Colorado lenders donate more than $1M to help build CSU Center for Agricultural Education

By: Steve Thursday February 14, 2013 0 comments Tags: Craig Beyrouty, CSU, Dale McCall, Fort Collins

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FORT COLLINS - Four of Colorado's top agricultural lenders have joined together to donate more than $1 million for construction of a modern Center for Agricultural Education at Colorado State University, CSU announced.

The center will train new generations of agricultural leaders and teachers, CSU said today.

The gift to CSU and the Colorado FFA Foundation is among the first to benefit students at agricultural colleges and land-grant universities such as CSU nationwide and is part of Denver-based CoBank's new $5 million agricultural research and education funding initiative.

Other partners supporting the Center are American AgCredit of Greeley; Farm Credit of Southern Colorado in Colorado Springs; and Premier Farm Credit in Sterling.

All of the donators are members of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of lending institutions specifically chartered by the U.S. government to serve agriculture and rural America.

"CSU has a distinguished history as a center of knowledge, research and education in agricultural sciences," said Robert B. Engel, CoBank's president and CEO.

"We are delighted to be joining with American AgCredit, Farm Credit of Southern Colorado and Premier Farm Credit in support of this exciting initiative, which will deliver meaningful, long-term benefits to agriculture and Colorado's rural economy."

The Center for Agricultural Education will be built at the CSU research farm north of Fort Collins when the university and Colorado FFA Foundation have fulfilled a $3 million fundraising goal, CSU said.

The campaign has so far raised more than $2 million from companies, industry associations and individuals.

"The gift from CoBank and its Farm Credit partners will provide an opportunity for students at CSU to be fully trained and effective when they go out to be agriculture education teachers and FFA advisors in schools throughout our region," said Dale McCall, chair of the FFA Foundation board.

The new center will be more than 18,000 square feet with customized laboratory, technology, teaching and office space, CSU said. It will also include special exhibit space for the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame, a signature program of the foundation.

"This gift is a testament of the partners' commitment to agriculture, our rural communities and the development of students who will play key leadership roles in the future," said Craig Beyrouty, dean of CSU's College of Agricultural Sciences.


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