The University of Idaho will build a new meat science and innovation center on its Moscow campus. Agri Beef, one of Idaho’s best-known integrated processors, committed $2 million to support the $8 million project.
The new building will honor the legacy of Ron Richard, who supervised Vandal Brand Meats student employees and taught meat science classes for three decades before his death in October 2018. Richard’s students learned the science and the practical aspects of supplying nutritious, safe and innovative meat products to businesses and the public.
The new Agri Beef Meat Science and Innovation Center Honoring Ron Richard will replace the existing, outdated meat science facility on campus and create a modern teaching, research and retail sales center.
The U of I College of Agricultural and Life Sciences proposed the new building to modernize its processing, research and education options. In addition to enhancing the only local USDA-inspected processing plant, the new building will offer expanded facilities to meet a growing interest from students and industry.
“This commitment provides the foundation for the college to meet the demand for more educational opportunities in meat science,” CALS Dean Michael P. Parrella said.
Other regional companies and individuals in the livestock industry have shown strong interest in supporting the project financially including a $200,000 commitment from Northwest Farm Credit Services. The college will use internal funding for the project as well, Parrella said.