US – American food company specializing in strained yogurt, Chobani, has donated US$1 million to the University of Idaho to support the construction of what is regarded as the nation’s largest dairy research center.
With deep roots and major manufacturing, research, and development, Chobani has long been committed to taking a holistic and inclusive approach to sustainability, especially within the dairy industry.
University of Idaho-led Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Idaho CAFE), is located in Idaho’s Magic Valley.
The facility spans three counties with a 2,000-cow research dairy and a 640-acre demonstration farm in Rupert, a public outreach and education center in Jerome.
The Idaho CAFÉ has collaborative food science efforts developed in partnership with the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.
Idaho CAFE will conduct research and deliver education to support a sustainable future for Idaho’s dairies, livestock operations, crop production, and food processing industries.
The research dairy will be operated similarly to a commercial farm and will host a variety of ongoing research experiments managed by University of Idaho faculty and staff.
Idaho University commented that being the third top dairy-producing state in the nation, efficient agricultural production that protects Idaho’s natural resources and the environment requires strong research to succeed.
The research dairy is designed to represent an average dairy in southern Idaho, so the research conducted at the site will be immediately applicable to dairy farms in Idaho and throughout the region.
“As more and more people – consumers, investors, and regulators — focus on sustainability, the dairy industry must be part of the conversation. The dairy industry has a deep history of commitment to and leadership in sustainability, which must be honored,’ Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani founder and CEO said.
“This is why the University of Idaho’s leadership to establish this comprehensive and groundbreaking CAFE project is important and why we are so proud to support it.”
The University of Idaho plans to break ground in June on the first construction phase of the $22.5 million research dairy which includes facilities to house the milking and nutrient management operations.
The first phase of construction is set to be complete in 2023 and the University plans to start milking cows at the Rupert location once the facility is operational.
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