First, a wheat donation, and then—by happy accident—this glowing 2-year-old’s face in 2011 came to represent the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). The golden image above stretched as the centerpiece across an 8-foot-tall display in the Ag Pavilion at Boise’s Western Idaho State Fair and Twin Falls’ Eastern Idaho State Fair in 2011.
More about the photo later.
About the wheat—1,000 bushels of it, grown in Genesee in 2010—was donated to CALS in May 2011—contributing nearly $5,000 to the recently created faculty enhancement endowment fund. “With the budget shortfalls and crisis we’ve gone through at the state level, we just felt this was something we could afford to do,” said UI CALS alum Joe Anderson ’81, who made the donation with his wife Gayle, brother Jay ’85, and sister-in-law Lisa Anderson ’85. “We recognize the importance of the college’s research and the need for growers to support it,” Joe said.
The Andersons raised the donated winter red wheat on their family’s Idaho Century Farm in Genesee, founded in 1902. Dean John Hammel said farmers who donate crops to the college, “can gain significant tax benefits while knowing that their donation is targeted directly to supporting students and faculty who work tirelessly to improve Idaho’s crops.”
Natalie’s smiling face, above, came to our attention when our art director Shane Jackson needed a fresh image for CALS’ display at Idaho’s big fairs, something that celebrated Idaho agriculture. She Googled “Idaho harvest” and found a blog by Genesee’s Gayle Anderson titled, A Glorious Life of an Idaho Farmwife. It was illustrated with photographs including this one of her “grand-angel.” Shane had hit the jackpot.
“Natalie loves everything farming,” said Gayle. Natalie is the daughter of Joe and Gayle’s daughter Jennifer and Soren Lowe. “In this photo she was especially excited because she was soon going to ride in the harvester you see in the background with ‘Papa Joe,’” added Gayle.
The Andersons are 4th generation farmers and 3rd generation Vandals. Other family alums include daughter Kaitland ’11, and Joe and Jay’s father Laverne ’ 53, who has retired from farming and lives in Lewiston.
In addition to maintaining her own blog, Gayle created a site that brings together many farming and food production websites and blogs.
Anyone interested in donating crops or farmland to the college should contact CALS Director of Development Kim O’Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—from the Winter 2012 issue of CALS' Programs and People magazine