New University of Idaho Facility Designed to Support Agriculture

PARMA, ID – A new University of Idaho (U of I) facility at Parma, designed to support the fundamental elements of Idaho agriculture, is one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to a $1 million investment by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.

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 that are 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, the foundation’s executive director.

“This partnership with the Albertson Family Foundation is pivotal in helping Idaho farmers become even more competitive in their industry,” says University of Idaho President Scott Green. “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.

Agricultural commodity groups, allied industry and private individuals have shown interest in supporting the project financially. To date, $2.9 million has been committed to the project.

The U of I has served the agriculture industry through the Parma Research and Extension center for more than seven decades. With more than 40 different kinds of crops, the Parma region leads the state in crop diversity. The region’s unique microclimate makes it an ideal location to conduct research that will impact many of the 185 different commodities Idaho growers produce statewide.

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at uidaho.edu.