WSU is advancing Washington industries …
WSU teams with aviation to develop sustainable aviation biofuels …
WSU partners to develop bioproducts that reduce dependence on petroleum imports …
WSU works with state commodity commissions to conduct needed agricultural research …
WSU developed the technology used for wood-plastic composites used for buildings …
WSU researchers work to improve dairy productivity and reduce disease …
WSU research has made Washington one of the world’s most productive wheat-growing regions …

Cougar Chat, In the News, Land grant mission in action, improving everyday lives

A week in the life of WSU: research and programs that bring it all home. Land grant mission in action, improving everyday lives

wsu impact at home right version

Welcome to the sixth entry in our series that extends information about Washington State University’s land grant mission and demonstrates how our university is increasing knowledge, providing research, and making a difference for our state. WSU was in the news a lot last week, with a common theme, namely, WSU’s working partnerships that bring together science and commerce to make life a bit sweeter. We offer a few examples of how WSU’s land grant mission can improve everyday lives at the most personal level: in our homes, as we break bread together, care for family and friends, and toast to healthy lives, love, and happiness.

Other stories in the series:
WSU. Land grant mission in action, improving everyday lives
WSU Vancouver MAP program
WSU Vancouver Hospitality Business Management Program
WSU Global Campus 
WSU Biofuels Research

Ground-breaking for the Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities

According to Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and also a farmer in Virginia: “By making this wine vine known to the public, I have rendered my country as great a service as if I had enabled it to pay back the national debt.” While his comment may be an exaggeration, Washingtonians and wine connoisseurs can be pleased about the new Wine Science Center being built as a campus facility for WSU Tri-Cities, in the heart of our state’s wine grape growing and the wine making region.

092613AK_WineScienceThe Washington wine industry and WSU have always shared deep roots. Dr. Walter Clore is considered the father of Washington wine for his pioneering research for over 40 years on viticulture in eastern Washington, now known as WSU’s Irrigation Branch Research Station in Prosser. His work between the late 1930’s and 1970’s helped establish that high quality wine grapes could be grown successfully in our state, which in turn, helped transform the industry while providing consumers with amazingly tasty wine.

Washington is now the 2nd largest wine producer in the US, with approximately 800 wineries  and over 350 wine grape growers who collectively produce over 30 varieties of wine. The industry experienced explosive growth in the last 30 years. With an estimated economic impact of $8.6 billion dollars, our state’s wine is considered some of the best in the world. Aficionados and casual consumers alike enjoy the unique styles of Washington wines. The philanthropy from many individual wineries, vineyards, and the Washington State Wine Commission made the new center possible. These public and private entities and individuals recognize that Washington wine grapes and wine continue to depend on WSU researchers, students, and well-prepared graduates to help address the challenges and opportunities for industry growth.

Thus, it is not surprising that over 200 people gathered for the ground-breaking on September 26th. Led by Governor Jay Inslee, the ceremony heralded the new center that will blend research, education, and extension services to advance the industry, including serving as a conference center and focal point for seminars and meetings. The space, on land provided by the Port of Benton, will allow development and evaluation of new wine grape varietals that will grow best in our state, thereby boosting the quality and flavor of our wines. It also will allow more students, vineyard managers, and winery operators to enroll in bachelor’s and graduate degree programs or earn professional certificates. Finally, for those who enjoy wine with a meal or in celebration, it will allow us to continue to enjoy the best of this delicious fruit.

To learn more about WSU Tri-Cities, click here. To learn more about the Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities, click here.

Research Expo – where science innovation and industry meet

September 26th was the inaugural expo showcasing WSU’s research strength, including how applied research can help business and also make a difference in the lives of consumers. Hosted by WSU Office of Economic Development, the Seattle-based event featured face-to-face interactions with WSU scientists demonstrations from a wide array of disciplines, and projects which have direct application to improving our lives.

A popular research project featured Dr. Kate Evans, who specializes in fruit breeding genomics. While sampling the currently named “WA 38 Apple,” Dr. Evans described how she and her team developed the new apple specifically for orchards in Washington state. After having a slice — or two — of the apple, we can attest that this new WSU varietal is juicy, flavorful, and has a crisp, crunchy texture. Research continues to support the many health benefits of apples relating to pancreatic cancer and Parkinson’s disease, and mitigating the effects of aging on the brain. The “WA 38 Apple”  is in the final stages of development, and expected to be on store shelves when ready for the marketplace.

If apples may play in a role in helping our brains stay healthy, the WSU expo also highlighted research that will assist those who are already afflicted with memory loss. WSU’s Dr. Joe Harding has developed a new Alzheimer’s drug that has demonstrated dramatic improvements in laboratory animals. In addition, we learned about the work of Dr. Aaron Crandell who is developing  “smart home” technologies intended to assist those with memory problems and dementia stay safely in their homes – potentially providing important lifestyle options in addition to care provided by assisted living or skilled nursing facilities. The opportunity to review theses projects and talk with the researchers was helpful in better understanding what the future might hold for our aging population, particularly relating to the quality of life and home care for us and/or our loved ones.

To see all of the research projects that were featured, click here.  To read an personal account of the expo, click here. To learn more about WSU Office of Economic Development, click here.

The Crimson Spoon: plating regional cuisine on the Palouse. A cookbook for Cougar chefs who crave Cougar cuisine

On Friday, September 27th, the WSU College of Business and Executive Chef Jamie Callison of the School of Hospitality Business Management were on hand at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront Hotel to share the first look at Jamie’s new cookbook, “The Crimson Spoon: Plating Regional Cuisine on the Palouse.” Attendees at the annual College of Business Power Breakfast were some of the first to line up and purchase what is sure to be a popular item for holiday gift giving and cooks everywhere.

The 200-page, photo-illustrated cookbook features many of Callison’ s highly-acclaimed gourmet dishes and recipes that have long been favored among guests attending WSU’s world-class events. Recipes range from extravagant to simple — so we can have a broad choice of recipes to share with family and friends – and an opportunity to draw from each area of WSU’s food resources, such as the Organic Farm and Creamery, as well as from the Pacific Northwest.

All proceeds from the book will help with maintaining and replacing equipment and furnishings in the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Hospitality Teaching Center. The beautifully written book provides insight into the excellence of the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management while reminding us of the sentiments of Cesar Chavez, who said  “…people who give you their food give you their heart.” The joy of a home-cooked meal with delicious Washington wine just got a whole lot better because of WSU.

To order your Crimson Spoon: plating regional cuisine on the Palouse, click here.

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