Each year CSANR runs a solicitation for new research and extension proposals called the BIOAg program. This program has proven to be a critical factor in the success of CSANR Affiliated Faculty in establishing successful new projects and initiatives that address sustainability concerns for Washington’s food and agriculture system.
This program is the primary mechanism we have for engaging new WSU faculty in sustainable and organic agricultural research. This round we funded 7 projects (28% of proposed projects) covering berries, grapes, apples, vegetables, livestock and grains. The 7 projects represented 9 faculty investigators new to the BIOAg Program, representing Crop & Soil Sciences, Horticulture, Biological Systems Engineering, and Entomology. All 7 funded projects have a relationship with the priority area of improving soil quality. A list of funded projects is in the table below, and you can read more details on each of the projects here: http://csanr.wsu.edu/grants/2016/.
The BIOAg Grant Program is now in it’s 10th year. Each successive round seems to produce increasingly high quality proposals, and it’s unfortunate that so many deserving proposals are left unfunded each year. Our Affiliate Faculty have a remarkable record of accomplishment through leveraging these small seed grants into larger research and extension projects. An Affiliate Faculty member recently reported to me that he had successfully leveraged a recent BIOAg project into another million dollar plus federal research grant – commenting that “as always, it seems, this was started with BIOAg seed money”. It’s a testament to the vision that several people had to create an investment tool to facilitate competitiveness for faculty interested in working on sustainable and organic agriculture challenges. This fall we will be conducting a 10-year review of the program to document long-term impacts of this very valuable investment tool.