Organics at WSU: Yesterday and Today
Washington State University has a solid history of involvement with organic farming. One of the first organic studies (David Holland and Stephen Kraten, 1970's) compared energy usage by organic and conventional grain production systems. In 1980, the USDA Study Team on Organic Farming (led by Bob Papendick, USDA-ARS researcher based at WSU Pullman) produced "Report and Recommendations on Organic Farming". In 1981, the first organic farming symposium at the American Society of Agronomy national meetings (organized by Lloyd Elliott and Dave Bezdicek, WSU) led to the publication of "Organic Farming: Current Technology and Its Role in a Sustainable Agriculture," available from the American Society of Agronomy as an ASA Special Publication.
Today, Washington State University continues to play a key role in organic research and education. In 2002, the CSANR published a survey of organic research and education at WSU that identified almost 50 faculty and staff who were involved in organic research and education projects. Also in 2002, the CSANR received federal funding for its Organic Research program. In 2003, an organic working group was formed at WSU with the purpose of increasing research, networking and outreach opportunities and impacts. In 2007, WSU began offering a new undergraduate Organic Agriculture Systems major.