Junior Master Gardeners — teaching children where food comes from


Monday, Oct. 3, 1 p.m. — Monarch migration is underway and some are visiting the 26 different species of milkweed planted


Mondays, Oct. 10 and 24, 9 a.m. — final preparations for the last “rose flush” of the season


Tuesday, Oct. 11, 8:30 a.m. — pruning deciduous fruit trees after the leaves drop


Saturday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m. —Fall is for Planting — it’s time to spruce up your yard!

Fridays, at 10 a.m. — tour of the various garden areas


Wednesday, Oct. 26, 9 a.m. — harvesting and planting of cool season herbs

Sherry Swensk, KLAS TV 8, visited the gardens and offered a great overview of the Demonstration and Test Garden area.

Master Gardeners will answer questions and demonstrate proper seasonal plant care techniques. Visitors should be prepared to be outdoors (sun protection, closed toe shoes, drinking water). The gardens surround the Cooperative Extension building at 8050 Paradise Rd., Las Vegas, Nev. and feature 1300 species of desert-adapted plants that are identified by botanical and common names.

For meeting locations or other questions email or call the Master Gardener Help Desk at 702-257-5555. Master Gardener volunteers staff the desk Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. — 3 p.m.

Nevada youth explore drones in world’s largest youth-led STEM challenge

4-Hers shoot off rockets they built in a past 4-H National Youth Science Day activity held on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension 4-H program offers hands-on learning to local youth

Over the next week, as part of National 4-H Week, youth in Nevada will join over 100,000 youth across the world in leading the ninth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day challenge. This year’s challenge, called Drone Discovery, introduces youth to the burgeoning field of drones in a hands-on, interactive design challenge. Youth will build an airplane out of foam, attach a keychain camera to it, collect data, and then download and analyze the data.

The exercise teaches youth a wide variety of topics related to unmanned flight, including flight dynamics, aircraft types, safety and regulations, remote sensing, and flight control. Designed by Cornell University Cooperative Extension, the hands-on, three-part engineering design challenge will allow youth to experiment with fixed and rotary wing designs, explore the concept of remote sensing and dive into the world of coding for real-world drone applications.

Here in Nevada, 4-H is a program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, which is hosting the challenge at several locations, as well as sponsoring other activities to celebrate National 4-H Week.

“This challenge is an opportunity to show our communities the types of learn-by-doing activities that our 4-H programs provide for youth,” said Carrie Stark, Nevada 4-H Program Director with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. “There are so many different 4-H programs, including 4-H Clubs and activities that are tailored to youth’s various interests, and now is a great time to get involved.”

Stark said that a study conducted by Tufts University shows that 4-H youth are at least two times more likely (and in some cases four times more likely) to participate in science programs, plan to go to college, contribute to their communities, be physically active and make healthier choices.

4-H this week in Reno:
At 3 p.m., Oct. 5, four 4-H youth are leading the Drone Discovery challenge with the help of a 4-H leader working with youth from the Reno Housing Authority facilities at Essex Manor, 7760 Carlyle Drive in Golden Valley.

4-H this week in Carson City:
At 10 a.m., Oct. 1, youth are welcome to participate in the Drone Discovery challenge at the Carson City Extension office, 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 15. The event is free, and those not wishing to participate are welcome to observe. On Oct. 5, 8:30 a.m. — 6 p.m., the Carson City Cooperative Extension office is hosting a 4-H Open House and Fun Day. The day’s activities, such as a photo booth, cookie decorating, a prize wheel and more, are free. Information will be available on the various 4-H activities available to youth in Carson City.

4-H this week in Southern Nye County:
At 2 p.m., Oct. 16, youth are welcome to participate in the Drone Discovery challenge at the 4-H Annex Building at the Cooperative Extension office in Pahrump, 1651 E. Calvada Blvd. The event is free and open to the public but preregistration is required. Everyone is welcome to observe.

4-H this week in White Pine County:
At 10 a.m., Oct. 7, youth are welcome to participate in the Drone Discovery challenge at the White Pine County Library Conference Room, 950 Campton St. in Ely. The event is free, and those not wishing to participate are welcome to observe.

4-H this week in the Clark County:
At 4 p.m., Oct. 12, youth are welcome to participate in the Drone Discovery challenge at Ruben P. Diaz Elementary School, 4450 E. Owens Ave. in Las Vegas. The event is free and open to the public.

4-H this week in the nation:
National 4-H Council will host the flagship national 4-H National Youth Science Day event, with hundreds of youth participating in the challenge on Oct. 5 in Washington, D.C. The 2016 national partners are HughesNet®, Lockheed Martin and U.S. Cellular. DJI, the world’s largest maker of consumer drones, is the national sponsor.

