The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, Boise, Idaho, invested $1 million in a Parma, Idaho, facility at the University of Idaho (U of I), Moscow, Idaho, designed to support the fundamental elements of Idaho agriculture.
The $7 million project will establish the Idaho Center for Plant and Soil Health at the U of I’s Parma Research and Extension Center. Faculty and students at this location conduct research and extension programs addressing the region’s many specialty crops, as well as issues relevant to all of Idaho agriculture – creating a foundation for healthy plants and soil.
“We invest in leaders and programs that provide new learning opportunities for Idahoans. We support innovative organizations that focus on continuous improvement and strive for meaningful results. By providing this resource, the Parma Research and Extension Center will continue to support an important agricultural region in our state,” says Roger Quarles, executive director of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.
“This partnership with the Albertson family foundation is pivotal in helping Idaho farmers become even more competitive in their industry,” says Scott Green, president of U of I. “I appreciate their ongoing support of the University of Idaho and especially of College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Dean Michael Parrella’s vision for how best to support Idaho agriculture.”
The project includes construction of a new building with state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment to conduct research in agronomy, entomology, nematology, plant pathology and pomology. In addition, these improvements will enhance the university’s ability to recruit and retain world-class faculty and graduate students. The university anticipates adding four new faculty positions at the center, including an irrigation/soil scientist, a weed scientist, a pollination specialist and an extension fruit/viticulture specialist.