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 the BIOAg solicitation is to engage WSU faculty to advance the development, understanding, and use of biologically-intensive, organic and sustainable agriculture in Washington State. BIOAg funding can be requested for three purposes: to stimulate new research initiatives, to augment existing research to address critical gaps, and to move existing, game-changing research out into the real world.
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 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 that efficiently capture the energy and nutrients available in waste organics and recover them for use. CSANR also recognizes that all of these systems must be economically viable in order to be adopted. Therefore, work in this program aims to reduce processing costs while maximizing co-product value.
To address knowledge gaps, better understand linkages, and provide better guidance to stakeholders, CSANR and others are embarking on the Washington Soil Health Initiative (SHI). This initiative is an ambitious plan that funds research, extension, and demonstration of soil health best management practices through a network of long-term agroecological research and extension (LTARE) sites across Washington state’s diverse agricultural systems.
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.