News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that she included $5 million for a new Agricultural Research Service (ARS) center at Washington State University in the Fiscal Year 2011 Senate spending bill that was approved today by the Appropriations Committee.

The funding will support agricultural research and create approximately 150 jobs locally.

“Washington state’s consumers, farmers, students and economy will all significantly benefit from this new agricultural research facility,” said Senator Murray. “This new state-of-the-art facility will bring jobs and economic growth to our communities, a world-class education to our students, and will help ensure that the highest quality food continues to be grown in Washington state.”

“Washington State University is very proud of our working relationship with ARS, and we are excited about moving forward with construction of this much-needed facility,” said Washington State University President Elson Floyd.  “With Senator Murray’s leadership, WSU and ARS will implement break-through plant breeding research in the new facility.”

As the main research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ARS maintains about 100 facilities nationwide.  ARS-Pullman is one of the major research sites of the Northwest, and a new facility will provide much-needed lab space and technical improvements to expand research capacity for the region.

ARS scientists in Pullman research a variety of agricultural issues, ranging from crop development to animal health to environmental protection.  Currently, specific research subjects include grain and legume genetics, plant germplasm introduction and testing, animal diseases, integrated pest management, soil erosion, air and water quality, cereal crop diseases, wheat root diseases, and biological control.

The new facility will be part of a new WSU Sciences and Biotechnology complex on the Pullman campus.  Including the new ARS facility, the Sciences and Biotechnology complex will comprise seven different research facilities and laboratories.

The bill will now go to the full Senate for consideration.