The Idaho Beef Council announced on Tuesday a $250,000 gift to the University of Idaho to expand research aimed at strengthening consumer trust in beef production.
The investment of state Beef Checkoff dollars will establish the IBC Graduate Fellowship Endowment in the U of I College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, or CALS. It will provide scholarship support to graduate students conducting research in beef safety, nutrition, quality, consistency, marketability and new product development.
The endowment will help provide support for graduate students studying meat science, Jeff Johnson, Idaho Beef Council chairman, said in a video announcing the endowment.
The funds generated will be matched by the university and help ensure today’s students become future industry leaders, he said.
“This will help us achieve one of our primary objectives — that we have a beef industry that is sustainable for many generations to come,” he said.
“We believe that supporting students in this way will advance the skills and knowledge of the next generation of beef industry experts, drive sustainable solutions and strengthen the Idaho beef industry’s position in the marketplace,” he said.
Michael P. Parrella, University of Idaho CALS dean, said he is honored to accept the gift from the Idaho Beef Council.
“As the research and development engine for Idaho’s agricultural enterprise, our college is committed to ensuring the sustainability of all sectors of Idaho agriculture for generations to come,” he said.
“This investment from Idaho beef producers adds to a long legacy of partnership between the university and Idaho’s beef industry, providing valuable hands-on research experiences for our students and building a pipeline of future professionals to keep Idaho at the forefront of beef production and technology,” he said.
The support of Idaho cattle producers, through the Idaho Beef Council’s investment, ensures the university will continue to expand the educational, research and outreach opportunities available to students that, in turn, benefit Idaho’s beef industry, he said.
Beginning on July 1, IBC Graduate Fellowship Endowment scholarships will be awarded to graduate students who have applied, been accepted and enrolled full-time in a meat science graduate program at the university. Recipients will be selected by the university’s Student Financial Aid General Scholarship Committee.
To qualify for support from the endowment, graduate student projects must align with the requirements of the Federal Beef Promotion Act and Order and seek to strengthen the beef industry’s position in the marketplace, to maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets, and to identify new product opportunities.