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Horticulture and Natural Resources

Faculty Spotlight

Jeremy Cowan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sustainable Food Production Systems

JCowanJeremy Cowan grew up in Southern California, and cultivated a love for growing food in his family's small backyard garden. He received his B.S. in Horticulture Science from Brigham Young University and worked for a time in landscape construction in Utah, Oregon, and California. Jeremy then earned an M.B.A. with emphases in Marketing and New Venture Management from the University of San Diego. From there, Jeremy operated his own landscape construction company before enrolling at Washington State University for his Ph.D.

During his doctoral program, Jeremy studied the use of biodegradable plastic mulch films for producing vegetable crops in high tunnel and open field systems. He looked at the use of biodegradable plastic films to produce high quality vegetable crops, how well those plastics deteriorated in the soil environment, and how growers perceptions of biodegradable plastics were affected by hands-on educational opportunities.

Since completing his Ph.D., Jeremy has continued to work with biodegradable plastic mulch films, and extended his areas of interest to whole systems approaches to sustainable food production. With training in permaculture and significant work to develop and support the burgeoning food system around Spokane, WA, Jeremy has come to appreciate the human dimension of a more sustainable agriculture. His work focuses on training future growers [and eaters] the importance of growing food with people in mind—at every point along the production-consumption loop.

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Cary Rivard, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Extension Specialist & Director of K-State Research & Extension Center - Olathe

Rivard, CaryCary Rivard was born and raised near Kansas City, MO where his family owns and operates a small, retail greenhouse business. It was here that he first became interested not only in propagation and greenhouse management, but also learning and teaching about plants. He received his B.S. in agricultural sciences and biology from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. Cary completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at NC State University as a member of the Integrated Disease Management Lab. Cary's graduate research was focused on tomato, but as a student he also worked with several crops including strawberry, pepper, tomato, and cucurbits, and also has experience working and conducting research in high tunnel production systems.

Cary is excited about the opportunities to provide support for local food networks and develop an applied research program that will help to promote local fruit and vegetable production. "As a native of the Midwest, it's important to me that we continue to expand fruit and vegetable production in this area. I look forward to the opportunity to provide support in this effort and assist with the development of effective production practices for the region".

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