Where We Started and Where We’re Headed

Established by legislative mandate in 1919 to service the agricultural research needs of the Yakima valley and lower Columbia Basin, the Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) grew with the region as an arm of the Washington Agriculture Experiment Station network. From its original staff of two, an animal scientist and an agronomist, IAREC has grown to include 16 Washington State University research and extension faculty who continue our legacy of pioneering agriculture industry-relevant research and extension efforts.

In many respects, IAREC functions like a large academic department, but one that includes faculty and staff trained in a variety of disciplines. Six academic departments from the WSU College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) have faculty members or important programs located here, including food science, entomology, horticulture, plant pathology, crop and soil science, and biological systems engineering. Interdisciplinary research develops rapidly in this environment, as does interagency work among representatives of the USDA-ARS, WSDA, the CAHNRS Office of Research, and WSU Extension.

This focus on cooperation in developing solutions, a valued characteristic of IAREC researchers, extends to our work with WSU colleagues in Pullman, Tri-Cities, Wenatchee TFREC, Puyallup REC , Mt. Vernon NWREC, and with national and international organizations, agencies, and programs. On average, IAREC faculty annually generate $7 – 8M in grant awards, in addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate courses, and significant publication and extension efforts.

With the demands of a growing population, especially in the Pacific Northwest, there will be an ever-increasing need for greater productivity from the land, diversity in disease and pest resistant crops, and efficiency in the use and conservation of labor, mechanical, chemical, and water resources. As such, the work of IAREC scientists, staff and students will continue to be a significant contributor to WSU’s transformative research and extension efforts in the region, state, and nation.

Collage of campus images.