It’s cold outside

Formal head shot of Luz Maria Gordillo in front of wood paneling.
Congratulations to Luz Maria Gordillo, who was selected for an MLK Award.

Relief from the frigid temperatures is on the way. In the meantime, I hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying a little bit of sun.

The temperatures interrupted last week’s planned trip to the WSU Breadlab. Fortunately, Zoom allowed for a robust discussion. Beyond the existing efforts, there is tremendous potential for other parts of CAHNRS to partner with the WSU Breadlab, including our Extension nutrition programs, the School of Food Science, the Department of Animal Sciences, and any of our many experts advancing regenerative agriculture practices. If you are not familiar with King Arthur Baking Company’s new climate blend flour, take a look at their recent article, which references the partnership with the WSU Breadlab.

The weather did not dampen attendance or conversations between the Washington Grain Commission and the Endowed Chairs last week. Our Endowed Chairs are impressive and very humble about their accomplishments. What impresses me most is how some Endowed Chairs think of their role and endowment as a means to help early career faculty and lift the entire team. The Endowed Chairs did a nice job laying out their plans for the upcoming year and beyond. They also conveyed to the commission how endowment funds are used to support goals and leverage other resources. I have been part of many conversations about CAHNRS’ work in automation and AI for agriculture, but until the meeting last week, I had not thought much about AI as a tool for variety assessment.

This week my plan was to attend the Northwest Hay Expo and visit a few friends of CAHNRS. My plans have been disrupted by the common cold. Many thanks to our team of associate deans for picking up the meetings and visits! By the end of the week, I hope to be back out in public. Ardent Mills, a key supplier to King Arthur Baking Company, is having an open house in Pullman on Thursday that will also be attended by some of the associate deans.

There is no shortage of Thursday evening events. I will miss Tim Waters receiving the 2024 Rising Star Award in Pasco, Wash., but now that I will be in Pullman, if the cold symptoms are gone, I will attend Thursday’s MLK Celebration, Keynote Address, and Award Ceremony, where Luz Maria Gordillo will receive an MLK Award. Congratulations, Luz Maria!

The month may have started off a bit slow, but things have changed quickly. And we aren’t even to the start of annual review meetings.