Seventh Annual Northwest Direct Seed
Cropping Systems Conference and Trade Show
Click here for a complete list of conference speakers/profiles (pdf).
R. James Cook is the
Interim Dean of the College of Agriculture and Home Economics at
Washington State University. As a research plant pathologist with
the USDA-Agricultural Research Service at Pullman, in 1988, Cook
led the team of researchers who made the first field test of a genetically
modified organism in the Pacific Northwest—a microorganism
for control of root disease in wheat. Elected to the National Academy
of Sciences in 1993, Cook has held the Endowed Chair in Wheat Research
at WSU for 5 years. For the past 10 years he has worked to integrate
science and policy on biotechnology applied to food and agriculture.
He served on the USDA Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology.
He chaired an international working group, producing a report on
Safety Considerations for Biotechnology, and has published on biotechnology
issues through international and U.S. academies of science. Cook
received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from North
Dakota State University, and a doctorate from the University of
California, Berkeley in 1961.
Francis J. Pierce is
the Director of the Center for Precision Agricultural Systems at
Washington State University located at the WSU Prosser Irrigated
Agriculture Research & Extension Center (IAREC). The Center
was funded by the Washington Legislature as part of the University’s
Advanced Technology Initiative in 1999. As Center Director, Pierce
has the mission to advance the science and practice of precision
agriculture in Washington. The Center’s efforts support the
competitive production of Washington’s agricultural commodities,
stimulate the state’s economic development, and protect the
region’s environmental and natural resources. Pierce received
his Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota in 1984.
His expertise is in soil management. He has been involved in the
development and evaluation of precision agriculture since 1991,
coming to WSU from Michigan State University.