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David Granatstein and Elizabeth Kirby

by Hillary Templin, Academic Coordinator, 2/07


David Granatstein with student Lori Hoagland

David Granatstein with graduate student Lori Hoagland at their organic orchard trial in Wenatchee.

David Granatstein graduated in 1986 with an M.S. in Soil Science under the guidance of Dr. Dave Bezdicek. During his graduate studies, David had the opportunity to work in Southern Africa as the Project Agronomist on a farming systems project, which he claims was the most important part of his graduate experience.

David is currently employed in Wenatchee as an Extension Agent and Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. Through a mix of research and community education, he has worked with soil quality, eco-labeling and development of the Food Alliance in Portland as a way to reward farmers through market incentives. David also helped lead the Climate Friendly Farming Project, funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and cooperates on many research projects with WSU. He spends increasing amounts of time with organic tree fruit projects. “My life has pretty much been my work…as sustainable agriculture has gone from skepticism to mainstream, it makes me feel very proud, my programs have helped contribute to that.”

David’s wife, Elizabeth Kirby, also graduated in 1986 with an M.S. in Soil Science. She has worked as a soil conservationist with the NRCS and a farm inspector with the USDA Organic Program and currently eco-labeling for the Food Alliance. For the past six years, Elizabeth has worked part time with WSU on various projects including tracking organic acreage statistics and developing food safety risk assessment tools for the apple industry. She has kept her work part time in order to raise their two children, Geneva, 17, and Andrew, 12.

The couple lives in Wenatchee, where they spend their free time skiing, gardening and volunteering at their children’s schools.