WSU Mount Vernon is one of four off-campus WSU Research Centers operated by the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS). Established in 1947, WSU Mount Vernon has a long tradition of serving western Washington’s agricultural and horticultural communities. During the early years of WWII, WSU and USDA scientists working in the area were able to successfully control devastating diseases of beet and cabbage that were being grown for seed. Impressed by the value of research-based information, the community, including farmers, seed companies, processing firms and civic groups raised funds for a permanent facility. The facilities have continued to grow and improve over the years and in 2006, the new Agricultural Research & Technology Building opened. The vision for the building as a full-service research center was led by members of northwestern Washington’s agricultural community in collaboration with WSU and augmented by public appropriations and gifts reaching nearly $2.25 M. The efforts and partnerships here are truly unique, and considered a model for revitalizing R&E Centers throughout the U.S.
The Center houses research programs for entomology, small fruit horticulture, vegetable horticulture, vegetable pathology, vegetable seed pathology, weed science, and plant breeding. Cooperative research between scientists at WSU Mount Vernon and other sites, as well as regional, national and international collaboration, enhances the work of all. Currently, collaborative projects on alternative crops, bio-degradable mulches, high tunnel systems, pest and disease control measures for conventional and organic production systems, riparian buffers, specialty fruits and vegetables, and various bio-fuel crops are generating results that are applicable throughout the Pacific Northwest. Cooperative and interdisciplinary research activities involve personnel in WSU’s NW Extension District, other WSU locations in the state, faculty at other universities, and various public agencies, organizations and volunteer groups. Research activities are funded by grants obtained from local, regional, national, and international sources.