By Seth Truscott, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

In southeast Washington’s Columbia County, WSU Extension Agent Paul Carter has earned national recognition for his efforts helping farmers preserve the health of their soil.

Closeup of Paul Carter.
Carter

Carter, director of Columbia County Extension and an Agriculture and Natural Resources agent, received the 2018 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA). This award honors members who have served at least 10 years in cooperative extension, led outstanding Extension programs, and earned the esteem of their colleagues.

Based at Dayton, Wash., Carter works with farmers to balance nutrients in their crop systems, improving soil health and reducing soil acidity. He conducts soil health workshops for farmers and decision makers to prevent soil degradation, leads on-farm demonstrations, organizes seminars, and speaks at local and regional grower meetings.

“Our soils are the basis of life, and soil health determines the quality and health benefits of the foods we grow and eat,” said Carter. “Whether it’s crops for feed, grain or for our own table, by working with producers to improve the soil, we ultimately improve the nutritional value of our diet.”

A productive member of the WSU Wheat and Small Grains Extension Team in Pullman, and affiliate faculty with the Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems in Prosser, Carter has authored several book chapters, curriculum materials, and educational publications on soil health.

“It was a great honor, and a humbling experience, to be selected by my peers here in Washington, and then be recognized at the national annual meeting with many other recipients,” Carter said. “As an Extension agent, I help in any capacity that I can for the benefit of my stakeholders and the community.”