An exciting and busy summer is underway

A group of teens stands on the stairs, holding a large WSU flag.

I hope everyone enjoyed the Juneteenth holiday weekend. The weather certainly did not make it feel like mid-June, but that did not affect the time I spent reflecting on the feelings I had around this time in 2020, following the murder of George Floyd. The real change I hoped for then has yet to manifest, but we will persevere.

Before heading into the long weekend, we learned about progress on the new USDA Agricultural Research Service building that will replace Johnson Hall. A bid has been accepted, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is moving toward officially awarding a contract. With demolition now complete, it won’t be long before we see signs of new construction.

This week we (CAHNRS and the College of Veterinary Medicine) hosted a group from the Washington Cattlemen’s Association, sharing our current research emphasis and touring some of the facilities on campus. Also this week, CAHNRS hosts the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Western Region Joint Summer Meeting for our associate and dean colleagues. We have a number of tour stops in the Richland, Wash., area, including Lamb Weston and Heritage University. During the meeting, we will cover topics ranging from recruitment and enrollment to smart orchards, water use in agriculture, and the telling of our advocacy story. I will be back in time for the 4-H Teen Conference in Pullman on Thursday evening. The conference will be an opportunity to show teens the exciting career opportunities that result from a CAHNRS education.

On Saturday, Vicki McCracken and I head to Newport, Wash., to attend a WSU Extension Forest and Range Owners Field Day hosted by the Kalispel Tribe. This will be my first trip north of Spokane, Wash. I welcome the cooler temperatures forecasted to hang around through the upcoming weekend.

The Growth and Visioning Task Force has turned over its work to unit leaders to take on the next steps of building out a programmatic vision for CAHNRS, with a goal of ensuring a resilient Washington for the future. Please be on the lookout for information from your chair or director to learn about next steps for your unit and when discussions will take place. Thanks to all who have gotten us this far by serving on the task force!