University of Idaho research and extension centers at Tetonia and Parma begin the new year as models of enhanced public support for work that benefits the state, said John Hammel, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences dean.
The Treasure Valley Agricultural Coalition, which represents specialty and seed crops, mobilized supporters of the Parma center who collectively contributed $65,000 to fund field operations through June 30, the end of the fiscal year.
A separate five-year agreement with tree fruit and table grape industry interests will contribute $30,000 a year to support operations at the center's orchards and vineyards. Contributors included the Idaho Apple and Cherry Commissions, Idaho State Horticultural Society Stone Fruit Committee and the Snake River Table Grape Association.
At Tetonia, which is important to potato and cereal variety development and the foundation seed program, agricultural industry groups contributed $120,000 to fund field operations there through the end of harvest. The Idaho Potato Seed Growers contributed $65,000, the Idaho Potato Commission $40,000 and the Idaho Barley Commission contributed $15,000 toward continued center operations through harvest.
Facing a $3.2 million or 11.5 percent state budget cut, the college proposed late last spring a plan that would end funding for field operations by Dec. 31 at the Parma center and plans to seek alternative funding to support orchards, vineyards and field operations. The plan was based on recommendations of a statewide committee, which also supported similar moves at the Tetonia and Sandpoint research and extension centers.