To find out more about 4-H or how your county is celebrating National 4-H Week and 4-H National Youth Science Day, contact your county’s University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office. For office locations and phone numbers, go to Cooperative Extension’s website or call 775-784-7070.

MSU Extension in Gallatin County moves office to Gallatin County Fairgrounds

Montana State University Extension News - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 11:00pm
<p>BOZEMAN Montana State University <a href="http://www.msuextension.org/">Extension</a> in Gallatin County has moved its office to the Ag Center building at...

MSU Extended University to offer estate planning course

Montana State University Extension News - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 11:00pm
<p>BOZEMANMontana State Universitys <a href="http://eu.montana.edu/">Extended University</a> will offer a three-session, non-credit workshop on estate planning this fall.</p> <p><a href="https://eu.courses.montana.edu/CourseStatus.awp?&amp;course=16FWFREFLECT">Wildflower reflections: families,...

MSU to host agricultural outlook conference Nov. 11

Montana State University Extension News - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 11:00pm
<p>BOZEMAN The <a href="http://www.montana.edu/econ/">Montana State University Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics</a> and <a href="http://www.msuextension.org">MSU Extension</a> will host an...

CAHNRS Coug Connections: Brandon Knodel

Washington State University Extension News - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 11:35am

Each week, we will showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Brandon Knodel, a senior from Lind, Wash.

Brandon Knodel

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Agricultural Technology and Production Management, with a minor in Business Administration

What is a fun fact about you?

I drink my coffee black.

Why WSU?

WSU has always held a special place in my heart. I love everything from Cougar football Saturdays to the pride around campus. WSU is a place for everyone.

What is special about being a CAHNRS Coug?

The special part about being a CAHNRS Coug is the amount of opportunity available. There is always something on campus going on or for you to participate it. The staff and faculty with in CAHNRS truly care about your success and want you to have the very best.

Where do you want to be (professionally or personally) 10 years after you graduate?

Wow, 10 years from now? 10 years from now, I would like to see myself as a successful individual who is passionate about what I am doing and making a difference in this world.

Favorite class you have taken within CAHNRS so far? Why?

Crop Science 305 – learning how to calibrate sprayers and identify weeds are skills that have real life applications in an area that I am passionate about.

What extracurricular activities have you been involved in within CAHNRS (excluding ambassadors)?

AgTM Club, Econ Club

Favorite Ferdinand’s flavor of ice cream?

Apple Cup Crisp

Free classes at Acacia Park

Master Gardeners conduct classes in October

Leaffooted bug found during scouting expedition

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners—for the 12th year--will offer a series of free classes at Acacia Park in Oct. Classes are offered in partnership with the City of Henderson Parks and Recreation Department, and are published in “Henderson Happenings.” All classes are taught by Cooperative Extension volunteer Master Gardener instructors and begin at 9 a.m.

Oct. 8 - Fertilizer, Weeds, and Insects — Master Gardener

You do not need harmful chemicals to control your garden and yard pests. Nothing is more frustrating than weeds and insects that destroy your landscape or garden. What should one do to add nutrients to the soil for gorgeous plants and still have a safe landscape for the family and pets? Learn to scout your yard to control these problems before they become a costly fix. A Master Gardener will discuss the use of fertilizers and insecticides that will make your landscape enjoyable.

October 15 - Palms, Succulents and Cactus — Master Gardener Howard Galin

You can see a variety of palms in the Las Vegas valley and wonder how they would look in your yard. It is more important to know how much work they will require, how long are they expected to live and what kind of maintenance is required. You can grow different succulents in our area also. Galin will explore all these questions and more with you.

October 22 - How to Winterize your Yard — Master Gardener Jodi Starkey

Winter will be here soon. Here in the desert we sometimes experience colder winter winds and freezing temperatures that can harm our homes and landscapes. Now is the time to learn some simple techniques to protect your plants, trees, landscape and pipes. Starkey will share ideas on how to prevent winter injury and harm to your landscape.

Pre-registration is requested. Online registration is available through the City of Henderson.

The Master Gardeners will have an “Ask a Master Gardener” table at the Park on class days. Acacia Park is located at 50 Casa Del Fuego (Intersection of 215 and 515) in Henderson, Nev. Master Gardener volunteers are also available to answer questions through the Home Gardening Help Line, 702-257-5555 or my email. The Help Line is staffed Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Get Rattled: Rattlesnake Avoidance Training Clinic offered for your pets

A training clinic designed specifically to teach dogs on rattlesnake avoidance

Rattlesnake training

Rattlesnakes are still active due to the mild weather and low precipitation, fostering an earlier and longer snake season. If you enjoy activities that take you and your dog(s) outdoors, you and your pet(s) may be at risk for encountering rattlesnakes. And as the snakes keep moving in search of food and mates, they are ending up in peoples own backyards. This training comes just in time for the opening of hunting season, while the snakes are still out, and will give dogs a head start for next spring which is expected to be equally as heavy with snakes as this year.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with Get Rattled, highly encourages pet owners to take part in this important Rattlesnake Avoidance Training Clinic.

