Idaho's Ag Research Gets Multi-Million Dollar Endowments

Wheat Commission, Limagrain Cereal provide boost for studies.

Published on: Jan 19, 2012

The Idaho Wheat Commission reveals a plan to create two faculty research endowments with $2 million to the University of Idaho's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences to support the state's 4,500 wheat growers and their $766 million annual harvest.

Limagrain Cereal Seeds also announces collaboration with the college on breeding new wheat varieties for the state and other parts of the Pacific Northwest. Limagrain and the college will contribute germ plasm technology and expertise to more  rapidly develop varieties with improved productivity and tolerance to diseases and stress.

To support this effort, Limagrain also is funding a significant endowment for cropping systems research and graduate training at UI.

"These partnerships clearly demonstrate the power of collaboration and the value that a land-grant institution like the University of Idaho can bring to our state's economy," says M. Duane Nellis, president of UI. "We deeply appreciate the confidence that both the Idaho Wheat Commission and Limagrain Cereal Seeds have placed in our university."

Limagrain and UI will share grain germ plasm to "greatly increase varietal options for Idaho and the Pacific Northwest wheat growers," says John Hammel, college dean.

"This public-private partnership is a win for all of us, and especially for the Idaho and Pacific Northwest wheat industry. Today's economic realities make it  increasingly important for industries benefiting from our research to increase their support. The endowments our partners are establishing are ensuring the future, as they will provide ongoing and perpetual research funding.

"We applaud both the Idaho Wheat Commission and Limagrain Cereal Seeds for stepping up as willing partners."

Future yield increases in wheat will be driven by such research, says Gordon Gallup of Ririe, Idaho, IWC chairman. "Private breeders like Limagrain Cereal Seeds bringing new technology and new germ plasm into the mix is going to give our public programs a significant boost.

"New technology will lead to greater yields and better profitability for wheat growers in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest."