The Department of Horticulture at Washington State University
The WSU Department of Horticulture serves the Pacific Northwest with science-based solutions farmers, orchardists, and greenhouse operators. In Washington alone, agriculture is an $11 billion per year industry that creates nearly 165,000 jobs. Washington grows 300 different crops — and its workforce is as diverse as the crops we grow. Most of the state’s farms are family-owned — with 27,000 owned by women. From apples to zucchini, the Department of Horticulture has fully integrated programs in teaching, research, and extension.
Undergraduate Programs in Horticulture
Why a Horticulture Degree from WSU?
WSU Horticulture is among the top ten programs in the U.S., offering a world-class education for students interested in a career that can directly impact the welfare of their community.
Faculty in Horticulture are strategically located across the state working in a wide range of agricultural systems and settings.
Hort Center is Teaching Resource
Deb Pehrson recently observed that people who grew up in a city “may never even have stepped foot in an orchard.” Pehrson is the manager of WSU’s Horticulture Center, the nexus of Pullman-based education and research in all things horticultural. The recently established Center is the home to a newly planted orchard full of apples, pears, and cherries, as well as berries and other fruits.
“So,” she continues, “how would you know if you would like to work in agriculture if you’ve never even been in an orchard? I want the Hort Center to be the place where students can come and experience being outside working.” Pehrson says they might find they like working in agriculture better than “sitting in a cubicle typing on their computer. I had one gal come to us this fall who was working for a well-known big box store. She said, ‘I’m just so tired of fluorescent lights.’ If people get out here and do stuff they might say, ‘You know, I heard agriculture’s hard work and it is, but this is fun!’ Then we might get more people coming into agriculture.”
With an aging workforce, getting young people interested in working in agriculture is a critical need. Read more >>
American Society for Horticultural Science
Date: Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Time: 12:00 PM EST (9:00 AM PST)
Title: Impact of Hot Weather on Postharvest Fruit Quality in Apple and Pear
Speaker: Dr. Carolina Torres, Associate Professor and Endowed Chair in Postharvest Systems, Washington State University
Click here to register for the February 8th webinar.
WSU Horticulture in the News
WSU grape smoke exposure expert named Innovator of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine
A recent increase in wildfire smoke has challenged the wine and grape industry. Tom Collins, assistant professor in Washington State University’s Department of Viticulture and Enology, is dedicated to finding a solution. His work continues to garner praise. Collins was recently selected as Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Innovator of the Year for his influential research on grape smoke exposure mitigation. He received the award alongside colleagues Elizabeth Tomasino of Oregon State University and Anita Oberholster of University of California, Davis. Read more >>
Undergrad Plant Enthusiasts Learn Industry Skills
Portland, Ore.’s yearly Farwest Show is the biggest landscaping and horticulture industry event in the West. The expo creates a space for plant enthusiasts to exchange ideas, show off new products, and sell upcoming varieties. Getting a behind-the-scenes look helped the students get in touch with the landscaping community. For many students, an industry event of this size is their first look into the possibilities of landscaping. Read more >>
Horticulture Students Assemble WA 38 (Cosmic Crisp™) Apple Genome
Stephen Ficklin, a computational biologist and assistant professor in the Washington State University Department of Horticulture, along with post-doctoral researcher Huiting Zhang, and their class of undergraduate and graduate students are assembling a high-resolution apple genome. Read more >>
Read more Hort Stories in our Archive >>
Research & Extension Areas
Engaging people, organizations, and communities to advance knowledge, economic well-being, and quality of life by fostering inquiry, learning, and the application of research. Visit WSU’s Extension site.
Research & Extension
Plant Genetics, Biotechnology & Informatics
Plant Genetics, Biotechnology & InformaticsThe following faculty participate in the following research and extension areas. Click a name to learn more about these individuals and their current work.
- Plant Genetics, Genomics & Biotechnology: B.W. Poovaiah, Amit Dhingra
- Bioinformatics & Computational Biology: Stephen Ficklin, Dorrie Main, Amit Dhingra
Potato and Vegetable Crops
Potato and Vegetable CropsThe following faculty participate in the following research and extension areas related to potato and vegetable crops. Click a name to learn more about these individuals and their current work.
- Physiology and development: Rick Knowles, Mark Pavek, Carol Miles, Amit Dhingra
- Biochemistry: Rick Knowles, Mark Pavek, Amit Dhingra
- Potato agronomy and variety development: Mark Pavek, Rick Knowles
- Management and production: Carol Miles
Fruit TreesThe following faculty participate in the following research and extension areas related to tree fruit. Click a name to learn more about these individuals and their current work.
- Physiology: Lee Kalcsits, Matt Whiting, Amit Dhingra
- Management: Lee Kalcsits, Matt Whiting, Carol Miles, Stefano Musacchi, Amit Dhingra
- Orchard systems: Matt Whiting, Carol Miles, Stefano Musacchi
- Breeding: Kate Evans, Cameron Peace, Amit Dhingra
- Genetics: Cameron Peace, Kate Evans
Viticulture and Small Fruits
Viticulture and Small FruitsThe following faculty participate in the following research and extension areas related to viticulture and small fruit. Click a name to learn more about these individuals and their current work.
- Viticulture physiology and production: Bhaskar Bondada, Markus Keller, Amit Dhingra, Michelle Moyer
- Viticulture stress and pest management: Markus Keller, Michelle Moyer
- Grape and wine chemistry: Tom Collins
- Small Fruit physiology and quality: Lisa DeVetter, Pat Moore
- Small Fruit breeding: Pat Moore, Amit Dhingra
Urban horticultureThe following faculty participate in the following research and extension areas related to urban horticulture. Click a name to learn more about these individuals and their current work.
- Ornamental horticulture and arboriculture: Linda Chalker-Scott