Andy Bary, Washington State University-Puyallup

andy bary

Most leaders in the biosolids arena took a circuitous path to get to where they are today. Not Andy Bary! While Andy was in graduate school studying agronomy, he worked as a research assistant at the Washington State University extension, and he found it challenging and rewarding. He says the job he has now is the only job he’s ever had in the biosolids field. Given the passion and expertise he brings to his work every day, it’s obvious he lucked out when he landed that first biosolids job. Andy loves it so much, he wishes he’d worked in biosolids right out of undergrad, or even studied biosolids specifically in school.

Read how Andy became part of the biosolids world and what he envisions for the future of biosolids, in his own words, below.  Responses have been edited for clarity and abridged for length. 

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Dr. Craig Cogger, Andy Bary & Liz Myhre - Washington State University-Puyallup

Over the course of his career in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Washington State University Puyallup, he learned from Craig Cogger and Dan Sullivan, two great biosolids leaders. Andy has given that knowledge to all of us, speaking on behalf of biosolids, teaching, answering our questions, helping with agronomic rates, and leading innovative research projects on the benefits of biosolids. Andy has always been tied to environmental management. Working with biosolids marries the agricultural world with the environmental side, and Andy’s extensive applied knowledge and expertise is incredibly valuable to both biosolids managers and researchers. 

Andy has seen the biosolids world come to a basic understanding of the importance of research to the best management practices of biosolids. Much of this is the direct result of research funded by Northwest Biosolids and its members. 

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Andy preparing a research plot for planting at Washington State University-Puyallup

In his 30+ years in the field, Andy has become part of the 'biota' of biosolids and organics research here in the Pacific Northwest.  When he isn't out preparing research plots, answering calls from across the globe or quilting (yes - he knows how to quilt), you can find Andy immersed in developing the annual Compost Facility Operators Training (CFOT) course that is hosted at Washington State University-Puyallup.  If you're ever one of the lucky graduates of this week-long program, you will quickly realize the level of effort of all of the course instructors and coordinators. Thanks to the leadership and support of the Washington Organic Recycling Council (WORC), this program continues to turn out educated composters into the world.  If you're interested, register at the CFOT site today.

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Andy teaching at the Compost Facility Operator Training held in October

WORC recognized Andy's significant contributions this year by honoring him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. Andy has also served on the WORC board for years, bringing continuity and a practical outlook to the conversations that have guided the organization. 

Learn more about the impact Andy and the WSU-Puyallup program has made in biosolids and organics right here: https://puyallup.wsu.edu/soils/biosolids/

This month's Research Story - Biosolids & Soil Health - shares one of the recent landmark nationwide soil quality projects WSU-Puyallup has been invited to participate in.