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July 29, 2019

U of I Jerome Site to House Discovery Complex for CAFE Research Dairy


MOSCOW, Idaho — July 25, 2019 — The Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE) advanced another major step this month with the acquisition of a site for an education and outreach complex at the Crossroads Point Business Center near Jerome.

The 6 acres purchased by the University of Idaho is located in Jerome County along U.S. Highway 93 and north of the intersection of Interstate 84. The property will accommodate a public visitor center, faculty offices, laboratories, classrooms and housing linked to CAFE.

“This purchase marks an important advance in realizing the overall goal of the Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment,” said Michael P.
Parrella, dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. “CAFE will help Idaho’s important dairy industry, and the broader agricultural and business communities in the state by improving their sustainability so they remain a vital foundation of Idaho’s economy.”

The purchase marks the second major step this year toward realizing the creation of the nation’s largest research dairy. U of I and the Idaho Dairymen’s Association purchased property from the Whitesides family in February that will serve as the location for a 2,000-cow research dairy. That property is near Rupert in Minidoka County.

Plans call for the CAFE Discovery Complex to partner with collaborating organizations to tell the story of Idaho agriculture. The plan was endorsed by the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, Jerome 20/20 and other groups.

Jerome County officials and agricultural interests have long sought greater university involvement in the region’s vital dairy industry. The energy and leadership provided by Jerome 20/20 has been extraordinary and valued., Parrella said.

Arlen B. Crouch, owner of the Crossroads Business Center, looks forward to future development of the site.

“We are excited by this commitment from U of I to expand both its research and education opportunities here, and to help our region tell the story of agriculture, our most dynamic economic force,” Crouch said.

The Idaho State Board of Education previously approved the sale, which closed in mid-July.

Another major component of the Idaho CAFE project will involve enhanced food processing education and research opportunities in the Magic Valley in a partnership with the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.

More information on the project is available at www.uidaho.edu/cafe.