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Over 100 years of Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension

News & Noteworthy

Doug Walsh looking for mites in hop vines.

Career battling pests leads to national honor for scientist

For five years, Doug Walsh helped decide which scientists joined the ranks of the prestigious Fellows of the Entomological Society of America (ESA). Now, the Washington State University professor has officially been named among those he once helped select.

Stephen, Bernie, and Pierre at the scholarship award event.
From left to right: Stephen Onayemi, Bernadette “Bernie” Gagnier, and Pierre Davadent.

Stephen Onayemi is from Lagos, Nigeria, and a Ph.D. candidate in the Entomology department at Washington State University Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser. Stephen’s research focuses on using mating disruption as an alternative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy to reduce the abundance of grape mealybugs in vineyards to reduce virus transmission and thus improve grape harvests. He is also carrying out another research to understand how these insects have become resistant to insecticides to address possible insecticide failure. Stephen was awarded a Foundation Fund Scholarship.

Stephen received $8,000 from a Foundation Scholarship.

Bernie is heading into her last year of graduate school. She is incredibly grateful for the unwavering support she has received from the Washington Wine Industry Foundation throughout her academic journey. Her academic research revolved around plant-based alternatives for chemical applications in vineyards. She plans to remain in the Washington wine industry after graduate school. Bernie loves seeing the hard work during the growing season come to fruition at harvest. She is also passionate about sustainable farming practices and is excited to someday apply her research in vineyards throughout Washington State.

Bernie received $6,000 from the George and Susan Carter Memorial and Foundation Scholarship.

Pierre grew up in rural southwest France. He received a master of science in agriculture and in viticulture and enology. Pierre has worked in the wine industry since 2008. For years he worked as faculty in the Agriculture School in Angers, then in 2021 moved to Washington State. He completed his Ph.D. at WSU in Dr. Markus Keller’s lab focusing on the impact of the foliar application of urea on grape and wine composition. During his free time, Pierre likes to travel, cook, taste wine and spirits, hike, and workout.

Pierre received $8,000 from Horse Heaven Hills Wine Growers and Foundation Scholarship.

Photo of Dr. Claire Murphy.Welcome Dr. Claire Murphy

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Claire Murphy, Assistant Professor (Food Safety Extension Specialist) in the School of Food Science, to Prosser IAREC.

Prior to joining WSU, Claire earned her Master of Science and PhD in Food Science and Technology as well as a Master of Public Health in Infectious Diseases from Virginia Tech. Claire’s research and extension programs at IAREC will focus on reducing foodborne pathogen contamination throughout the produce supply chain by providing science-based recommendations to stakeholders. Her overarching goal is to build an integrated program of research and extension involving lab- and field-based research and participatory extension and outreach activities benefiting stakeholders and communities that we serve. Claire currently holds certifications in Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Agricultural Practices as well as being a Produce Safety Alliance trainer and a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual. Claire currently holds leadership positions within the International Association for Food Protection, serving as the vice-chair of the water safety professional development.

Food safety is an important program and let’s help Claire building an impactful produce safety research and extension program at IAREC benefiting science and society.

Welcome, Claire!

Michelle Moyer receives award from CAHNRS Dean Wendy Powers.

WSU viticulture Extension specialist receives award, promotion to full professorship

Washington State University Viticulture Professor and Extension Specialist Michelle Moyer has been promoted to a full professorship and recognized with the Faculty Excellence in Extension Award from WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS).

AI weed-killing drones are coming for the mega farms

"There are a lot of new developments and efforts towards using automated robotic solutions in agriculture,” says Manoj Karkee, a professor specializing in agricultural engineering at Washington State University. "We’re closer than ever to starting utilizing these technologies.”
Bernardita Sallato with the Latino Leadership Award from the Washington State Tree Fruit Association

WSU tree fruit Extension specialist recognized with Latino Leadership Award

Washington State University’s Bernardita Sallato was not expecting to receive the Latino Leadership Award from the Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA), but the recognition motivates her to continue her outreach work with the Hispanic community.

WSU’s Lav Khot, colleagues receive multi-state award for ag drone research, extension

WSU’s Lav Khot, center, accepts the National Excellence in Multistate Research Award, Nov. 6, at the APLU Annual Meeting in Denver, Colo., with colleague and team academic advisor Randy Raper, right, and Gary Thompson, executive…

WSU IAREC intern to spend year exploring the science behind agriculture

When Alfredo “Freddy” Reyes was working in Yakima Valley orchards as a youth, he didn’t know he’d someday be studying the science behind tree fruit crops. Now he’s gaining valuable agricultural experiences in the field…

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Food Safety Irrigated Agriculture Viticulture & Enology

The World’s Largest Irrigated Agriculture Center

The Washington State University, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (WSU Prosser IAREC) is the focal point for the University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), and the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) research, extension, and plant certification programs that address the concerns of irrigated agriculture.

An estimated two-thirds of the agricultural production in the state comes from irrigated land, making such research of vital interest to Washington’s economy, both for intrastate distribution and exportation.

Learn more about Prosser IAREC

2019 Centennial Report

IAREC celebrated 100-years of exceptional research in 2019.  The 2019 annual report shares some highlights from the last 100-years.

Download 2019 Annual Report (.pdf)
If you need assistance accessing any content on this page, please contact WSU Prosser IAREC at or (509)786-2226.