CSANR has worked on many issues and projects since it's inception in 1991, including pesticide reduction, food systems and marketing, organic production, conservation practices, sustainable agriculture policy, farm energy, climate change, limited resource farmers, and natural resource issues. We are an "opportunistic" entity -- always seeking resources to address critical, emerging issues that affect the sustainability of agriculture, food and natural resource systems. Our current Programs are focused on Organic Agriculture, Biologically Intensive Agriculture (BIOAg), Climate Friendly Farming and Small Farms.
The CSANR has launched an organic farming research program to serve the Pacific Northwest. This Federally supported research program supports the expansion of crop production research and initiates economic and market research of organic foods. The grant program is currently in its second 5-year funding cycle, and for each cycle, research priorities were identified by organic growers, consumers, suppliers, and researchers in the region and results will continue to be disseminated to these stakeholders.
CSANR’s flagship initiative, Biologically Intensive Agriculture & Organic Farming (BIOAg), encompasses a range of new research, education and extension projects. Examples of these include development of mustard cover crops as alternatives to fumigation, new applications of direct seeding to reduce erosion, and the use of beneficial nematodes for pest control. BIOAg promotes strong linkages between sustainable agriculture, communities and human nutrition, with the goal of promoting access to fresh, healthful Washington-grown food.
CSANR’s Climate Friendly Farming Project aims to reduce farm-produced greenhouse gases, increase soil carbon sequestration, and replace fossil fuel derived products with biomass derived products. Researchers are assessing dairy, irrigated crop, and dryland grain farming systems to determine how each could move from contributing to climate change to becoming part of the solution. The research could support compensation farmers for offsetting the pollution caused by urbanization and industries.
The Small Farms Program is a program of the Center for Sustaining Agriculture an Natural Resources in WS Extension and the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. The program focuses on education resources for farmers, outreach to communities, and team-based research with farmers. The Small Farms Program works with the WSU Small Farms Team to provide research-based information and educational programs for farmers, consumers, decision-makers, and others involved in local food systems. The team is a statewide affiliation of professionals from WSU, state agencies, and non-governmental organizations.