ATHENS, Ga. — With a $100,000 pledge to the new Poultry Science Building at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), AgGeorgia Farm Credit is the first six-figure donor to a campaign that will accelerate research, scholarship and applied solutions for the largest sector of Georgia’s No. 1 industry.
AgGeorgia Farm Credit is an agricultural lending cooperative owned by nearly 5,000 member-borrowers, with a mission to improve the lives of Georgia’s farmers, families and rural communities.
“AgGeorgia Farm Credit is dedicated to advancing the whole of Georgia agriculture, and a huge part of that agricultural pie is poultry,” said Dave Neff, AgGeorgia’s board chairman. “When we saw plans for the new Poultry Science Building, we immediately knew this was a great fit and opportunity for AgGeorgia to give back. There are so many that stand to benefit from the work that will be done in this cutting-edge facility, including many of the members of our cooperative.”
AgGeorgia specializes in ag lending with loan and lease products for farmers and agribusinesses, as well as long-term fixed rate options for land buyers. Approximately a third of AgGeorgia’s $1.1 billion lending portfolio consists of loans to the poultry industry, said Corey W. Cottle, chief marketing officer for AgGeorgia Farm Credit.
“We are truly grateful for the support of AgGeorgia, not only for their history of fostering growth in Georgia’s agricultural community, but also for ensuring the next generation of poultry scientists, leaders, and innovators. We’re proud to partner with them to collectively make Georgia the epicenter of poultry science,” said Todd Applegate, head of the Department of Poultry Science
The estimated $54.1 million project will increase the size of the Department of Poultry Science’s existing facilities in CAES to more than 70,000 square feet, modernizing instructional and lab space; providing centralized, student-focused facilities; and helping to attract and retain world-class researchers. State-of-the-art learning labs will bolster the traditional classroom experience with production courses, demonstrations and relevant field-learning exercises and contribute to the department’s expanding FFA, 4-H and other youth programs, as well as assist with student recruitment efforts. Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2022 with completion in fall 2023.
AgGeorgia is a member of the nationwide Farm Credit System, established in 1916 to provide a dependable source of credit to farmers and rural America. AgGeorgia serves 79 counties in Georgia with 19 office locations.
–Maria M. Lameiras, University of Georgia