Washington State University’s newest farm, named for R. James Cook, was launched as a long-term direct-seed cropping systems research program by a team of WSU and USDA-ARS scientists in 2000. The goals of the farm are to:
-Play a leadership role through research, education and demonstration in helping growers in the high-precipitation areas of the Inland Northwest make the transition agronomically and economically to continuous direct-seeding (no-till farming) of land that has been tilled since farming began near the end of the 19th century.
-Provide databases and understanding of the variable soil characteristics, pest pressures, and historic crop yield and quality attributes over a typical Palouse landscape as the foundation for the adoption and perfection of precision-agriculture technology in this region.
The Eggert Family Organic Farm expands and enhances our current Organic Farm into a 30 acre model farm showcasing cutting edge technology and innovation.The Organic Farm is committed to education, research, and extension. As a teaching farm the primary goal is to pass on the skills necessary to grow organic fruits and vegetables in an intensive small-scale environment. The farm is available to the WSU scientific community to conduct organic research projects. In addition, the farm strives to provide fresh produce to local food banks and non-profits.
The mission of the beef program is to serve the beef industry and consumers in the state of Washington, the western region, and the nation, by providing solutions to new and existing problems through basic and applied research. The extension arm of the program transfers the knowledge gained to the industry and in turn communicates pressing beef industry research needs to the research scientists. The teaching arm of the beef program prepares future leaders in the beef industry by providing experiences to develop leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. A goal of the beef program is to train students who are highly sought after by employers upon graduation due to their beef cattle expertise. We accomplish this by providing student activities (e.g., Cougar Cattle Feeders, Block and Bridle Club, etc.), internships, externships, undergraduate research opportunities and jobs at the Beef Center.
The new Grass Breeding and Ecology Farm provides a venue for scientists and students to create more efficient, hardier, and valuable grass varieties. Completed in 2019, this five-acre site includes 18 turfgrass plots (80′ x 80′) and a multipurpose building including office space, a shop, and a storage garage. Using seed stocks maintained by the USDA, current research includes selecting for traits like uniformity and yield; understanding which plant genes affect vernalization (flowering caused by cold weather); studying a hybrid Texas-Kentucky Blue Grass, which is more drought resistant than Kentucky Blue Grass; and improving a Kentucky Blue Grass variety to allow farmers to replace the practice of burning-off the grass at the end of the season with mowing.
Knott Dairy is a Washington State Dairy of Merit. Not only is the facility a first-class teaching and research laboratory, but it is a functional dairy as well. The dairy typically milks 180 cows per day with all the milk going to Ferdinand’s to be made into WSU’s famous Cougar Gold cheese and other dairy products. Students are given the opportunity to participate directly in the operation of the dairy and Ferdinand’s.
The Dryland Research Station at Lind was established in 1915 to “promote the betterment of dryland farming” in the 8- to 12-inch rainfall zone in eastern Washington. Wheat breeding, variety adaptation, weed and disease control, soil fertility, erosion control, and residue management are the main research priorities. The future of farming in dry areas of eastern Washington depends on a dynamic program of continuing research.
The Palouse Conservation Field Station, located 1.5 miles north of Pullman, was established as one of 10 original erosion experiment stations throughout the United States during the period 1929 to 1933. Scientists from the USDA-ARS and Washington State University utilize this 200-acre research farm to conduct a wide variety of research projects related to farming systems to improve soil and water conservation on the Palouse. Research has promoted the economic and environmental vitality of the region’s agriculture by providing state-of-the-art technologies and management strategies
This R. B. Tukey Horticulture Orchard is here in Pullman for members of the local campus or others to do teaching, research, and/or extension work. Those are our top priorities. If we have surplus fruit or vegetables that will not be used for teaching, research, or extension projects we sell the surplus produce to the general public and apply that money to our operations funds.
Spillman Agronomy Farm was developed in 1955 by Dr. Orville Vogel, the third wheat breeder at WSU. The farm was purchased through a novel combination of state, private industry, and grower money. Many of the highest producing wheats in the Pacific Northwest today were developed at Spillman Agronomy Farm. In addition to wheat, the Spillman Agronomy Farm has also served as the foundation for barley and legume breeding programs that have provided significant additional economic returns to Washington farmers since 1955.
The Wilke Research and Extension Farm is located on the east edge of Davenport, Washington. The 320-acre farm was bequeathed to WSU in the 1980’s by Beulah Wilson Wilke for use as an agricultural research facility. Funding is received through income from crop production, grants, and public donations. Community support from individuals and businesses is increasingly important to continue our public outreach through research and extension.