When Farm Credit Mid-America set out to invest in the next generation of American farmers, the Kentucky-based lender looked south to Austin Peay State University. That’s because APSU is home to the fastest growing college department of agriculture in Tennessee, with student enrollment in that program increasing by 75 percent in the last five years.
Last month, Matt Neal, regional vice president for Farm Credit Mid-America, visited the APSU Environmental Education Center (EEC) and presented the department with a $50,000 donation to help fund a new, multipurpose animal science facility, currently under construction at APSU.
In December 2012, the University broke ground on the new DeWald Livestock Pavilion at the EEC, thanks to a generous donation by Dr. Ernie and Joan DeWald and a Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Grant. The modern facility will replace an old hay barn on the property, providing a practical working and learning space for faculty, staff and students. That project is the first phase in a proposed three-phase animal science facility, which will eventually include a new animal science laboratory and classroom. The Farm Credit donation will help fund phase two of project – a livestock handling area.
Tennessee’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Julius Johnson, joined State Sen. Mark Green, State Rep. Joe Pitts and State Sen. Mark Green, State Rep. Joe Pitts and Rep. Curtis Johnson at the August event as well. They have helped secure a $400,000 matching grant for the project.
For more information on the Farm Credit donation or other projects at the APSU Farm, contact the APSU Department of Agriculture at 221-7272.