Chad Kruger currently directs WSU’s Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center (TFREC) in Wenatchee and Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources (CSANR). He received a B.A. in Philosophy and History (1997) and an Academic Certificate in Ecointensive Agriculture Technologies (1998) from Northwest College in Kirkland, Washington, and he completed an M.S. (2003) in Land Resources from the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He was an Au Sable Graduate Fellow at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He joined WSU in 2004 and spent the first 11 years of his career located at TFREC in Wenatchee as part of the Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources, and directed WSU’s Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center (NWREC) in Mount Vernon (2015-2020) and the Puyallup Research & Extension Center (2017-2020).
He served on the 2007/2008 Washington State Climate Action Team, co-chairing the Agriculture Sector Carbon Market Workgroup, the Washington Department of Natural Resources Expert Council on Climate Change, the board of the Northwest Ag Business Center, and was a Commissioner on the Douglas County Water Conservancy Board. He currently co-chairs the Sustainable Ag Committee for the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, serves on WSDA’s Dairy Nutrient Advisory Committee, the WDNR Climate Resilience Advisory Council, ex officio for the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, and represents WSU on the Washington Food Policy Forum. He co-chaired the Outreach, Extension, Service and Engagement Concept Team for the WSU 2021-2025 Strategic Planning process, serves on WSU’s Forward Together: Campus and Locations Operations Working Group, is the Chair of the CAHNRS Chairs and Directors (2022), and is the lead author of the multi-agency Washington Soil Health Initiative. He was raised in Washington State and is blessed to be from generational farm families in both Eastern (wheat and cattle near Spokane) and Western Washington (berries in Whatcom County). In his “spare time” he is a co-owner / operator of a small family livestock operation.
- Honors and Awards: Provost’s Featured Faculty (2017); WSU Earth, Ecosystem and Society Fellow (2012-2014), WSU CAHNRS Interdisciplinary Team Award (2011); USDA NIFA Partnership Award for Innovative Program Models (2009); Northwest University Alumni Regius Award (2007), WSU Extension Big Cat Award (2007)
- Areas of interest: agriculture and climate change, soil health and conservation, the food-energy-water nexus
Selected Current Projects:
- Cover crops for soil health or biofuels? – US DOE
- Columbia FEW: Innovations in Storage for Resilience. – NSF INFEWS
- Technology for trade: new tools and new rules for water use efficiency in agriculture and beyond. – USDA NIFA Water for Agriculture CAP
Selected Past Projects:
- Fruit & Vegetable Supply Chains CAMO – USDA NIFA (University of Florida)
- FireEarth: Advancing Resilience to Compounding Disasters: An Integrated Natural-Human Systems Assessment of Wildfire Vulnerability. – NSF Hazards SEES.
- Evaluating the agronomic, soil health and food safety efficacy of dairy manure derived fertilizers in raspberry and blueberry cropping systems – USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant
- Regional Approaches to Climate Change for Pacific Northwest Agriculture (REACCH PNA) – USDA NIFA
- BioEarth – A Biosphere Relevant Regional Earth Systems Model – USDA NIFA
- WISDM – Watershed Integrated Systems Dynamic Model: Feedbacks among biogeochemical simulations, stakeholder perceptions, and behavior – USDA NIFA
- 2011 and 2016 Columbia River Supply & Demand Forecast – Washington Department of Ecology Office of Columbia River