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For the Love of Grass

Retired Plant Materials Leaders Visit Pullman PMC on Their 2015 “For the Love of Grass” Annual Trek

By Pamela Pavek, Pullman PMC Agronomist

The Pullman Plant Materials Center (PMC) in Pullman, Washington, was honored by a visit from retired leaders in the Plant Materials Program on June 24, 2015. The retirees’ visit was part of their annual reunion trip to explore areas of interest in relation to plants. The Pullman PMC Staff gave the group a tour of the PMC and discussed current projects. Of particular interest were the National Soil Health Study, the Pollinator Habitat Demonstration Planting, and the Demonstration Nursery, containing many plant releases the retirees helped to develop.

The retirees were intrigued by changes in the Program, and told fascinating stories from the days past. While looking at old photos in the PMC archives, Bob MacLauchlan (retired National Program Leader, 1974-1984) recognized his younger self in a photo from the mid-1950s and provided us with detailed information about the photo. The group stopped at Steptoe Butte, near St. John, Washington, on their way to the PMC to inventory plant species and search for tetraploid bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata). Following their PMC visit, they travelled to Wawawai Canyon, the original collection point of ‘Secar’ Snakeriver wheatgrass (Elymus wawawaiensis) and continued on to points of interest in the Cascade Mountains and Columbia Plateau.

Descriptions of their annual “For the Love of Grass” Treks are available on their blogsite:

Retired Plant Materials Leaders Visit Pullman PMC

From left to right: Richard Fleenor (Washington Plant Materials Specialist); Dallas Spellman (Pullman PMC Farmer); (front) Allen Casey (Pullman PMC Manager); Larry Holzworth (retired Montana Plant Materials Specialist); Wendall Oaks (retired NMPMC Manager and IT Specialist); Curtis Sharp (retired National Program Leader); Wendell Hassell (retired National Park Service Technical Advisor); Bob MacLauchlan (retired National Program Leader); Jack Carlson (retired West Region Specialist and CIO); Pamela Pavek (Pullman PMC Agronomist); and Fred Gaffney (retired Northeast Plant Materials Specialist).