RECAP: McMorris Rodgers Helps Break Ground at New WSU-USDA Research Facility, Makes Stop at Pullman Airport

Aug 02, 2023

Pullman, Wash. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) yesterday traveled to Pullman where she joined Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Washington State University leadership to break ground on the brand new Agriculture Research Service (ARS) BioSciences Building on the WSU Pullman Campus. She also made a stop at Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport with Mayor Glenn Johnson.

Details and photos from these public events, as well as a preview of the remainder of this week’s schedule, are below.

Breaking Ground at Washington State University

At Washington State University’s Pullman campus, Cathy helped break ground on the brand new Agriculture Research Service (ARS) BioSciences Building. Since coming to Congress in 2004, Cathy has advocated for this project and helped secure nearly $125 million in funding for it as part of the annual appropriations process throughout the years.

This building will provide state-of-the-art facilities to support plant and soil scientists from the Department of Agriculture’s ARS and WSU working to address national issues around the health of our agriculture economy. It will provide an environment where the ARS-WSU collaboration may continue to conduct research that is vital to the vast array of agricultural stakeholders and markets in Washington, the Pacific Northwest, the United States, and beyond.

Below are excerpts from Cathy’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Agriculture is Eastern Washington’s number one industry. Our farmers and ranchers are the greatest anti-poverty program America has ever known. They have a profound legacy of feeding the world, providing food security to millions of people. 

“But such a legacy doesn’t come without challenges. Right now, our farmers are faced with emerging and invasive diseases and pests, unpredictable weather patterns,  and ever-changing markets. Which is why this facility is so important and why I fought so hard for it. 

“Once completed, the ARS BioSciences Building here on the WSU Pullman Campus will give plant and soil scientists and students the state-of-the-art facility they need to conduct research, collaborate with one another, and develop innovative solutions that will help our agricultural leaders overcome these obstacles that stand in their way. 

“It will also take learning to the next level here at WSU and give students the opportunity of a lifetime that just may set them on a course to be the next great success story. The possibilities are endless but I have no doubt that this facility will be where those possibilities begin.”

Attendees at yesterday’s ground breaking included:

  • Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
  • Senator Patty Murray
  • Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics
  • Simon Liu, ARS Administrator
  • Elizabeth Chilton, WSU Pullman Chancellor of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Touring Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport

Prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, Cathy visited Moscow-Pullman Regional Airport with Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson and Executive Director Tony Bean, who provided an update on many of the improvement projects that are currently underway to improve the airport and expand transportation options for residents. 

Cathy continues to advocate for funding to support the airport’s terminal project, which includes two connector taxiways, one central deicing pad, three aircraft parking positions, and an additional 2,700 square yard aircraft parking position.


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