We are winding down the road show. I hope everyone found it worthy of their time to participate. I enjoyed the networking events; they were a great way to see local supporters and partners. We will send out a very brief survey to gather road show feedback from CAHNRS personnel. It will take me a bit to process all that we heard during the two weeks of travel as there wasn’t much down time between stops.
I am thrilled to see Laura Kraft in the news! For me, this was a bigger deal than seeing the Cosmic Crisp® balloon on campus, though that was pretty cool, too. It was also fun to see the Research Week award winners last week. My previous blog post omitted a congratulations to our Travel with a Purpose awardee, Stephen Bramwell, and our Graduate Student Travel Grant winner, Montana Rayburn. Congratulations to our travelers!
At the end of this week, we meet with our Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) partners to talk about strategies for meeting NRCS workforce needs while simultaneously providing opportunities to CAHNRS students. Washington NRCS expects a number of new positions to open around the state. The timing is good with the 25% increase in CAHNRS first-year students from last year to this year. Hopefully our students are participating in the career networking events taking place this month.
We are nearing the 35% design completion date for the new USDA Agricultural Research Service building that will be constructed where Johnson Hall once stood. The milestone represents final decisions on key design features. Deferred maintenance improvements to the Pullman Knott Dairy Center are under review as well. There is no shortage of options for improvement. CAHNRS had a strong start to rebuilding student numbers this fall. Now it is time to build spaces to train those students while we seek opportunities to rebuild faculty and staff numbers.
Travel does not slow anytime soon. I know I will soon start to hit weather delays, but this past week has been nothing to complain about!