Campaign Goal: $40 million
$55 M

Leading Innovation and Discovery

Jianli Chen in Greenhouse

Jianli Chen, Aberdeen Research & Extension (R&E) Center-based wheat breeder, has a 5-year grant to assess water- and fertilizer-use efficiency of 3,000 wheat and barley lines. They are part of the National Small Grains Collection maintained at Aberdeen. Supported by a $750,000 grant from the USDA-ARS and by the 2012 Idaho Wheat Commission endowment, Chen’s research will help Idaho grain growers prepare for potential climate change. See more at CALS' Programs & People Magazine.


Our thanks for the generosity of organizations like Limagrain Cereal Seeds, the Idaho Wheat Commission, the Anderson families of Genesee, and many others for taking the lead in recognizing industry must help support research to sustain Idaho's biggest industry—agriculture.


Faculty in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) provide the building blocks for Idaho’s prosperity through teaching, research, and extension. Partnerships with the college are vital to help us keep the best professors supporting both agriculture—Idaho’s strong economic foundation—and family sciences that  prepare Idaho’s next generation of leaders.

That is no revelation to Idaho’s growers, producers, and agricultural companies. They make their marks across the nation each year with competitive, high-quality products.

CALS trains future leaders who will shepherd the state’s bounty safely from field to table and help people lead healthy, productive lives. Faculty save producers and consumers millions of dollars each year by finding more efficient ways to grow crops, developing nutritious products, and encouraging healthy lifestyles while sustaining soils and the environment. 

Dean Robbins, a California attorney, has partnered with CALS by establishing the Robert and Dorothy Robbins Faculty Fellowship Endowment through a bequest to honor his parents, both UI alums. This $450,000 endowment will support faculty whose research addresses agriculture as a multistep process from farm to consumer’s plate.

Also playing important roles are companies and groups including the Idaho Wheat Commission, Idaho Cattle Association, and Food Producers of Idaho. The Idaho Wheat Commission’s recent commitment to establish a $2 million endowment will fund efforts of two UI Extension specialists—Jianli Chen (pictured above) and Juliet Marshall (below). Their work helps Idaho growers find new ways to combat wheat and barley diseases while developing new varieties that require less water and fertilizer.

In our Inspiring Futures campaign, CALS seeks additional faculty endowments to attract and retain the best faculty, critical to enhancing programs that meet our diverse missions. We are proud of our professors. In the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences, enrollment has jumped in recent years even as the state’s economy struggled—because of the relevance and quality of its programs.

“Our ability to partner and our network of research and extension facilities reflect and depend upon the continuing investment by the state and federal government in research, extension, and education that directly benefit Idaho’s leading industry—agriculture,” said former college dean John Hammel. “Increasingly, we also rely on support from individuals and industries benefitting from our programs.”

You can be a part of these exciting projects by contributing to the Inspiring Futures campaign.

Juliet Marshall with wheat sheaf

Juliet Marshall, a UI Extension cereal pathologist in Idaho Falls, helped southeastern Idaho wheat growers avoid 2011 crop losses due to stripe rust. Her wheat trials at Aberdeen R&E Center documented reductions of nearly 80% in some untreated winter wheat  varieties. See more at CALS' Programs & People Magazine. Her work to battle diseases in wheat will benefit from the 2012 Idaho Wheat Commission endowment.

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