Get Rattled is providing a training session at Cooperative Extension’s Lifelong Learning Center located at 8050 Paradise Rd., Las Vegas, Nev. on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Trainings are provided by either appointment or walk-in between 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with sessions lasting approximately 20 minutes.

Cost for the training is $85 per dog. A refresher training is $60. The clinic does require the use of a remote training collar that will be customized to fit each dog. The clinic will provide local dog owners extra assurance and peace of mind that their dogs will avoid dangerous rattlesnake encounters, protecting their health, and their families from suffering the pain and medical costs of a rattlesnake bite.

“I’d say that most dog owners don’t really think about snake bites until they see a rattlesnake for themselves, in parks, or their backyards, and then realize their dogs can be at risk,” says John Potash co-founder and co-owner of Get Rattled. He adds, “Get Rattled is a unique training clinic designed specifically to teach dogs on rattlesnake avoidance. We have been teaching this clinic for 15 years and have successfully trained thousands of dogs.”

Potash is licensed by the Nevada Department of Wildlife and has over 25 years of experience working with venomous snakes and wildlife in areas of animal control, wildlife rescue and public education. He works with skilled dog trainer Willie J. Stevens Jr. who has over 20 years of experience training and judging pointing dogs.

“Rattlesnake Avoidance Training is a crucial tool for dog owners,” stated Potash, “prevention is your number one line of defense in protecting your dogs from venomous snakes.” When dogs and their owners go hiking or to the dog parks to go off leash, this training teaches them to be fearful of the rattlesnake. It protects people as well, as the dog becomes an alert system. This training has proven to be an effective tool in teaching rattlesnake avoidance to all dogs from Great Danes to Chihuahuas.

Because rattlesnakes can regulate the amount of venom they inject into another animal; the health risks to dogs from a bite can vary greatly depending on the amount of venom injected, the species and size of rattlesnake, and the size of the dog and where it was bitten. Dogs can also be bitten when owners are not around, so Potash suggests that people know some general signs of a bite along with health risks: “Dogs are usually bitten on their limbs, neck, and head or face so look for severe swelling in those areas. After some time, the venom may produce nausea, vomiting, and the dog can seem lethargic and will begin to act as if something is bothering them. If you see a snake bite happen or notice these symptoms, keep your dog calm and take them to a vet right away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

To register or for more information, please visit GetRattled.com, call or email Get Rattled at 775-234-8844.

MSU to host annual Celebrate Agriculture event Nov. 10-12

Montana State University Extension News - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 11:00pm
<p>BOZEMAN Montana State Universitys <a href="http://agriculture.montana.edu/">College of Agriculture</a> and <a href="http://agresearch.montana.edu/maes.html">Montana Agricultural Experiment Station </a>will honor the state and...

MSU Extension releases new publication on soil nutrient management for canola

Montana State University Extension News - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 11:00pm
<p>BOZEMAN A new Montana State University <a href="http://www.msuextension.org/">Extension</a> bulletin, Soil Nutrient Management for Canola, offers suggested soil nutrient management...

MSU Extension to offer eastern Montana pest management tour Oct. 3-7

Montana State University Extension News - Tue, 09/20/2016 - 11:00pm
<p>BOZEMAN -- Montana State University <a href="http://www.msuextension.org/">Extension</a> pesticide education and integrated pest management programs are offering a pest management tour...

CAHNRS Coug Connections: Randee Zerger

Washington State University Extension News - Tue, 09/20/2016 - 8:57am

Each week, we will showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Randee Zerger, a senior from Snohomish and Leavenworth, Wash.

Randee Zerger

What are you studying?

My major is Agriculture and Food Security (AFS), with minors in Crop Science and Horticulture.

What is a fun fact about you?

Although I am an ag major, I was not raised on a farm. I got involved via FFA in high school.

Why WSU?

WSU was an obvious choice for me. My passion is agriculture and WSU has a state-of-the-art agriculture program. I visited WSU as a freshman in high school for FFA and I fell in love with WSU and its atmosphere. WSU is a home away from home, and I am so lucky to be involved in an internationally-renowned university!

What is special about being a CAHNRS Coug?

CAHNRS has given me so many valuable opportunities and experiences that I would not have been able to gain anywhere else. CAHNRS is a home to me and has a place for everyone! Being a scared freshman, I was worried I wouldn’t find a niche that fit me, but CAHNRS has given me endless opportunities to grow and find what I want from life. CAHNRS is family!

Where do you want to be (professionally or personally) 10 years after you graduate?

