During a career spanning more than 50 years, Donald W. Moos has served the agriculture industry in a plethora of capacities: as a rancher on a wheat and cattle farm; a member of the Agriculture Committee during his four terms in the Washington State House of Representatives; as Washington State Director of Agriculture; Deputy Regional Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Director of Fisheries and later Director of Ecology for the state of Washington.
Considering all Moos has accomplished, it’s not surprising he was honored with the Alumni Achievement Award in 1976.
Moos was raised in Edwall, Wash. – a small town west of Spokane, where he was born on March 4, 1923. He had graduated from high school in Edwall and was attending WSU when he enlisted in the Army in October of 1942. In March of 1943, he was called up for active duty and deployed the following year. Assigned to G Company, 110th Infantry, he was wounded twice while serving his country in Europe. He was discharged as a Staff Sergeant two days after being married to Parmalee Brouillard on August 12, 1945.
Accompanied by his wife, he returned to WSU and graduated in 1947. Starting in 1950, he worked as a rancher in Lincoln County for 15 years, was active in community projects, and acted as a principle organizer and president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers. During this time he was elected to the state legislature as a representative for Lincoln, Ferry, and Adams counties.
Next, Moos took on the directorship of the Washington State Department of Agriculture, which at that time employed 600 people and had a biennial budget of $20 million. In addition to serving on countless councils, committees, commissions, and boards, he served as president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, appeared before Congress regarding agricultural legislation, and was highly effective in promoting overseas sales of Washington agricultural products.
His role as deputy regional administrator for the EPA saw Moos furthering the agency’s mission of controlling and abating air, water, solid waste, pesticide, noise, and radiation pollution. After a year at that job, he worked as the Director of Cabinet Affairs for the Office of the Governor, where he was charged with interpreting policy and assisting agency directors in solving problems relating to natural resource use and conservation.
March 1975 was the start of Moos’ two-year stretch as director of the Washington State Department of Fisheries. His accomplishments while in office were abundant and vastly benefitted the department.
Upon becoming director of the Washington State Department of Ecology, Moos’ list of achievements increased exponentially. Under his authority, the department became more efficient and enacted numerous programs and policies that were aimed at reducing pollution and allowing for a quicker response to hazardous waste cleanup, among many other things.
From 1986 to the present, Moos has been the president of his own consulting firm, Donald W. Moos and Associates, which specializes in agriculture, fisheries, ecology, natural resources, and governmental affairs. He and his wife live in East Wenatchee and have two children and five grandchildren.