On Tuesday, Cargill announced a $500,000 donation to the University of Idaho for the CAFE project outside of Rupert.  Cargill noted in Tuesday’s announcement supporting the next generation of sustainability experts is important not only to the company, but the dairy sector as a whole.  University of Idaho College of Agricultural Life Sciences Dean Michael Parrella said this most recent gift will be used to hire an animal science nutritionist.


“That will basically be looking at how animals digest what they feed on, and obviously more efficient digestion is going to lead to better animal health.  There's no question.  And then obviously that's going to reduce what we hope will be a fewer and fewer greenhouse gases.”


Parrella noted in the long run, his vision for CAFE is a location where animal health products can be evaluated on a scale similar to a commercial dairy.


The average dairy size in Idaho is 1,500 cows.  Within a few years, Parrella says CAFE’s dairy will have 2,000 cows.


He added many assume that a research dairy is focused on improving milk per cow numbers.  But he noted CAFE will be much more.


“The focus of cafe is to look at the sustainability of both the dairy and the agricultural industry moving forward.  So, really we're looking at a total of at least a 30-year experiment here, that’s what we're planning.  Because again when you talk about sustainability, one or two years, that's not good enough, you need to be able to analyze this and on a time scale and it's going to take you know years to really come up with solutions.”


Parrella noted that CAFE will provide research opportunities that will be meaningful to the state, to the dairy industry, to the farming community in general, and ideally to the nation moving forward.  He added he sees CAFE serving as a signature program for the College of Ag.


Visit the UI"s CAFE Website to learn more about the project.



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