Coming together

Artistic rendering of the USDA ARS building concept design.

Groundbreaking on the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) building is less than a week away! The planning team, which includes many from WSU, CAHNRS, USDA ARS, and the Washington Grain Commission, is working hard to accommodate hundreds of guests. If you find your customary driving or walking route interrupted on Tuesday, Aug. 1, please be patient; it is a single-day event that means construction of a much-needed facility is underway for many of our faculty and staff. Teri Hansen, in particular, has been phenomenal at navigating all of the moving parts. Everything is coming together, albeit at a rapid pace!

I am excited to see plans shaping up for an October roadshow! The associate deans and I, plus some other leaders (as their availability allows), will spend the last two weeks of October visiting faculty and staff in eight locations across the state. See below for a list of dates and locations. All CAHNRS faculty and staff are invited to attend the sessions and participate in dialogue with leadership and colleagues about a programmatic vision and sharing our vision and success. Stay tuned for registration information.

  • Oct. 16                11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.          WSU Vancouver Campus
  • Oct. 17                11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.          Grays Harbor County Extension Office
  • Oct. 18                11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.          Puyallup REC
  • Oct. 19                11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.          Mount Vernon NWREC
  • Oct. 23                11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.          Prosser IAREC
  • Oct. 24                11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.          Wenatchee TFREC
  • Oct. 25                11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.          Pend Oreille County Extension Office
  • Oct. 26                11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.          WSU Pullman Campus

The chairs and directors shared ideas that surfaced during their discussions about shaping a programmatic vision for CAHNRS. There is no shortage of creativity and clear commitment to advancing our excellence toward a resilient Washington.

More conversations will be had by units throughout the summer and into early fall. Following those, we will bring together the ideas and craft messaging that frames the vision we will share with partners and stakeholders. By early 2024, I hope to be moving into discussions about a strategy to achieve the vision. Going back to my comments from last week, it is important that our recent, current, and intended future impacts are front and center in the messaging and strategy. While the process may seem slow, it is intentional and designed to bring many voices to the conversation.

The Student Success and Academic Programs office has a number of plans in the works that will continue encouraging enrollment increases and ensuring CAHNRS is a great place to learn. We need to think about how best to incorporate student input into the future vision for CAHNRS. More to come on that.

I am in Pullman all week again! The heat doesn’t bother me much, provided it cools down enough at night to open the windows. There are definitely advantages to dry environments!