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Port of Everett, Washington State University's School of Food Science Partner to Welcome the Center for Advanced Food Technology to Waterfront Place

Date: Apr 16, 2018

Port of Everett, Washington State University’s School of Food Science Partner to Welcome the Center for Advanced Food Technology to Waterfront Place

Everett, Wash. – This week, Washington State University’s (WSU) School of Food Science (SFS) takes occupancy at the Port of Everett’s Waterfront Place in its newly leased office and classroom spaces – home for the School of Food Science’s Center for Advanced Food Technology.

The new three-year lease with WSU, approved by the Port Commission in February, supports a new Center of Excellence around food and seafood processing sponsored by a collaboration between two universities – Washington State University and the University of Idaho. The lease includes approximately 4,800 square feet of office space at the Port’s Marina Village complex (near Anthony’s Homeport) and additional classroom capacity at the Port’s Conference Center for weekly courses, symposiums and lectures. The deal provides five, one-year extension options in its current structure with opportunities for future expansion.

"The vision of supporting the growth of the food processing industry in this region a reality,” said Dr. Barbara Rasco, Director of the School of Food Science. “We are excited about this opportunity to collaborate with the Port of Everett in this innovative partnership and look forward to developing a more permanent facility at the Port to house our outreach, academic and research efforts as part of the land grant mission of WSU and the University of Idaho. These efforts will result in significant economic benefit to the people of Everett, Snohomish County, and the Pacific Northwest.”  

The Port of Everett provides a strategic location for expansion of the School of Food Science program as its centrally located at the heart of Puget Sound’s agriculture and fisheries hub. Snohomish County’s agriculture industry represents $139 million dollars in economic activity with more than 50,000 acres in agriculture production and 1,438 farms. Further, food processing in Snohomish County is a $280 million industry responsible for 1,447 jobs.

Seafood and aquaculture are major sectors of the food production, processing and manufacturing in the Pacific Northwest (Alaska, Washington, and Idaho) where 62-percent of United States seafood is harvested or imported and processed. Washington state ranks first in the nation for aquaculture as reported by the State Department of Agriculture – the majority of which is in Western Washington – and Idaho ranks third.
Although the food/seafood sector are doing well, the sector lacks a stable workforce and is experiencing severe labor shortages despite relatively high wages. In response, companies are turning to process automation resulting in fewer jobs, but jobs requiring increased skills. One objective of this center is to provide education and research to assist with this modernization.

“This program is emblematic of the type of partnership key to the Port’s success in achieving its economic mission, and we hope this program is the first of many to come as we seek to leverage the presence of a world-class university in Everett to benefit the local economy,” said Terrie Battuello, the Port’s Chief of Business Development. “This Center of Excellence will prepare our community for family-wage employment while generating business startups in the agriculture and seafood industries; industries which are both significant to the Snohomish County area.”

The Center has four primary areas supporting food and seafood processing including, 1) development of applied innovative food processing and engineering technologies to enhance quality and safety, 2) educational opportunities for the next generation of industry professionals in seafood/food harvesting and processing, 3) development of new products through application of biotechnology for improved material utilization and reduction of waste, and 4) application of alternative energy technologies into processing facilities. Being closer to the large food/seafood manufacturing sector located in Western Washington will also enable SFS to establish and support increased graduate research and food science undergraduate education programs specifically those at the WSU STEM campus in Everett.

This prestigious university collaboration, SFS, is known for providing the highest quality education, research, and outreach in the applied disciplines of food and seafood processing. It ranks among the top tier of United States university food science programs, with programs ranging from running start to graduate degrees that support entrepreneurs, food producers and community enrichment programs.

Food science encompasses processing, technology, chemistry, engineering, microbiology, transportation/distribution, safety, as well as nutrition and was established to support food processing and food related manufacturing. The program incorporates all types of food processing from cheese making to food and seafood production, fermentation, curing and freezing.

The Program also creates a perfect land use synergy with the Port’s Marina, which traffic peaks when the schools are out of session balancing parking demand at this location.

For more information contact Catherine Soper, Public Affairs Specialist, at or by phone at 425.388.0680.


About the School of Food Science

The School of Food Science (SFS) is a unified, shared resources program between Washington State University (WSU) and University of Idaho (UI) with eight locations in the two states that range from Boise, Idaho to the south to Mt. Vernon, Washington to the north. The program is a worldwide leader in innovative food science, research and education programs. It is unique in the nation and provides immediate national impact and recognition. Teaching, research, and extension programs within the SFS advance into the top tier of universities with food science programs in the United States based on faculty numbers, undergraduate and graduate student enrollment, degrees granted, research productivity, and extension programming. The SFS has 20 faculty members and is jointly administered by the WSU College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) and the UI College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). The SFS maintains strong undergraduate and graduate programs in food science (B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.) at both campuses. The SFS oversees Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe, the WSU Creamery and jointly directs the WSU Viticulture & Enology program (Richland). SFS faculty collaborate with cereal scientists at the USDA Western Wheat Quality Laboratory (Pullman). Facilities include pilot plants, a food preparation laboratory, sensory evaluation laboratories and numerous research laboratories.  A dairy processing plant, research pilot plant, traditional food processing pilot plant and an experimental/teaching winery are available for student projects.