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Agriculture Business

bioplastic knives, forks, and spoons
Winter 2021

Plant plastics

Why make plastic from petroleum and fossil fuels when they can be made from plants and bio-based materials?

Plastic waste remains a huge problem, one that WSU researchers are working on, but other research across the country looks at alternatives to fossil fuel-based plastics.

WSU collaborates with Iowa State University on the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (CB2) on developing high-value biobased products from agricultural and forestry feedstocks. The WSU Composite Materials and Engineering Center provides expertise in renewable resources to develop those novel bio-based polymers, chemicals, and composites.

The work at WSU has been underway for a … » More …

Sunrise Magic apple
Winter 2020

Cosmic Crisp, WA 2, and what’s next

Cosmic Crisp® isn’t the first Washington State University apple to go to market. That distinction goes to WA 2, or Sunrise Magic®.

Like Cosmic Crisp, Sunrise Magic was bred at WSU for Washington growers. But it wasn’t launched with the same hype. And it still isn’t as well-known as its successor. Proprietary Variety Management, which is handling the commercialization of both Cosmic Crisp and Sunrise Magic, is working to change that—just as WSU’s pome fruit breeding program continues working on creating new varieties.

Sunrise Magic apple» More …

Carrots and other produce
Winter 2020

WSU, small farms, and the pandemic

“This pandemic has exposed every weakness in our food system,” says Nicole Witham, statewide coordinator of the Washington State University Food Systems Program. “It has exposed every supply chain issue”—especially early on.

“Food wasn’t showing up at food banks,” says Witham (’10 Int. Des). “Grocery stores were experiencing shortages. All of a sudden, our team was doing food-system response work,” including involvement with a statewide task force.

When lockdown orders first went into effect, Witham says, Washington state’s small farmers “lost all of their restaurant accounts and many of their wholesale accounts right off the bat. Many had to switch to online farmers market platforms or online sales.”

While traditional … » More …

Fruit arranged in a face
Winter 2020

More faces of small farms

Meet more of Washington state’s small farmers here — from the godmother of the modern small farms movement to the owner and operator of a 100-percent grass-fed dairy and more.

Introducing: Lora Lea Misterly (Quillisascut Farm), Jill Smith (Pure Éire Dairy), Martin and Charlotte Frederickson (One Straw Ranch), and Jason and Margaret Parsley (Omache Farm)

Read about small farmers and WSU support.

 

Lora Lea Misterly

Lora Lea Misterly

Quillisascut Farm, Rice

Lora Lea Misterly was a 4-H kid. Growing up on a small farm near Leavenworth, she raised dairy calves and livestock … » More …