One of the great challenges of leading WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR) is articulating a clear and coherent message of who we are and what we do. Stating “we do a lot of different things,” isn’t very satisfying. Even if it’s true!

With this challenge in mind, we have developed a set of three themes that capture our many and varied programs, projects, and activities: Sustaining Agricultural ProductionFood Systems Innovation, and Agriculture in the Environment. The themes overlap and many of our specific activities can be viewed through more than one of the themes. We have also retained a three-part focus on discovery, engagement, and application, in keeping with the role of Washington State University and its Land Grant mission.

overlapping oval graphic described in text

How do we make this vision a reality? CSANR’s faculty and staff partner on numerous trans-disciplinary projects within and across themes, working to make sustainability a reality throughout the region’s diverse agricultural systems.

It is often easy to see the impact of CSANR in projects when we play a leadership role. Less obvious is our indirect role in supporting other dynamic work on sustainability across WSU. CSANR played a key role in helping the pioneering leaders get each of these great ideas off the ground at WSU: the Bread Lab, the Eggert Family Organic Farm, Cascadia Grains, the Sustainable Seed Systems Lab, the Organic and Sustainable Ag Major, the Food Systems Program, WSU’s deep and broad organic research portfolio, WSU’s deep and broad climate change and agriculture research portfolio, the Washington Oilseed Cropping Systems Project, the WSU Applied Bioenergy Research Program, and the Washington State Soil Health Initiative. In many cases we made key early investments when these were merely abstract ideas that had not yet been shaped into the great programs and projects known today.

That is the magic of CSANR – a virtual place where people come together to incubate and establish great ideas that will propel us forward into a more sustainable future. I encourage you to browse our site to learn about our programs, our people, and our research publications. If you’d like to read up on our recent accomplishments, please have a look at our annual reports.  You may also follow us on social media on Facebook and Twitter join the conversation on our blog to stay in touch and up to date. If you have general comments or questions, you can reach us at csanr@wsu.edu or 509-293-8798. If you like what you see and are interested in supporting our work, please feel free to contribute to the Center, our programs, and our activities. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be making the investment that initiates the next great celebrated WSU idea.

Chad Kruger
Photo by TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower.

Chad Kruger, Director