SUSAN M. PHEASANT, PH.D
PRESIDENT AND PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT
Susan has over 22 years of strategic planning, analysis, organization management, education and marketing research experience working with agricultural organizations, producers, and support industries throughout the United States. In addition to her role as an entrepreneur, she has worked as the Director of Strategy, Planning, and Analysis for the Center for Agricultural Partnership specializing in the implementation of pest management and water quality projects utilizing her skills in project management, budgeting, grant writing, and evaluation.
During the past six years she has served as project manager and lead grant writer for ten USDA Risk Management Agency education and research partnerships for grape, tree fruit, potato, and vegetable producers in the Western United States and two WSDA Specialty Crop Block Grants. In particular, she consults with project staff and growers to facilitate field implementation work, develop measurement tools, analyze results, initiate training and educational programs, and provide overall evaluation methodologies specific to a given project.
One of her current project includes coordination of GRAS2P: Growers Response to Agricultural Safe and Sustainable Practices. GRAS2P is a Washington tree fruit industry grower-based effort for audit readiness, food safety operating procedures, establishment of standards for sustainable practices, traceability from market back to farm, and continued use of good agricultural practices in orchards.
From Summer 2004 through Summer 2009, Susan served as Executive Director for the International Fruit Tree Association, a non-profit member association established to promote an understanding of the nature and use of dwarf fruit trees through research, education, and dissemination of information. In addition to working with local growers, consultants, extension personnel, and affiliated businesses to plan annual conferences (Washington, Pennsylvania, Tasmania, California, Germany) and orchard tours (New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington) and intensive workshops (high density sweet cherries, plant growth regulators), Susan served as the editor of the Compact Fruit Tree journal. She has also lead tree fruit study tours to many of the major tree fruit growing regions in North America, South America, Australia/New Zealand, and Europe.
She has taught agricultural business classes at both the university and community college levels and co-coordinated the annual conference for the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA). She served as Business Manager and Education Program Coordinator for the Washington State Horticultural Association and as Executive Director for the international Jojoba Growers Association. Susan has a BS in Agricultural Economics and a BA in Business Administration from Washington State University as well as an MBA from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. incorporating Agricultural Economics, Marketing, Education, and Rural Sociology from Washington State University. Her dissertation focused on grower decision-making processes as they adopt innovative business and cultural practices while working in environments thick with risk and uncertainty. Susan is a fourth generation member of the Washington tree fruit industry and, as her uncle fondly describes, she has apple juice in her blood.