Cultivating the Future

Join us for a lively discussion of all things quinoa: its use as a food, growing it locally and developing a new source of income for farmers of the Pacific Northwest, and social justice for the farmers in quinoa’s native lands in the Andes.

Dr. Kevin Murphy, leader of Washington State University’s Organic Breeding Program, will guide us through the story of quinoa in the Pacific Northwest.

  1. What is in quinoa?
  2. What is quinoa’s economic potential in the Pacific Northwest?
  3. What are the global impacts of establishing a regional quinoa industry?
  4. What are the challenges to growing quinoa in the Pacific Northwest, and what is WSU doing to help?

The WSU Office of Research, along with the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, invite you to learn more about this important innovative research and the big ideas at work at WSU.

Featuring: Kevin Murphy, Ph.D.

The demand for organic food is growing, and the state of Washington is ideally suited to grow it.

In an ongoing research effort to bolster the region’s organic food production capacity, Dr. Murphy leads the organic plant variety breeding program at WSU. He and his team of undergraduate and graduate students are developing new food plant varieties as well as ecologically sensible production practices.

A particular focus of Dr. Murphy and his research team is quinoa: how to grow it in the Pacific Northwest while doing justice to the Andean growers who currently supply the world with this low-gluten, high-nutrition food. The USDA recently awarded him and his team a $1.6 million grant to find ways to grow quinoa more widely and sustainably in the Pacific Northwest. Washington State University is at the nexus of an exciting new industry centered on quinoa and other alternative crops that will add diversity and value to the region’s economy.

Dr. Murphy travels all over the world, delivering courses, trainings, and presentations on his work. In the summer of 2013, and in conjunction with the United Nations’ Year of Quinoa, Dr. Murphy spearheaded the International Quinoa Symposium at WSU, welcoming students, researchers, and farmers from around the world.

Dr. Murphy earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics from WSU in 2007, and his M.S. in Crop Science from WSU in 2004. In order to understand their challenges and needs, he has partnered with farmers all over the Pacific Northwest for nearly two decades.