A $100,000 gift from CoBank will help bring West Virginia University’s new Agricultural Sciences Building to its full potential. The new building will be the centerpiece of WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.

Two rooms in the new Agricultural Sciences Building will bear the company’s name. The CoBank Computer Laboratory will be located on the ground floor and provide computing resources for students in the Davis College. A conference room on the fifth floor administrative level will be named the CoBank Administrative Conference Room.

“This significant gift from CoBank reflects on the potential and prospect for furthering agricultural and rural development in West Virginia and across the country,” said Dan Robison, dean of the Davis College. “Our college helps to meet that challenge through the instruction we provide our students, and the research and service work we do in many realms. This kind of support provides a margin of excellence that enables us to do more and do better. We are grateful today, as generations of students and faculty will be in the future. CoBank is a real friend of what we are trying to do at WVU.”

Based in Denver, CoBank provides loans and other financial services to agricultural cooperatives, rural infrastructure providers and other rural businesses in all 50 states. With approximately $98 billion in assets, the bank also serves as the funding bank for Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers and ranchers around the country.

“Our mission to support the U.S. rural economy creates a natural affinity with institutions like WVU that are educating the next generation of leaders in rural America,” said Bob Engel, CoBank’s chief executive officer. “We’re delighted to be supporting this important project and look forward to seeing the research and educational benefits it delivers in the years ahead.”

CoBank’s gift will create what is known as a demand fund, which will provide discretionary funds to support construction, equipment, salaries, scholarships, research, student scholarships, student salaries, and other opportunities to advance the mission and goals of the Davis College.

Engel noted that longtime CoBank board member Jim Kinsey has been a strong personal supporter of and advocate for the new ag sciences building. Kinsey, a highly successful cattle entrepreneur from Taylor County, W.Va., has served on the CoBank board since 2001. He is also a former director for Farm Credit of the Virginias and is widely known for representing West Virginia on boards and committees for the National Beef Cattle Association and Cattlemen’s Beef Board.

“Jim is deeply committed not only to WVU’s agricultural programs but to the entire future of agriculture in this region of the country,” Engel said.

Robison added: “The producers of food and the communities where those people live must truly have access to the best and brightest, to capital, and to great ideas. It’s great for us to be partnering with visionary supporters who understand that and who are committed to the excellence of WVU’s agricultural programs.”

To find out more about the demand fund and other giving opportunities, please contact Julie Cryser, Director of Development, at 304-293-2400 or Julie.Cryser@mail.wvu.edu.

The donation was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $750 million comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2015.



CONTACT: David Welsh, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design
304.293.2394, David.Welsh@mail.wvu.edu

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