Endowed Chair in Tree Fruit Soil and Rhizosphere Ecology

The WTFRC was established by the Washington State legislature in 1969. The WTFRC mission is to promote and carry on research and administer specific industry service programs, which will or may benefit the planting, production, harvesting, handling, processing or shipment of tree fruit in Washington.

Uses and Purposes

Distributions from this Fund shall be used to support the Endowed Chair in Tree Fruit Soil and Rhizosphere Ecology to meet the following objectives:

  1. Establish internationally recognized research program in soil biology, chemical and physical properties and their effect on tree health, growth, and fruit quality.
  2. Generate insight into soil ecosystem impact on orchard system productivity and fruit quality (e.g., supplying nutrients, suppressing disease, storing water, affecting tree hormone fruiting vs growth balance, affecting fruit calcium and storage life).
  3. Generate information to support the creation of decision support tools (e.g., nutrient supply indices, diagnostic tests for soil health, systems model(s) of tree root-soil-microbial interactions, integrated soil management).
  4. Collaborate with and complement other apple, cherry, pear, and stone fruit research, extension, WSU, USDA and private sector research activities, such as water management, precision agriculture, crop protection, tree physiology, weed ecology, agricultural economics, and sensing technology.
  5. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with researchers, extension professionals, crop consultants, growers, processors, and shippers to inform WSU treefruit research and extension programs.
  6. Work closely with the statewide Extension Tree Fruit Program Leader tq engage industrystakeholders and effectively deliver practical, research-based information.
  7. Generate external grants and funding to leverage funds generated from the endowed chair to expand and enhance research, education, and extension activities.
  8. Educate undergraduate and graduate students and research associates as appropriate within the scope of the position description.