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 the following areas:
BIOAg is the flagship Grant Program of the WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources. The goal of BIOAg is to engage a broad, interdisciplinary spectrum of WSU faculty in projects that further the development, understanding, and use of biologically-intensive and/or organic principles, practices, and technologies to improve the sustainability of agriculture and food systems in Washington State. In addition, BIOAg funding is used to meet three objectives: to stimulate new research initiatives, to augment critical gaps in existing areas of knowledge, and to move existing, game-changing research out into the real world.
The Small Farms Program is a program of the Center for Sustaining Agriculture an Natural Resources in WSU 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.
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 to farmers for offsetting the pollution caused by urbanization and industries.
CSANR’s newest program is Measure to Manage: Farm and Food Diagnostics for Sustainability and Health (M2M). The goal of M2M is to develop, refine, validate, and apply analytical systems quantifying the impacts of farming systems, technology, and policy on food nutritional quality, food safety, agricultural productivity, economic performance along food value chains, and on natural resources and the environment.
CSANR’s vision for waste management is one of “no waste” or “beyond waste.” We are working toward developing/demonstrating treatment and conversion technologies or suites of technologies (bio-refinery) that efficiently utilize respective organic feeds while maximizing synergies and interconnections. CSANR also recognizes that all of these systems must be placed within an economically viable view, aiming to reduce processing costs while maximizing co-product value so that commercial facilities can be built and further studied.
CSANR has historically defined our “Natural Resources” mission (the NR in CSANR) as those natural resource systems that are interdependent with agricultural production systems, including air, water, forest and rangelands. Most of this work is conducted in collaboration with other WSU units and projects that are focused on various natural resource systems.
Beginning with early organic research in the 1970′s, WSU had been an active participant in the pursuit of information, tools, and organic solutions to agricultural production and sustainability challenges. The CSANR continues this legacy by funding cutting edge organic research through the Organic Grant Program, analyzing organic statistics, and connecting the public to organic agriculture resources, information and experts.