The Southern Great Plains Dairy Consortium has kicked off a fundraising effort to establish a $6 million endowment with a $150,000 multi-year commitment from CoBank and Farm Credit of New Mexico. CoBank has committed $25,000 a year over a four-year period with an additional $12,500 per year provided by Farm Credit of NM.
click image to zoomFrom left, Beverly Gabaldon, Larry Williamson and Al Porter, Farm Credit of NM; Gregg Howell and Marc Adams, CoBank; Robert Hagevoort, US Dairy Education and Training Consortium, NMSU Extension Dairy Specialist; and Stan Fettig and Jim Welles, Farm Credit of NM. Professor Michael Tomaszewski, Consortium director and Extension specialist emeritus at Texas A&M University, announced the contribution at a recent Consortium board meeting hosted by Farm Credit of NM in Albuquerque. In addition, Tomaszewski announced the renaming of the group, which will now be know as the U.S. Dairy Education & Training Consortium as the six-week summer program to train animal and dairy science students moves beyond its original regional concept to a national stage.
“CoBank and Farm Credit of NM’s contributions are the first large commitments toward our endowment goal. When completed, the Consortium will have the financial stability needed to move beyond the regional effort to a national concept,” Tomaszewski said. “This is a logical next step. Consortium students come from all regions of the country and internationally. The large herd best management practices taught at the Consortium are comparable to those used in all dairy regions.”
“As a cooperative, Farm Credit of New Mexico is thrilled to be able to support the U.S. Dairy Education and Training Consortium,” said Al Porter, chief executive officer, Farm Credit of New Mexico. “The Consortium is built upon the cooperative spirit to provide leadership, support and resources to dairy research and education through academia, government and industry partnership. The dairy industry is a crucial part of New Mexico’s economy and Farm Credit of New Mexico’s business; building and sustaining the industry will have long-term impacts. We are proud to support this Consortium that is dedicated to enhancing the dairy industry and our future operators.”
“The future of the dairy industry depends importantly upon educating and engaging the next generation of dairy farmers,” said Robert E. Engel, chief executive officer, CoBank. “By providing a dynamic program, expert instructors and real-world experience, the U.S. Dairy Education and Training Consortium will play a major role in ensuring the industry’s long-term success. CoBank is proud to offer its support to this worthwhile initiative.”