John P. Reganold, a Regents Professor of Soil Science at Washington State University, is one of the world’s leading scientists in sustainable agricultural research.
Reganold came to WSU in 1983 and is currently conducting research to determine if alternative agricultural systems can be as or more sustainable than their conventional counterparts. He and his team of researchers have found alternative agricultural practices thought to be more sustainable than conventional practices, as the alternative practices may help eliminate some of the hazardous effects conventional agriculture has on the environment. With this research he has created large data sets, which have had a significant impact on U.S. public policy and farm bills.
Reganold also played a lead role in the development of the organic agriculture major at WSU, which started in 2006.
“At a faculty meeting in 2002, I said that the students and the industry both want an organic major and that we should offer it as a way to get more people interested in agriculture,” Reganold said. “Faculty, staff and graduate students at Washington State University have been researching organic and sustainable farming systems since the 1970s, so we have the experience and the people for offering such a course.”
Reganold’s research has been published in renowned scientific journals, such as Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and Scientific American. He co-authored an article in the July, 2008 issue of Scientific American on the adoption of no-till farming, which farmers on the Palouse have pioneered. Reganold is also the co-author of a textbook titled, Natural Resource Conservation: Toward a Sustainable Future.
By Ashley Scourey, CAHNRS Marketing, News, and Educational Communications intern