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College of Agriculture Project

BENNETT SECURES $9 MILLION IN UTAH AGRICULTURE PROJECTS

JULY 7, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $9 million for Utah projects requested by Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) as a part of the fiscal year 2010 spending bill for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Utah continues to be a leader in agriculture research as a result of the innovative work of Utah State University,” said Bennett, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. “The funding in this bill will support programs and research initiatives that will help Utah and the West balance protecting crops and water sources as well as wildlife.”

Below are the projects included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.

Agriculture Research Center – $4.527 million

This funding will support the construction for a new USU facility that will enable the university to be the leader of agriculture research in the West and broaden its impacts nationwide. The Agriculture Research Center will provide space needed to enhance collaborative opportunities between USU faculty, USDA and Agriculture Research Service researchers. The state-of-the-art, high-tech facility will increase opportunities for collaborative research with ARS, top university and other federal programs. The new building will include campus-wide, technology-enhanced classrooms allowing USU to strengthen its role as a leader in agricultural research, teaching, and service in the West and throughout the United States. In March 2008, the Utah State Legislature approved a challenge bond for $43.1 million which provides the entire state share of the building funding, but the release of the funds are tied to the release of federal funding.

 

Utah Conservation Initiative – $2.5 million

This initiative benefits communities throughout the state of Utah by providing technical and planning assistance for local conservation projects.  Funding has been used for agricultural water-use enhancement, watershed planning, flood prevention, grazing improvement, among other things. Since fiscal year 2005, Bennett has secured $11.2 million for this initiative.

Jack H. Berryman Institute for Wildlife Damage Management – $1.5 million

The Jack H. Berryman Institute is a collaborative program with Mississippi State University that researches scientifically based solutions for wildlife disease threats in the western U.S. Since its creation in 1993, the purpose of the institute is to give students opportunities to participate in multi-disciplinary research programs to create a better educated workforce to resolve human-wildlife problems throughout the U.S. This funding will be jointly used by the institute’s eastern and western divisions. In the last five years, Bennett has obtained nearly $8.1 million for the institute. 

High Performance Computing Utah – $263,000

This initiative is in concert with the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) report and the High Performance Computing (HPC) Revitalization Act to address the critical needs for high performance computing education and resources on the local, state and national level. Through this program, the high performance computing resources at HPC at USU will be expanded by improving the visualization, storage and networking capabilities. The state and national needs for high performance computing education, in this case for agricultural scientists and students, will be addressed by the development and dissemination of training material specifically targeting the agricultural research audience.

Joint U.S./China Biotechnology Research Programs – $210,000

In collaboration with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, Xiamen University and the Northwest Sci-Tech University of Agricultural and Forestry of the People's Republic of China, USU will develop joint research programs in agricultural biotechnology, including infectious diseases, livestock cloning and genetics, crop production, and irrigation. The funding will be used for professional exchange, training, and internships to promote greater economic and agricultural development in the U.S. and China.

The spending measure will now be placed on the Senate calendar to be considered at a later date.

Model of the New USU Agriculture Buildings:

ag1 ag2 ag2