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$2 Million Gift to Ag College is 'Transformational'

By Sean Ellis
A $2 million gift to University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will be a big benefit to the state’s farming and ranching community, UI officials say.
CALS Dean Michael Parrella recently announced the gift from Northwest Farm Credit Services. 
“It will do an enormous amount of good,” he said. “Any time there is a $2 million gift, it is obviously transformational.”
In addition to the cutting-edge, ag-related research done by CALS researchers, the college also provides direct support to Idaho farmers and ranchers through its Extension offices in 42 of the state’s 44 counties.
UI’s ag college has been an excellent resource for Idaho producers, said Doug Robison, the Idaho president of Northwest Farm Credit Services, which is part of Farm Credit System, the largest provider of credit to American agriculture.
He told Idaho Farm Bureau Federation that NFCS’ board of directors and management team recognize the positive impact the university has on Idaho’s agricultural industry. 
“The university’s essential research supports increasing production trends across nearly all of Idaho’s commodities,” Robison said. “The university provides excellent educational programs for producers of all sizes, from beginning farmers to the state’s largest agribusinesses.”
NFCS supports agriculture and rural communities by providing credit and financial services. The customer-owned financial cooperative provides billions of dollars in financing to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and rural home owners in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. 
NFCS has a long history of supporting CALS financially, Parrella said, and the group’s contributions have helped boost the college’s research and problem-solving efforts conducted on behalf of the state’s farming and ranching communities.
“The investment in student opportunities helps provide agriculture with the engaged and educated workforce the industry will need to meet future challenges and sustain its role as Idaho’s economic foundation,” he said. 
NFCS’ recent $2 million gift includes $925,000 to support the planned Agri Beef Meat Science and Innovation Center on UI’s Moscow campus that will serve as the new home for Vandal Brand Meats and conduct research and training that will benefit the state’s meat industry. 
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