UW–Madison receives crop research endowment

The nation’s first endowed faculty chair focused on plant breeding for organic crops goes to UW–Madison, thanks to $2 million in matching funds.

The endowed chair is being made possible by a $1 million combined gift from Clif Bar and Organic Valley, a farmer cooperative in La Farge, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

An additional $1 million comes from John and Tashia Morgridge, billionaire UW alums who previously donated a record-breaking $100 million to UW–Madison to be used exclusively for recruiting and retaining world-class faculty through endowed chairs and professorships, such as this one.

The gift will make it possible for a UW–Madison faculty member and students to advance innovations in organic food. Research will focus on developing crop varieties adapted to organic systems. It also will aim to improve the nutrition and flavor of organic food, and reduce use of pesticides, fertilizer, and energy.