News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has added $1.87 million to an annual Senate spending bill to help pay for construction of a new Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facility on the Washington State University campus.  The funding was included in the Senate Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration Appropriations bill.  Murray, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, has secured more than $12 million for the new facility over the past several years. 

The main research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ARS has about 100 facilities nationwide.  Scientists at the ARS facility at Pullman are doing important research, but their current facility is crowded and unable to support their technical needs.

“The work ARS scientists are doing helps Washington state farmers stay strong and continue to grow the best-quality fruits, grains, and vegetables.  But they badly need a state-of-the-art facility that will support their research,” Senator Murray said.  “I’m excited about the plans for the new ARS facility, which will ultimately enable our state’s farmers to reap greater benefits from their work.”

ARS scientists in Pullman research 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. 

“Washington State University appreciates the leadership that Senator Murray has demonstrated on behalf of the Agriculture Research Service laboratory building to be located at WSU in Pullman,” Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd said.  “This additional funding keeps the project moving forward and closer to the day the building will be constructed and house both WSU and ARS scientist working together on plant science that will benefit the nation and Washington State.”

The current facility housing ARS scientists will be demolished in the process of building the new ARS facility.  The new facility will be part of the new WSU Sciences/Biotechnology complex on the Pullman campus.  The WSU Sciences/Biotechnology complex will be made up of seven research facilities/laboratories.

The ARS facility will strengthen the federal and state partnership in plant sciences and contribute to improvements in laboratories and research equipment.  The bill that includes the ARS facility funding passed the full Appropriations Committee today.  It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.