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April 14, 2000

Donations to UW-RF Dairy Center Top $340,000

Total private sector investments in UW-River Falls' new Dairy Learning Center passed the $340,000 mark April 10 when First National Bank of River Falls/Prescott presented a $2,500 gift and pledged another $2,500.

Dean Bill Anderson of the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences said the donations are an endorsement of the dairy industry's value to Wisconsin.

"First National Bank's gift to the College demonstrates their ongoing commitment to the community, in this case the agricultural community and the University. Investments by FNB and other donors will support our efforts to strengthen economic development through the education and training of both our degree-seeking students as well as the workforce. I am very grateful for their support," Anderson said.

The Center will replace the College's existing dairy on the south edge of campus. It will be located at the Mann Valley Instructional Farm about four miles northwest of the University's main campus. Included in the facility will be technology-enhanced classrooms with electronic outreach capabilities.

"Several industry investors plan to use the facility along with our students. They, too, savor the educational opportunities that will become available for their employees and clientele. Rather than holding training sessions at hotels or conference facilities, they can bring their employees to a high tech/high touch facility that allows for global connections as well as meaningful hands-on experiences."

Anderson continues to look for Dairy Learning Center investors. "We need additional cash donations and equipment to ensure project completion." Anderson welcomes conversations with prospective investors who wish to showcase their equipment at the new facility. They can reach him at 715/425-3784.

Architects have just initiated the Center's design process. Groundbreaking is expected by May, 2001 with construction being completed in Spring 2002.

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