Todd Murray took over as the new director of the Washington State University Puyallup Research and Extension Center on Thursday. Murray is an entomologist and the Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program director.
Murray is a WSU alumnus and brings more than 20 years of service to counties across Washington state to the role. He takes over from outgoing director Chad Kruger, who has led the center since 2017.
In a media statement announcing his new role, Murray notes he sees great opportunity to “lead a team that integrates watershed science, production agriculture, urban landscape management and human health in ways that can transform Puget Sound, Washington state and the world.”
After earning his master’s degree in entomology at WSU in 1996, Murray joined the Extension service working as a coordinator and educator in King and Whatcom counties, and then as director of Extension for Skamania and Klickitat counties. Since 2015, he has directed WSU Extension’s Agriculture and Natural Resource Program unit, helping Washingtonians learn how to improve farm productivity, conserve resources and protect crops.
Murray notes, “What excites me most about Puyallup is the chance to work more closely with diverse communities whose interests are based on issues of importance to society, such as protecting our watersheds and enhancing community health.”
Murray is an avid hiker who enjoys outdoor exploration with his wife, Jill.
Founded in 1894, Puyallup Research and Extension Center encompasses more than a dozen research and Extension programs, including the Washington Stormwater Center, the Low Impact Development Research Program, Organic Farming Systems and Nutrient Management programs, and the WSU Puyallup Plant and Insect Diagnostic Laboratory.
The center includes faculty, staff and graduate students from 11 academic departments; a 160-acre main campus with state-of-the-art labs and greenhouses; 6 acres of certified organic farmland; and 112 acres of research plots, including turfgrass, berry breeding and disease, and poplar research at the R.L. Goss Farm.