I hope to be well-traveled, happy, and motivated 10 years from now. Although I do not know exactly what I want to do after I graduate, I hope to find something that makes me happy and allows me to express my passion for agriculture.

Favorite class you have taken within CAHNRS so far? Why?

Even though it wasn’t necessarily a class in my major, Animal Science 172 has been my favorite! It’s an intro to dairy management, and it was a once-a-week course where we went out to the WSU Dairy Center and learned about and handled dairy cows! We got to halter break a calf, which was awesome. For a major class I would say Crop Science 305 – Ecology of Weeds. It is an intensive course, but I have gotten so much out of it. It applies to my major and that information will stick with me.

What extracurricular activities have you been involved in within CAHNRS (excluding ambassadors)?

I’ve been involved in Agriculture Future of America (AFA), which is a national organization of young agriculturalists and industry professionals that solve problems in the industry and learn to make a difference in agriculture. I have also been involved with the Agricultural Education club, helping with the Wash. FFA state convention, and Wildlife Society.

Favorite Ferdinand’s flavor of ice cream?

Mint Chip!


Washington State University Extension News - Mon, 09/19/2016 - 12:55pm
WSU V&E booth at Picnic and Barrel event featured “Chip a Cork” to raise money for V&E research Students and Staff Represent WSU V&E at Industry Events

WSU V&E students Grant Bailey and Ian Hayes joined program director Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling at two industry events in the month of August.  Students poured tastings of WSU Blended Learning student-made wines at the Auction of Washington Wines Picnic and Barrel, Aug. 18 and the Wenatchee Wine and Food Festival, Aug. 27.

Students enjoyed the opportunity to share their experience at WSU and make connections with members of the Washington Wine Industry.  “It’s a fun way to meet people from all over the state who share common interests, ” said Hayes, a senior currently studying V&E at WSU Tri-Cities.

WSU Research Published

Does seed color influence tannins?  WSU researchers Dr. Jim Harbertson and Dr. Federico Casassa extracted tannins from both green seeds and brown seeds to determine changes in tannins druning the ripening process.  Their article, “Balancing Tannin Maturity and Extraction” was  recently published in the latest edition of Wine and Vines.

Enology certificate students get hands-on experience at 2016 wine camp. Fall 2016 Certificate Program Camps a Success

Did you know that WSU offers professional certificate programs in viticulture, enology and wine business management? These continuing education courses are available online with experience camps held annually, offering hands-on training and the opportunity for students to interact with faculty, researchers and their peers.

This year’s grape and wine camps were held Sept. 10-11.  At the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, Wash., Grape Camp students spent time in the vineyard learning how to assess ripening, scout for disease and viruses, and estimate yields.  Wine Camp students analyzed sugars, acids, tannins and alcohol and participated in crushing exercises at the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center in Richland, Wash.

Certificate coursework and camps help expand the student’s knowledge to prepare them for careers in the wine industry or enhance their current positions.   Click here for more information on viticulture and enology certificate program.


Do you know a WSU student, faculty member, alumnus or wine industry member who deserves a cheer? Submit their achievements to Voice of the Vine Editor Kaury Balcom!

WSU offers new winery operations course, wine science capstone

Washington State University Extension News - Mon, 09/19/2016 - 12:14pm

By Dennis Farrell, Student Writer

Beginning spring 2017, the Washington State University Viticulture & Enology program will offer two new undergraduate courses: a winery operations post-fermentation course and a viticulture and enology capstone course.

The winery operations course will cover each phase of wine production, from fruit processing to bottling. Dr. Tom Collins, WSU assistant professor of wine chemistry and course developer, said the course will replace the current wine production course, which offers an overview of field and winery practices leading up to fermentation.

The new post-fermentation class will give students a better understanding of winery practices, which they previously learned only through external winery internships.

“The course, which is recommended for senior undergraduate students, covers barrel operations and chemistry, winery sanitation, filtration, preparing wines for bottling and bottling,” Collins said. “The goal is to help students get more out of their internships because they’ll have had some exposure to these things.”

The new viticulture and enology capstone course, known as VE 433, will explore all areas of viticulture and enology, whereas the former capstone course focused mainly on horticulture.

“VE 433 is specific to vineyards and wineries and has the involvement of the industry,” said Joan Davenport, professor and soil scientist at the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center.

Davenport developed the capstone course with research associates Jason Stout and Catherine Jones. Davenport and Collins will both teach the course beginning this spring.

The capstone course requires students to develop a vineyard management plan and a winery management plan. As they develop these plans, students will work together and use their knowledge of viticulture and enology to write recommendations for addressing dilemmas in the wine industry. By working through real-world scenarios, students gain experience in evaluating a winery for functionality, identifying and solving viticulture management problems and understanding the moving parts of managing both vineyards and wineries.

“Both courses aim to engage students in real-life situations that prepare them for a future in the industry,” Collins said.