Company Donates $250,000 to Support Veterinary Medicine and Agricultural Economics at MU
COLUMBIA, Mo. – A recent donation from Smithfield Foods to the University of Missouri will benefit students in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR). Smithfield Foods is the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer and has several facilities in Missouri.
“Smithfield Foods recognizes the rising cost to recruit and retain high-quality graduate students, and that there is a tremendous need for well-trained veterinarians to serve the agriculture industry,” said Dennis Treacy, vice president of environmental and corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods. “We hope that our contribution to these fine colleges at MU will make it possible for them to attract the best students.”
From the $250,000 donation, $150,000 will endow a scholarship fund for new veterinary medicine students. The remainder of the donation will establish an endowed fund for graduate student fellowships in Agricultural Economics in CAFNR.
“We appreciative to Smithfield Foods’ generous scholarship endowment, which will be made available annually for two incoming first-year veterinary students,” said Neil Olson, dean of the college of Veterinary Medicine. “The cost of attending veterinary school is very high and a scholarship greatly helps to lessen a student’s debt load.”
Increased funding for scholarships and fellowships helps MU compete internationally for outstanding students.
“Graduate students in the Department of Agricultural Economics have the opportunity to work with leading scholars engaged in a diverse range of research projects that develop new knowledge about state, national and international economic issues relating to agriculture,” said CAFNR Dean Thomas Payne. “The fellowships provided by the Smithfield Foods Inc. gift create competitive stipends that will help attract the best and brightest students to the graduate program.”
The gift is the result of an agreement made last May, between Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon and Smithfield Foods. Smithfield recently acquired Premium Standard Farms, the largest pork producer in Missouri at the time.
“Educational training in these fields is vital for Missouri to continue to be a national leader in agriculture,” Nixon said. “At a time when many Missouri families struggle with paying the costs of college and with student loan rates rising, I am proud that this agreement will establish scholarship endowments for Mizzou students who choose these fields.”
Smithfield Foods is a global food company with operations in 13 countries through wholly owned subsidiaries and joint ventures. Headquartered in Smithfield, Va., the company produces more than 50 brands of pork, beef and turkey products and more than 200 gourmet foods. Employing more than 57,000 people across the globe, Smithfield Foods is the world’s largest producer and processor of pork and a leader in turkey processing, cattle feeding and beef processing.
The “Smithfield Foods Scholarship in Veterinary Medicine” and “Smithfield Foods Graduate Fellowship in Agriculture Economics” support the For All We Call Mizzou campaign, which will celebrate raising $1 billion by the spring of 2009. Reaching this goal will enhance MU’s ability to compete nationally and internationally for the best students and faculty and will provide broad access for students of all economic backgrounds to Missouri’s flagship University. The campaign has raised $913.67 million, 91 percent of the goal.