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Horticulture and Natural Resources

Dr. Jeremy Cowan

Dr. Jeremy Cowan

Assistant Professor

Sustainable Food Production Systems

Kansas State University
3737 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-1414
Fx: +1-785-532-6949

Biography & Education


Jeremy 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.


  • Ph.D., Horticulture, Washington State University (2013)
  • M.B.A., Marketing and New Venture Management, University of San Diego (2007)
  • B.S., Horticulture, Brigham Young University (2003)


  • Cowan, J., A. Saxton, H. Liu, K.K. Leonas, D.A. Inglis, and C.A. Miles. 2016. Visual assessments of biodegradable mulch deterioration are not indicative of changes in mechanical properties. HortScience 51(3):245-254.
  • Cowan, J. , J. Goldberger, C. Miles, and D. Inglis. 2015. Creating tactile space during a university Extension field day event: The case of a sustainable agriculture innovation. Rural Sociology 80(4):456-482. doi: 10.1111/ruso.12073.
  • M. Powell, B. Gundersen, J. Cowan , C.A. Miles, and D.A. Inglis. 2014. The effect of open-ended high tunnels in western Washington on late blight and physiological leaf roll for five tomato cultivars. Plant Disease 98(12):1639-1647.doi:10.1094/PDIS-12-13-1261-RE.
  • Cowan, J.S., C.A. Miles, P.K. Andrews, and D.A. Inglis, 2014. Biodegradable mulch performed comparable to polyethylene in high tunnel tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) production. J. Sci. Food Agric. 94(9):1854-1864. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.6504.
  • Cowan, J.S., D.A. Inglis, and C.A. Miles. 2013. Deterioration of three potentially biodegradable plastic mulches before and after soil incorporation in a broccoli field production system in northwestern Washington. HortTechnology 23(6):849-858.


Course #TitleSemesterDelivery Method
HORT 520Fruit Crop ProductionSpringOn Campus
HORT 560Vegetable Crop ProductionFallOn Campus